Relationships between water quality parameters in rivers and lakes: BOD5, COD, NBOPs, and TOC

  • Jaewoong Lee
  • Seunghyun Lee
  • Soonju Yu
  • Doughee Rhew


Biological oxygen demand (BOD5) or chemical oxygen demand (COD) analysis is widely used to evaluate organic pollutants in water systems as well as the efficiency of wastewater treatment plants. However, both analysis methods have restrictions such as being insensitive, imprecise, time-consuming, and the production of chemical waste. Therefore, total organic carbon (TOC) analysis for organic pollutants has been considered for an alternative analysis instead of BOD5 or COD. Several studies have investigated the replacement of BOD5 or COD with TOC in wastewater samples; however, few studies have investigated the relationships between water quality parameters in rivers and lakes. Therefore, this study evaluated the relationships between BOD5, COD, or NBOPs and TOC by the analysis of national water quality monitoring data of rivers and lakes for 5 years. High correlation coefficients (r) of 0.87 and 0.66 between BOD5 and TOC (p < 0.05) were obtained for rivers and lakes, respectively, and strong correlation coefficients (r) of 0.93 and 0.75 were observed between COD and TOC (p < 0.05) for rivers and lakes, respectively. The correlation coefficient (r) between NBOPs and TOC was 0.93 for rivers and 0.72 for lakes. The coefficients of determination (R 2) were 0.75 and 0.44 between BOD5 and TOC for rivers and lakes as well as were 0.87 and 0.57 between COD and TOC for rivers and lakes, respectively. The coefficient of determination (R 2) between NBOPs and TOC was 0.73 for rivers and 0.52 for lakes.


Relationship Rivers and lakes TOC BOD5 COD NBOPs 



This research was fundamentally supported by a project grant in the National Institute of Environmental Research, South Korea in 2014.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaewoong Lee
    • 1
  • Seunghyun Lee
    • 1
  • Soonju Yu
    • 1
  • Doughee Rhew
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Water Environmental Engineering ResearchNational Institute of Environmental ResearchIncheonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Water Environment ResearchNational Institute of Environmental ResearchIncheonRepublic of Korea

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