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Biochemical Oxygen Demand

Water Quality Control

  1. Michael A. Butkus,
  2. Joe D. Manous Jr.

Published Online: 15 APR 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.wq86

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Butkus, M. A. and Manous, J. D. 2005. Biochemical Oxygen Demand. Water Encyclopedia. 1:639–642.

Author Information

  1. Military Academy, West Point, New York

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2005


A vast number of organisms, primarily bacteria, survives and even thrives in an environment containing no oxygen. However, most living creatures with which we commonly interact are aerobic; they need oxygen to survive. Aerobic creatures include all of the higher life forms such as fish, birds, mammals, and reptiles, as well as simpler species such as some bacteria and protozoa. The 4.7 billion year development of the earth and the evolution of species in response to this development have created many types of ecosystems; most support a balance between the demands of aerobic organisms for oxygen and the availability of oxygen. These “balanced ecosystems” are found in aquatic, terrestrial, and atmospheric biomes.


  • biochemical oxygen demand;
  • eutrophication;
  • monod;
  • electron donor;
  • terminal electron acceptor (TEA);
  • respiration;
  • aerobic;
  • ultimate BOD;
  • BOD test