BOD Test Variables

by Denis G. Morrissette, Environmental Officer; Environment New Brunswick, Fredericton, N.B., Canada,
Donald S. Mavinic, Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 6, Pg. 1213-1222

Document Type: Journal Paper


It has been reported that the oxidation rate in a stream is higher than the corresponding rate obtained from the laboratory BOD test. This study was undertaken to observe the effect of such stream conditions as turbulence, light and turbidity, separately and in combinations, on the BOD test, using raw domestic sewage. Mixing was found to increase the BOD5 by an average of 15%, while light only increased the BOD5 by 4.0%. Turbidity demonstrated an average reduction of about 24% on BOD5 values. Mixing and turbidity, in combination, reduced the BOD5 by 28%, turbidity and light by less than 6%, light and turbidity and mixing by 26%, while mixing and light increased the BOD5 by about 15%. This study has shown that without further research, extrapolation from laboratory to field conditions, from the existing standard BOD test, yields questionable results. Inclusion in the BOD test, of the physical characteristics of the stream, is a possible solution to obtaining more meaningful results.

Subject Headings: Turbidity | Laboratory tests | Rivers and streams | Field tests | Oxidation | Turbulence | Sewage

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