Chemical Oxygen Demand

Published: March 30, 2017 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Chemical Oxygen Demand Mean?

Chemical oxygen demand (COD) is the amount of oxygen required to break down organic material, such as fecal matter, in wastewater. This is important to trenchless operations because the efficient use of COD in sewer systems minimizes the impact of these materials on wastewater treatment facilities. To maximize COD’s potential, it may be necessary for municipalities to replace existing sewer piping.

Trenchlesspedia Explains Chemical Oxygen Demand

COD concerns municipalities and special districts that provide sewage services. The problem is that insufficient oxygen in a sewage system because of undersized sewer lines prevents organic matter from breaking down. This means solid organic matter can overburden the treatment facility.

The challenge is both technical and financial. The sewage pipes are too small in diameter to allow the presence of sufficient oxygen for this breakdown to occur. To maximize the chemical oxygen demand and minimize solids in sewage, the pipes must be replaced. For the elected officials in charge of the municipality’s or district’s finances, this must be done in the most cost-effective way.

Replacement of old piping is a one-step process with pipe bursting, a trenchless technology that is relatively low cost when compared to digging up old pipes and replacing them with new, larger sewer pipe. It also creates minimal disturbance to the ground above the pipes.

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