Expanding chemical oxygen demand (COD) profiles to validate contaminant specific degradation in freshwater environments and indicators of ecosystem function
Environmental scientists examining large-scale ecosystem processes (e.g., climate change, contaminant effects) are increasingly charged with collecting high-quality data on a more rapid timeline and extending the application of that data spatially and temporally. IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) is a field research station comprised of 58 pristine lakes and their watersheds. This area has been set aside exclusively for research to influence environmental policy and regulations in favour of protecting Canada’s freshwater resources. Current IISD-ELA projects include developing minimally invasive methods for oil spill cleanup, assessing the effects of pharmaceuticals, and determining the impacts of climate change on aquatic productivity. Each of these projects includes measurements that help us understand changes related to the stressor of interest, with some common measurements relevant to all stressors. Oxygen demand, related to the degradation of organic and inorganic constituents by aerobic respirators (biological oxygen demand - BOD) and chemical reactions (chemical oxygen demand – COD), is considered a fundamental measure of water quality. Mantech Inc. has developed a new robust and field ready instrument (the PeCOD) to allow rapid determinations of COD that can be used to inform IISD-ELA projects.