The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires all waste water treatment plants to bring the biological oxygen demand within limits before the water is released to water bodies. The chemical oxygen demand (COD) test, is used by waste water treatment facilities to determine the effects of the water on the receiving water body. The COD test finds all the chemically oxidising substances in the water, allowing a water treatment plan to be put into place.
Chemical oxygen demand is the amount of oxygen needed in order to oxidize all organic material into carbon dioxide and water. It is similar to biochemical oxygen demand, which only takes into account biologically available organic matter. Chemical oxygen demand counts inert organic matter and available organic matter.
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