You are on page 1of 7


Microorganisms such as bacteria are responsible for decomposing organic waste. When

organic matter such as dead plants, leaves, grass clippings, manure, sewage, or even food waste
is present in a water supply, the bacteria will begin the process of breaking down this waste.
When this happens, much of the available dissolved oxygen is consumed by aerobic bacteria,
robbing other aquatic organisms of the oxygen they need to live. Biochemical oxygen demand or
BOD is a procedure to determine the amount of oxygen consumed by the microorganisms in the
waste water chemically. It is commonly used as the indicator to show the cleanliness of the waste

To measure the amount of dissolved oxygen in the waste water for a specified period of

time and temperature.


BOD is defined as the amount of oxygen required by living organisms in the stabilization

of the organic matter of water. If the oxidation of an organic compound is carried out by
microorganisms using the organic matter as a food source, the oxygen is consumed. The greater
the amount of organic matter present, the greater the amount of oxygen utilized. The BOD test is
indirect measurement of organic matter. Since the test is performed over a five day period, it is
often refferred as five day BOD (BOD5).
It is generally assumed that the rate at which oxygen is consumed directly proportional to
the concentration of degradable organic matter remaining at any time. Different result would be
obtained at different temperatures because biochemical reaction rates are temperature-dependent.
The kinetics of the BOD reaction are, for particle purposes, formulated in accordance with firstorder reaction kinetics and may be expressed as
dL / dt = - kLt
where, Lt is the amount of the first stage BOD remaining in the water at time t and k is the
reaction rate constant. This equation can be integrated as
ln Lt / L = - kt or The amount of BOD remaining at time t equals

Lt = L e-kt
and y the amount of BOD that has been exerted at any time t, equals
BODt = L( 1 e-kt )
For five day BOD (BOD5), the sample is kept in incubator which remains around 20 oc. Most of
the biological process sprrd up as the temperature increase and slow down as the temperature
drop. The temperature of 20oc is standard temperature in lab and it is suitable for the bacteria
active in breaking down the waste.

5 unit of Bottles
Lake UTHM water
Measuring cylinder
Deionised water
pH Meter
DO meter
BOD incubator


1. Collect water from UTHM lake

2. Measure the pHi) if the pH is in the range of 6.5 to 7.5-proceed to Step 3 step 3
ii) if the pH of sample is less than 6.5, then use base to improve the pH to 7, refer to standard
method for detail procedure Seeded BOD
iii) if the pH of sample is bigger than 7.5, then used acid to improve the pH to pH to 7, refer
to standard method for detail procedure Seeded BOD
3. Using the details as below, determine the sample size using EqnA and EqnB
a) Based on the literature, the BOD of A = 400 mg/L ( subject to changed )
b) Assume the DO of saturated dilution water = 8 mg/L
c) The DO depletion at the end of 5 days incubation = 2 mg/L
d) The residual DO = 1 mg/L
EqnA = minimum waste to be filled in BOD bottle

= [(2 mg/L ) X 300 mL] / 400 mg/L

= 1.5 mL
EqnB = maximum waste to be filled in BOD bottle
= [(8 mg/L-1 mg/L ) X 300 mL] / 400 mg/L
= 5.2 mL
Therefore sample size = 1.5 to 5.2 mL (Let say choose 3 mL)
4. Take 5 BOD bottles. Use 3 bottles for sample, and 2 for blank
5. Fill the BOD bottles
6. Knock the bottle to eliminate the air bubbles from the BOD bottle.
7. Measure the DO using DO mete from each samples and blanks. Record the value as initial
8. Slowly refill the dilution water ( if needed) to the BOD bottles and put the lid.
9. Repeat step 6 to 8 for another BOD bottle.
10. Store the BOD bottles in the BOD incubator for 3 days at 300C
11. On day five/three of incubation days, take out the BOD bottles, leave it until it reach the
room temperature
12. Read the DO from each samples and blanks. Record the value as final DO
13. Apply EqnC to measure BODXfor the sample.
BODXmg/L = Di Df( EqnC)/ P
Di = initial DO ( mg/L)
Df= final DO (mg/L) , 5 days or 3 days
P = Volume of sample used / Total volume
1)DO in blanks should not deplete more than 0.2 mg/L
2)DO in sample should not less than 2 mg/L
3)Final DO in the samples should not less than 1 mg/L
The Ph value of sample is 6.89


Volume Of

Volume Of

Initial Do

Samples (ML)

Dilution Water





Sample 1
Sample 2
Sample 3
Blank 1
Blank 2

Calculate the BOD

BOD, mg/L= D1 D2

BOD3 Sample 1 the calculation is BOD3, mg/L = 8.21-7.52 (4/300)

= 51.75 mg/l
BOD3 Sample 2 the calculation is BOD3, mg/L = 8.20-7.61 (4/300)
= 44.25 mg/l
BOD3 Sample 3 the calculation is BOD3, mg/L = 8.25-7.55 (4/300)
= 52.5 mg/l

Show all the calculation and state if any of the data needs to thrown out.

BOD = DO initial DO final

1. DO3 Blank (1) = (8.20 - 7.80) mg/L = 0.4 mg/L is more than 0.2 mg/L
2. DO3 Blank (2) = (8.21 - 7.87) mg/L = 0.34 mg/L is more than 0.2 mg/L

Final Do (Mg/L)


3. DO3 Sample (1) of 4ml wastewater = (8.21- 7.52) = 0.69 mg/L is less than 2 mg/L
4. DO3 Sample (2) of 4ml wastewater = (8.20- 7.61) = 0.59 mg/L is less than 2 mg/L
5. DO3 Sample (3) of 4ml wastewater = (8.25- 7.55) = 0.70 mg/L is less than 2 mg/L

In your opinion, is it possible to discharge the sample used in this test to be

discharged to the river? Give your reason.
In my point of view, from the result that we obtain at the lab experiment, the value of BOD 3 for
4ml sample (lake water) is 51.75 mg/l, 44.25 mg/l and 52.50 mg/l. The average value of BOD 3 is
higher than 50 mg/l according to the Sewage/Effluent Standard (DOE, Malaysia). Thus the sample
cannot being discharged to the river untreated.



Why BOD test should be done promptly after the collection?

The BOD test should be done promptly after the collection is because to avoid the outside
bacteria from the air dissolved to the test sample and take all the dissolved oxygen and it will
affect the result obtain in the future.



Figure 1 BOD Test Samples

Figure 2 DO Meter

Figure 3 Distilled Water (DO)