Wastewater BOD Reduction

With the growing importance of effective pollution control, added emphasis has been placed on Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses BOD levels to measure effluent strength and to establish effluent guidelines as required by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

BOD is a measure of the content of biologically degradable substances in sewage. The substances are broken down by microorganisms in the presence of (and with the consumption of) oxygen. Oxygen demand is measured in terms of the oxygen consumed by microorganisms over a period of 5 days (BOD5) or seven days (BOD7).


Wastewater BOD Reduction Benefits

  • Reduced Product Shrinkage
  • Reduced BOD Costs
  • Increased Efficiency
  • Reduced Operating Costs
  • Return on Investment in Months

Many municipalities use BOD loads to determine charges and surcharges for industrial users of waste treatment facilities. More importantly, BOD strength is a measure of plant losses during handling and processing.

Generally, it is desirable to send low level BOD directly to the municipal or plant wastewater system and divert high level BOD waste to a recovery or field spread holding tank.

Some plants are using conductivity meters to divert wastewater. The problem encountered in these plants is that many times there are situations where they are inadvertently sending low level BOD wastewater to a recovery or field spread holding tank because caustic solutions are impacting the reading of the conductivity meter, thus giving "High BOD" trip points. In addition, elevated levels of caustic in the wastewater entering the field spread holding tank results in unacceptable pH levels.

A superior solution is to use an optek NIR absorption sensor. Because of the NIR measurement used by the sensor, caustics or even color changes in the process waste stream do not affect the inline measurement. This provides a precise and repeatable diversion point each time, every time. This unique technology has been proven in plants around the world to save thousands in BOD cost reduction with a tremendous return on investment within the first months of installation.


Sewer costs, once a minor operating expense, have become something that every cost-conscious manager must consider. At today's rates, a plant's waste load can have a real effect on profitability. You can reduce your waste load and save money in your plant by using an optek sensor for inline, real time waste monitoring.

You can divert with confidence and save thousands. You’ll not only help protect the environment, but you will send more money to the profits column instead of down the drain.