This paper presents a modification of chemical oxygen demand (COD) monitoring giving a better indication of the pollution level compared with the conventional COD method for rivers with a high content of sediments. The correlation between the sediment organic carbon and COD was investigated
using sediments sampled in the middle Yellow River, China. Partitioning of the sediment organic carbon between the water and sediment phases was also investigated using batch experiments, with the sediment concentration varying from 20 to 400 g/L. As a result, the COD modification equations
are proposed for both turbid water (mixture of water and sediment) and supernatant water (filtrate using a 0.45-μm membrane). The modified COD in turbid water and supernatant water could be 40 and 10% less than the monitored COD values, respectively. These results may have a significant
influence on the assessment of water quality class in the Yellow River.
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