Interpreting BOD/COD Ratio Results: The 2 Important Ratios for Water Quality


Interpreting BOD/COD Ratio Results: The 2 Important Ratios for Water Quality

What is the role of the BOD/COD ratio in the assessment of organic pollution in water bodies?

Natural water resources such as lakes, rivers, streams etc. are home to some of the most diverse ecosystems. The quality of the water significantly impacts the survival of these ecosystems.

An essential component of these water ecosystems is the trace levels of dissolved oxygen. The presence of a sufficient concentration of dissolved oxygen is essential to maintaining the aquatic life and quality of streams and lakes.

Both biological oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) are two critical indexes for measuring organic pollution by examining the amount of oxygen in the water systems.

What are the BOD/COD tests and why are they needed?

BOD, or Biochemical Oxygen Demand, measures the amount of oxygen consumed by microorganisms as they breakdown organic matter in a body of water. BOD testing quantifies the amount of oxygen needed to reduce the organic pollutants present in the sample.

COD testing gives a detailed account of the organic pollution present in a body of water. COD, or Chemical Oxygen Demand, determines the amount of oxygen required to chemically oxidise the organic and inorganic substances in the water sample.

Organic pollutants are known to have serious impacts on the health of ecosystems and the public in general, this is one of the reasons that this test is important in assessing water safety. The BOD/COD ratio helps determine the level of organic pollution in the water body and the potential for oxygen depletion.


What testing solutions do Southern Scientific Services offer?

The BOD/COD ratio can be measured via Southern Scientific’s water monitoring services. Calculating the BOD/COD ratio is of key importance when testing water safety because….

  1. Analyses the body of water in compliance with the EU set regulations.
  2. Allows for monitoring of the environmental impact of pollution.
  3. Gives information on domestic household pollution to drinking water.
  4. Allows for treatment plant monitoring.
  5. Allows for research to be conducted on the organic matter present in bodies of water.

How is this testing completed?

The testing uses the BOD/COD ratio and pH testing to assess the quality of water. The BOD/COD ratio assess the biodegradability of the organic material and the pH test gives information on the environmental conditions where the organic matter is being biodegraded. We pride ourselves in our easy-to-use testing strategies that follow 3 key steps – simple. clear. accurate:

  • Simple – order the test you need, and we will post* your testing kit to you
  • Clear – follow the instructions, collect the sample and post* it back to us the same day for next day delivery
  • Accurate – easy-to-understand results will be sent to you by email within 10 days

*If you prefer, you can pick up and drop off the water sample or request a home/office visit with one of our specialists.

How to interpret the results?

A lower BOD/COD ratio may indicate the presence of more easily degradable organic matter, while a higher ratio suggests the presence of refractory or difficult-to-break-down organic compounds. Additionally, pH levels influence the solubility and toxicity of certain pollutants, impacting their potential effects on aquatic life.

Who is this Service Recommended For?

The importance of water safety is relevant to everyone with the environment and various sectors such as commercial fishing, agricultural, and recreation and tourism industries benefitting from the survival of these ecosystems.

Additionally, the quality of these water bodies impact…

  • Domestic households
  • Water treatment plants
  • Agricultural workers
  • Anyone using water for commercial and industrial use.


Why should you use Southern Scientific Services BOD/COD ratio for your water testing?

Monitoring BOD/COD levels helps us identify excessive organic pollution and assess the efficiency of wastewater treatment processes. High BOD and COD levels indicate a larger amount of organic matter and oxidisable substances, which can lead to oxygen depletion, harm aquatic life, and disrupt the balance of ecosystems.

By testing for BOD and COD, we provide valuable information to regulators, environmental agencies, and industries. This data enables them to make informed decisions, implement necessary interventions, and develop strategies to mitigate pollution sources and protect water resources.

At Southern Scientific Services, we understand the critical importance of environmental safety with over 28 years of experience in the industry. A member of our team will be happy to get in touch with you once you have completed the get a quote form! As an alternative, you can phone 066 976 3588 and talk to us directly.


Measure the BOD/COD of your water with a water monitoring service.

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