BOD has traditionally been used to measure of the strength of effluent released from conventional sewage treatment plants to surface waters or streams. This is because sewage high in BOD can deplete oxygen in receiving waters, causing fish kills and ecosystem changes.,
The BOD value is most commonly expressed in milligrams of oxygen consumed per litre of sample during 5 days of incubation at 20 °C and is often used as a surrogate of the degree of organic pollution of water. BOD reduction is used as a gauge of the effectiveness of wastewater treatment plants.
The higher the BOD value, the greater the amount of organic matter or “food” available for oxygen consuming bacteria. If the rate of DO consumption by bacteria exceeds the supply of DO from aquatic plants, algae photosynthesis or diffusing from air, unfavourable conditions occur.
A second category of water pollutants is oxygen-demanding wastes; wastes that can be decomposed by oxygen-requiring bacteria. When large populations of decomposing bacteria are converting these wastes it can deplete oxygen levels in the water. This causes other organisms in the water, such as fish, to die.
During the secondary treatment of primary effluents, the BOD level decreases because useful microbes consume a major part of the organic matter. Reduction in the organic matter leads to lowering of BOD.
BOD is fairly easy to remove from sewage by providing a supply of oxygen during the treatment process; the oxygen supports bacterial growth which breaks down the organic BOD. Most enhanced treatment units described incorporate some type of unit which actively oxygenates the sewage to reduce BOD.
High biochemical oxygen demand can be caused by: high levels of organic pollution, caused usually by poorly treated wastewater; high nitrate levels, which trigger high plant growth.
The rate of oxygen consumption is affected by a number of variables: temperature, pH, the presence of certain kinds of microorganisms, and the type of organic and inorganic material in the water. The greater the value, the more rapidly oxygen is depleted in the stream.
The BOD is an important parameter for assessing water quality. It deals with the amount of oxygen consumption (mg O2 L− 1) by aerobic biological organisms to oxidize organic compounds. Sewage with high BOD can cause a decrease in oxygen of receiving waters, which in turn can cause the death of some organism.
You can reduce COD and BOD by adding hydrogen peroxide to the wastewater solution. The hydrogen peroxide will chemically attack the organics in the wastewater, degrading them and reducing the measured COD and BOD.