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(BOD): A measure of the amount of oxygen consumed by natural, biological processes that break down organic matter, such as those that take place when manure or sawdust is put in water. High levels of oxygen-demanding wastes in waters deplete dissolved oxygen (DO) thereby endangering aquatic life. Sometimes referred to as "biological oxygen demand. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) is a measure of the oxygen consumed when organic matter is broken down chemically rather than biologically. COD can be determined much more quickly than BOD and more accurately reflects the amount of organic matter in a water sample. BOD is a standard measure of water quality.