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Product Code: 00008110

No of Pages: 45

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A comparative study of biochemical oxygen demand and chemical oxygen demand of Onu Imo section of Imo River and fish pond water from NRCRI was undertaken.  Water sample were collected at 12 hours intervals for 5 days of a week from Imo River water and for 3 days from fish pond water and analyzed for COD and BOD.  Winkler method was used fro BOD while water examination EPA was used for COD. Results obtained show that the COD and BOD varied significantly with the time of Sampling and sampling point between the Imo River and fish pond water samples respectively. The COD was highest in the downstream ranging from 7.38 mg/l obtained in the evening to 18.67mg/l in the morning .the upstream had lower COD ranging from 4.83mg/L to 10.48mg/L. in the fish pond the highest value of 12.27mg/l was recorded in the first day while the lowest value of 4.83mg/l recorded in the second day. Similar variations were recorded in the BOD of the samples. The BOD was highest in the morning downstream sample (15.47mg/) and least in the evening downstream (5.03mg/l). Again BOD was higher in the downstream than in the upstream. The upstream BOD ranged 3.80mg/l to10.10mg/l.  The fish pond water had a highest BOD of 10.33mg/l and least value of 4.43mg/l. It was observed that the values varied and comparatively, did not measure up with the world health standard. This was seen as having potential risk to aquatic life. The need for treatment of Onu Imo section of Imo River is required.


Title Page i

Certification ii

Dedication iii

Acknowledgement iv

Table of Contents v

List of Tables vii

Abstract viii


1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 Aims and Objectives 4

1.3 Statement of Problem 4



2.1 The Nature of Water 5

2.1.1 Brief Overview of Imo River 6

2.2 Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) 7

2.2.1 The Significance of BOD 9

2.2.2 Limitation of the BOD Test 10

2.3 Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) 10

2.4 Oxidants Used for COD Testing 13

2.5 Comparison of COD to BOD 14



3.1    Sources of Material 16

3.2 Sample Preparations 16

3.3 Determination of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) 16

3.4 Determination of Chemical Oxygen Demand 17


4.0 Result 19

4.1 Chemical Oxygen demand for Onu Imo Section of Imo River 20

4.2 Chemical Oxygen Demand for Fish Pond of NRCRI Umudike 22

4.3 Biochemical oxygen demand for Onu Imo River 24

4.4 Biochemical oxygen Demand of fish Pond 26


5.1 Discussion      28

5.2 Conclusion 29

5.3 Recommendation 30



Table 1: Common Oxidants used for COD Test and their Attributes 13

Table 2:   Comparison between COD to BOD 15

Chart 1A: Chemical Oxygen demand (mg/l) of Imo river water at different sampling point

and time 20

Chart 1B: Chemical oxygen demand (mg/l) of fish pond of national root crops research

institute Umudike at different sampling points and time 22

Chart 2A: Biochemical oxygen demand (mg/l) of Imo River water at different sampling

point and time 24

Chart 2B: Biochemical oxygen demand mg/l of fish pond of NRCRI Umudike at

different sampling time 26





1.1 Introduction

The rivers, which are the lifelines of our culture and economy, are dying because of severe pollution. Nearly 70%of water is polluted due to rapid industrialization and domestic sewage etc.

A high standard of living involves a high demand for water and, at the same time, causes much greater pollution of this essential element for life. The resultant interference in the natural cycle can often overwhelm natural processes of recovery, so that, in addition to products arising from the decomposition of natural substances (e.g., proteins, greases, carbohydrates) there is a build-up of anthropogenous additives such as pesticides, effluents and garbage, which contaminate drinking water supplies with their toxic effects (Radwan etal., 2003). They may also consume such large quantities of oxygen that water resources become fouled. Naturally, flowing rivers and streams have the ability to undergo self purification. However, at certain levels of contamination, self purification becomes almost impossible or might take longer time. Treatment is therefore necessary to correct these wastewater characteristics in such a way that the use or final disposal of the treated effluent can take place in accordance with the rules set by the relevant legislative bodies without causing an adverse impact on the receiving bodies (Njau and Mlay, 2003).

The proliferation of industrialization has resulted in increased wastewater generation and its disposal has rapidly been of serious concern in recent times to environmental scientists. The discharge of these untreated or partially treated effluents into the environment, especially, surface water poses a great threat to the environment and also causes adverse human health. Industrial wastewater may contain high levels of contaminants such as suspended, colloidal and dissolved minerals, inert organic matter, heavy metals, possible pathogenic bacteria which might be either excessively acidic or alkaline in a way that may have negative impact on all forms of life in the environment (Abdulla, 2011). Untreated or inefficient treated wastewater poses great threat to the environment because of its known hazardous constituents. It pollutes water bodies, adversely affects flora and fauna; affects land use and human health; disruptive of economic activities such as agriculture, fishing and recreation (Achaw and Danso-Boateng, 2013).

An estimated 90 per cent of all wastewater generated in developing countries is discharged untreated directly into rivers, lakes or the oceans (Corcoran et al., 2010) because conventional wastewater treatment systems comprising of energy intensive and mechanized treatment components require heavy investment and entail high operating costs (Mustafa, 2013) which is not affordable in developing countries. Thus, increase in municipal wastewater generation originating from domestic, commercial and industrial facilities and institutions have resulted in considerable amounts of wastewater discharged into water bodies. As a result, despite considerable amount of intervention by national and municipal authorities, serious water quality problems still exist and sewage contamination of our lakes, rivers, and domestic water bodies has reached dangerous levels.

The chemical oxygen demand (COD) and the biological oxygen demand (BOD) are the most important parameters commonly used to examine water quality since they reflect the organic load in water (Parande et al., 2009). The circulation and amount of dissolved oxygen (DO) in water is a quality indicator of water.

 A number of processes have been attributed to exerting oxygen demand in water (reservoir, pond, estuary, lake or river), thereby depleting the sustainable oxygen budget in aquatic environment. These processes consist of the rapid microorganism-mediated oxidation of organic matter, broadly referred to as biological oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD), the presence of chemically oxidized substances in water (Njau and Mlay, 2003). Both biotic and abiotic process leads to the occurrence of organic matter in water, such as hydrobiota excretion, atmospheric deposition, surface run-off, industrial, municipal and agricultural inputs.

High COD and BOD values imply that there could be depletion of natural oxygen resources in the effluent which may lead to the development of more devastating conditions and also significantly high level of biodegradability in the environment as was reported by Hodgson (2007).

The BOD method relies on enzymes produced by bacteria to catalyze the oxidation of organic matter during a five-day incubation period. In contrast, COD methods use chemical oxidants to oxidize organic matter. BOD simulates the actual treatment process by measuring the organic material that can be oxidized with the oxygen in the sample when catalyzed by bacterial enzymes. Although COD is comparable to BOD, COD actually measures chemically oxidizable matter (Goyal et al., 2006).

The benefits of COD testing are often significant. BOD analysis is performed mainly to satisfy permit requirements. With COD analysis, however, early knowledge of the strength of incoming water allows plant operators to optimize treatment processes, because the value measured provides a quantitative estimate of everything currently in the water that can be oxidized. Because the COD test can be run in a couple of hours (Radwan et al., 2003) instead of five days, it gives the analyst a more timely idea of loadings entering the plant and how the plant is performing, thereby permitting closer operational control of the treatment process. Technicians are able to quickly respond to changes in oxygen demand and adjust treatment processes accordingly.

To prevent the threat of possible danger to health, or the very existence of certain species, it is essential to determine the quality of a water source before water is drawn off for consumption.



1.2 Aims and Objectives

The aim and objective of this work is to;

· The determine the BOD and COD water samples collected from Onu Imo section of Imo River at 12 hourly interval for 1 week.

· To determine the BOD  and COD of water samples collected from fish pond from NRCRI Umudike for 3 days

· To have comparison of BOD and COD of the samples


1.3 Statement of Problem

The importance of aquatic life cannot be over emphasized .products of aquatic life produces unsaturated fatty acid which reduces high blood pressure, heart failure etc. BOD and COD are negatively affecting aquatic life if unchecked.

Hence, the need to ascertain the BOD and COD of a case study of Onu Imo River compared with that of a fish pond, the nub of my project.


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