biological oxygen demand (BOD)



Standard method for indirect measurement of the amount of organic pollution (that can be oxidized biologically) in a sample of water. BOD test procedure is based on the activities of bacteria and other aerobic microorganisms (microbes), which feed on organic matter in presence of oxygen. The result of a BOD test indicates the amount of water-dissolved oxygen (expressed as parts per million or milligrams per liter of water) consumed by microbes incubated in darkness for five days at an ambient temperature of 20°C. Higher the BOD, higher the amount of pollution in the test sample. For the contaminants that cannot be oxidized biologically, chemical oxygen demand (COD) method is used. Also called BOD5.

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