A new process of biological waste treatment was developed by use of microbial films grown on the liquid surface in a shallow flow reactor. The performance of this process was tested using a synthetic waste that contained acetic acid as a model organic pollutant. About 90% of acetic acid (10,000 mg/L-1) in the synthetic waste was removed by setting alpha tau: (alpha specific liquid surface area, cm-1, and tau: hydraulic liquid detention time, h) higher than 15 cm-1/h. It was necessary to maintain alpha large enough (more than 10 cm-1 in most cases) to satisfy oxygen demand for the biooxidation. The oxygen balance and TOC determinations showed that the acetic acid removed was completely oxidized with oxygen transferred through the liquid surface. This process would contribute to energy savings, since it requires no forced aeration for oxygen supply.