Water Quality Citizen Science Project


Is your water polluted with organic waste?

Biochemical Oxygen Demand is a measure of the rate of oxygen usage by microorganisms in the water, as they remove organic compounds that are dissolved in the water.

The microorganisms’ rate of oxygen consumption is affected by several variables:

  • Temperature
  • pH
  • The presence of certain kinds of microorganisms
  • The type of organic and inorganic material in the water

The greater the value of BOD, the more rapidly oxygen is used in the water system. This means less oxygen is available to higher forms of aquatic life, like fish. The consequences of high BOD are the same as those for low dissolved oxygen: aquatic organisms become stressed, suffocate, and in extreme cases die.

What do the BOD results mean?

BOD Level is measured in parts per million (ppm)

1 – 2: This is a Very Good score and suggests there will not be much organic waste present in the water supply.

3 — 5: This is a Fair score and indicates that water is moderately clean.

6 — 9: This is a Poor score and shows the water is somewhat polluted. It usually indicates organic matter is present and bacteria are decomposing this waste.

100 or Greater: This is a Very Poor score and shows the water is very polluted and contains organic waste.

What was your score?

Once you have taken your measurement, please submit your data.

Hey! You can enter all of your results at once by using the form over here.

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