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Monongahela River Basin

The Monongahela River originates in north-central West Virginia and flows northward through south-western Pennsylvania to Pittsburgh where it meets the Allegheny River to form the Ohio River. It is 128 miles long and has a drainage basin of 7,340 square miles.




The West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University manages the entire 3RQ program and is responsible for monthly monitoring and reporting water quality data for 17 sites in the Monongahela River Basin, which includes the following Sub Basins:

Cheat – 1410 sq. miles in portions of Pennsylvania and West Virginia
Lower Monongahela – 1450 sq. miles in portions of Pennsylvania and West Virginia
Tygart Valley – 1380 sq. miles in West Virginia
Upper Monongahela – 463 sq. miles in portions of Pennsylvania and West Virginia
West Fork – 877 sq. miles in portions in West Virginia
Youghiogheny – 1730 sq. miles in portions of Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia

Detection Limits
The upper concentration limit (UCL), lower concentration limit (LCL), and mean levels of sulfate and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in the mainstem streams of the Monongahela River are displayed in the graphs below. These graphs measure sulfate and TDS output in milligrams per liter and tons per day (tpd).

Sulfate is a salt consisting of one sulfur atom and four oxygen atoms with an oxidation number of -2. Sulfate is naturally occurring in almost all water bodies. It usually comes from oxidation of sulfite ores, dissolution of sulfate minerals, shale, and industrial wastes. High concentrations of dissolved sulfate may give water an unpleasant taste and may be corrosive to plumbing. It may also have health effects including nausea and diarrhea.

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is the measure of inorganic and organic materials dissolved in water. An increase in TDS may lead to bad odor or taste to drinking water, as well as cause scaling of pipes and corrosion.

Monongahela River TDS chart

Sulfate, Monongahela River mg/L chart

TDS Monongahela River tpd chart

Sulfate, Monongahela River mg/L chart

Reporting Features

The charts below are an example of the reporting features within the 3RQ database. Within several clicks, helpful graphs and summary charts allow users to see their data visually, as well as a list of averages, min, max, etc., without spending valuable time manipulating spreadsheets. Moreover, these reports can be shared easily in a variety of formats, such as pdfs, excel spreadsheets, and word documents.

River mile 102 chart

River mile 23


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