Why in news?
Thousands of dead fish have been washed ashore along the coast at Besant nagar beach in Chennai.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
Water pollution is change in its Physical, chemical or biological characteristics of water which adversely affects the any living thing which uses it.
DO content of water is important for the survival of aquatic organisms. A number of factors like surface turbulence, photosynthetic activity, O2 consumption by organisms and decomposition of organic matter are the factors which determine the amount of DO present in water.
Presence of organic and inorganic wastes in water decreases the dissolved Oxygen (DO) content of the water.
Water having DO content below 8.0 mg/L may be considered as contaminated. Water having DO content below. 4.0 mg/L is considered to be highly polluted.
The higher amounts of waste increases the rates of decomposition and O2 consumption, thereby decreases the DO content of water.
BIOLOGICAL OXYGEN DEMAND
The demand for O2 is directly related to increasing input of organic wastes and is expressed as biological oxygen demand (BOD) of water.
Water pollution by organic wastes is measured in terms of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD).
BOD is the amount of dissolved oxygen needed by bacteria in decomposing the organic wastes present in water. It is expressed in milligrams of oxygen per litre of water.
The higher value of BOD indicates low DO content of water. Since BOD is limited to biodegradable materials Therefore, it is not a reliable method of measuring pollution load in water.
SOURCE – The Hindu.