• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Biological Oxygen Demand

Biological oxygen demand (bod), or biochemical oxygen demand, is an index or measure of the concentration of biodegradable organic matter in a body or quantity of water. BOD is a natural phenomenon, but is also a test used to determine the condition of water for maintaining natural ecological processes of human use. Oxygen dissolved in water is a naturally occurring resource, provided by waterfalls, rapids, winds, and waves, without which organic materials would build up beyond the capacity of water bodies to sustain life. BOD occurs naturally as organic debris wash into streams, rivers, and lakes. These organic materials are oxidized by bacteria and other microorganisms, which decompose organic wastes (e.g., dead leaves, fish, plants, manure, sewage), consuming oxygen in the process. Should oxidation outpace ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles