International cross-validation of a BOD5 surrogate
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BOD5 dates back to 1912 when the Royal Commission decided to use the mean residence time of water in the rivers of England, 5 days, as a standard to measure the biochemical oxygen demand. Initially designed to protect the quality of river waters from extensive sewage discharge, the use of BOD5 has been quickly extended to waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) to monitor their efficiency on a daily basis. The measurement has been automatized but remains a tedious, time- and resource-consuming analysis. We have cross-validated a surrogate BOD5 method on two sites in France and in the USA with a total of 109 samples. This method uses a fluorescent redox indicator on a 96-well microplate to measure microbial catabolic activity for a large number of samples simultaneously. Three statistical tests were used to compare surrogate and reference methods and showed robust equivalence.