How should we dispose of our COD vials?

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How should we dispose of our COD vials?

A Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) test is used to measure the amount of organic compounds in a water sample. It measures the capacity of water to consume oxygen during the decomposition of organic matter and the oxidation of inorganic chemicals such as Ammonia and nitrate.


The most common method of COD testing is where a water sample is pipetted into a COD vial that contains pre-measured reagents, this is then reacted at high temperatures to produce a colour change. This colour change reads out a result of COD in mg/L when analysed in a colorimeter.

The chemicals involved are highly hazardous, with standard COD vials containing mercury sulphate, potassium dichromate and sulfuric acid – these need to be disposed of correctly and safely to protect both the workforce and the environment.

Whether you are a low or high volume COD user, you must dispose of your waste correctly. Camlab is able to offer the collection and disposal of all your used COD vials in a safe and convenient package.

Camlab can offer collection of your used packs or a complete drum filled with the waste (including tubes). Please note the following important facts:

  • The packaging in which your vials are shipped is UN approved for carriage by road. Each pack holds 25 vials – please retain the packaging for re-use when the vials are ready for disposal if you are not using a drum.
  • Each producer of hazardous waste has to register with the Enivronment Agency. This can be done by registering online here.  Drums must be supplied by Camlab.
    Please note this service is only available in Wales, England and Scotland and excludes Northern Ireland due to licencing restrictions.

You can see the prices of this service on our website here. If you would like more information on this service or would like to know how it could help your own particular situation please give us a ring on 01954 233 110.


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