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Rapid field estimation of biochemical oxygen demand in a subtropical eutrophic urban lake with chlorophyll a fluorescence

Xu, Zhen, Xu, Y. Jun
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2015 v.187 no.1 pp. 4171
biochemical oxygen demand, chlorophyll, cost effectiveness, die-off, dissolved oxygen, fluorescence, lakes, leachates, monitoring, oxygen consumption, pH, phytoplankton, prediction, rain, rapid methods, summer, wastewater, water quality, water temperature, winter, United States
Development of a technique for rapid field estimation of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) is necessary for cost-effective monitoring and management of urban lakes. While several studies reported the usefulness of laboratory tryptophan-like fluorescence technique in predicting 5-day BOD (BOD₅) of wastewater and leachates, little is known about the predictability of field chlorophyll fluorescence measurements for BOD of urban lake waters that are constantly exposed to the mixture of chemical compounds. This study was conducted to develop a numeric relationship between chlorophyll a fluorescence and BOD for a eutrophic urban lake that is widely representative of lake water conditions in the subtropical southern USA. From October 2012 to September 2013, in situ measurements at the studied lake were made every 2 weeks on chlorophyll a fluorescence and other water quality parameters including water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and specific conductivity. Water samples were taken for 5-day BOD and 10-day BOD (BOD₁₀) analysis with and without incubation. The results showed a clear seasonal trend of both BOD measurements being high during the summer and low during the winter. There was a linear, positive relationship between chlorophyll a fluorescence and BOD, and the relationship appeared to be stronger with the 10-day BOD (r² = 0.83) than with the 5-day BOD (r² = 0.76). BOD dropped each day with declining chlorophyll a fluorescence, suggesting that die-off of phytoplankton has been the main consumption of oxygen in the studied lake. Ambient conditions such as rainfall and water temperature may have partially affected BOD variation.