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BOD blank depletion: 0.2 or 0.20?
Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 2:59 PM
Joined: 5/25/2010
Posts: 2

We were having a discussion in our municipal wastewater lab about this...


The 18th and 20th Editions of Standard Methods use 0.2 mg/L as the limit for blank depletion in a BOD or CBOD test. 


The 21st Edition uses 0.20 mg/L as the limit.


Perry's wonderful book A Bug's Eye View also uses 0.2 mg/L.


I was sure this had been discussed before -- perhaps it was in the old forum -- but I'm wondering how many sig figs folks use when assessing blank performance in the BOD/CBOD test.  Did SM mean to provide clarification with the additional sig fig in the 21st edition?


Thanks in advance for the feedback!









Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 3:52 PM
Joined: 12/31/2009
Posts: 40

Using a limit of 0.2 mg/L means that anything up to 0.24 mg/L is acceptable.  Adding that extra significant digit means that you can only go to 0.204 and most meters that I'm aware of don't measure more than two decimal places anyway.


Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 5:19 PM

Right... with the extra digit your blanks would have to be 0.20 or less.


Is a blank of 0.24 acceptable to auditors for a lab using the 18th Edition?

Perry Brake
Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 5:21 PM
Joined: 12/16/2009
Posts: 69

It is Perry's conclusion that the Standard Methods BOD committee intended that two significant figures be used when they specified the 0.20 limit and that it wasn't an accident that it changed from 0.2 to 0.20.  The next edition of his book will use 0.20 rather than 0.2. 



That extra significant doesn't have much do with protecting the environment, but it can have an impact on the lab's ability to check analytical performance.  Every little thing you do to minimize variables, and accepting 0.204 as your limit rather than 0.24 is little, will make your overall precision better, resulting in a lower standard deviation for the GGA test, something inspectors like to see, and something you should strive for.

Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2010 12:58 PM
Joined: 5/25/2010
Posts: 2

Hey thanks so much for the replies! 



Posted: Sunday, June 26, 2011 7:37 PM
Geez, that's unbleeivable. Kudos and such.
Posted: Monday, June 27, 2011 3:52 AM
Now I feel stupid. That's claered it up for me
Posted: Monday, June 27, 2011 9:48 AM
You’re the one with the brinas here. I’m watching for your posts.
Posted: Monday, June 27, 2011 12:36 PM
Heck of a job there, it absoluelty helps me out.