EPA-NERL: 405.1:  Biochemical Oxygen Demand

  • Summary
  • Analytes
  • Revision
  • Data and Sites
Official Method Name
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (5 days, 20oC)
Current Revision
Issued 1971; Editroial Revision 1974
Membrane Electrode or Titration
Method Subcategory
Method Source
  Methods for the Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes (MCAWW) (EPA/600/4-79/020)
Brief Method Summary
The BOD test is an empirical bioassay-type test which measures the dissolved oxygen consumed by microbial life while assimilating and oxidizing organic matter in a sample. A waste sample (or dilution) is incubated for five days 20oC in the dark. Dissolved oxygen is measured before and after incubation using a modified Winkler or oxygen probe method (e.g., EPA Method 360.2 and 360.1). The reduction in dissolved oxygen during the incubation period yields a measure of BOD.
Scope and Application
This test for BOD is used to determine the relative oxygen requirements of municipal and industrial wastewaters.
Applicable Concentration Range
See EPA Methods 360.1 and 360.2 for general information on the range of dissolved oxygen methods.
None Provided.
Quality Control Requirements
Sample Handling
Use of 60 mL incubation bottles with oxygen probe methods is often convenient.
Maximum Holding Time
48 hours (MCAWW, Table 1).
Relative Cost
Less than $50
Sample Preparation Methods