Skip to main content
Undergraduate courses will move online through Sept. 25. The Return to Campus website has updates about WVU's fall plans. Visit and for health resources related to the global pandemic.

Ohio River Basin

The Ohio River is formed by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela River in downtown Pittsburgh, PA.  The river is 981 miles long and flows to the Mississippi River at Cairo, IL.  For the 3RQ program, our geographical focus is on the Upper Ohio River Basin, which is below the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela River Basins to the confluence with the Kanawha River Basin.




West Liberty University is responsible for the monthly monitoring and reporting of water quality data at 12 sites in the Upper Ohio River Basin, which includes the following Sub Basins:

Connoquenessing – 837 sq. miles in Pennsylvania
Shenango – 1050 sq. miles in Ohio and Pennsylvania
Mahoning – 1130 sq. miles in Ohio and Pennsylvania
Beaver – 108 sq. miles in Pennsylvania
Upper Ohio – 1950 sq. miles in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia
Upper Ohio – Wheeling – 1490 sq. miles in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia
Little Muskingum – Middle Island – 1800 sq. miles in Ohio and West Virginia
Little Kanawha – 2300 sq. miles in West Virginia

Detection Limits

The upper concentration limit (UCL), lower concentration limit (LCL), and mean levels of sulfate in the mainstem streams of the Allegheny River are displayed in the graphs below. The first graph measures sulfate output in miligrams per liter, while the second graph calculates the sulfate 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.

Sulfate, Ohio River chart

Sulfate, Ohio River tpd 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.

Ohio River at Ravenswood chart

Ohio River at Sewickley, PA chart


Red Horse Environmental logo
Duquesne University logo
Colcom Foundation logo