Author(s): Young JC, Clesceri LS, Kamhawy SM
The dilution biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) test has widespread application for design and operation of wastewater treatment processes, evaluating the quality of natural waters, and assessing the effect of wastewater discharges on these waters. While standardization of the BOD-measuring method has become of prime importance in maintaining dependable data acquisition, changes are made as needed in response to questions raised by analysts and to accommodate new applications. The purpose of this article is to describe changes that have been incorporated in the 20th and 21st editions of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater (APHA et al., 1998 and 2004). These changes include changes in text format to clarify the procedural steps, allowance for use of bottle sizes ranging from 60 mL or larger, improvements in quality-control procedures, and improvements in the method of calculating BOD. Other changes include allowance for the use of allylthiourea for nitrification inhibition and broadening the source of seed that can be used for inoculation of BOD samples.