Measurement can be made either as a concentration of oxygen in milligrams per litre, percentage saturation (% dissolved oxygen), or both. Depending on the instrument used, detection limits of 0,1 mg/l or 0,2 mg/l can be reached according to the manufacturer's manual. Most instruments permit measurement of values higher than 100 %, i.e. supersaturation.
NOTE Supersaturation is possible when the partial pressure of oxygen is higher than in air. Especially in case of strong algae growth, supersaturation up to 200 % and more is possible.
If waters with a saturation higher than 100 % are measured, it is essential to make arrangements to prevent the outgassing of oxygen during the handling and measurement of the sample. Similarly, it is important that the transport of oxygen into the sample is prevented if the saturation is below 100 %.
The method is suitable for measurements made in the field and for continuous monitoring of dissolved oxygen as well as measurements made in the laboratory. It is one of the preferred methods for highly coloured and turbid waters, and also for analysis of waters not suitable for the Winkler titration method because of iron- and iodine-fixing substances, which can interfere in the iodometric method specified in ISO 5813.
The method is suitable for drinking waters, natural waters, waste waters, and saline waters. If used for saline waters such as sea or estuarine waters, a correction for salinity is essential for concentration measurement of oxygen.