The focus of water quality modeling of Korean streams needs to be shifted from dissolved oxygen to algae or organic matter. In particular, the structure of water quality models should be modified to simulate the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), which is a key factor in calculating total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) in Korea, using 5-day BOD determined in the laboratory (Bottle BOD5). Considering the limitations in simulating organic matter under domestic conditions, we attempted to model total organic carbon (TOC) as well as BOD by using a watershed model. For this purpose, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was modified and extended to achieve better correspondence between the measured and simulated BOD and TOC concentrations. For simulated BOD in the period 2004–2008, the Nash-Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient increased from a value of −2.54 to 0.61. Another indicator of organic matter, namely, the simulated TOC concentration showed that the modified SWAT adequately reflected the observed values. The improved model can be used to predict organic matter and hence, may be a potential decision-making tool for TMDLs. However, it needs further testing for longer simulation periods and other catchments.

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