Ohio River Water Quality
Over 25 million people, almost 10% of the US population, live in the Ohio River Basin. The Ohio River Trail Council's goal is to protect a continuous corridor of natural resources along the Ohio River and its tributaries and promote the restoration of the water quality and ecology since it is the source of drinking water for more than three million people. The Ohio River Trail Council supports Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) to improve water quality in the Ohio River Basin so that the river and its tributaries can be used for drinking water, and recreational purposes; and can support a healthy and diverse aquatic community.
There is a long history of pollution control efforts on the Ohio River. These efforts include the creation of the Ohio River Investigation Station in 1913 which was our nation’s first basin-wide pollution control strategy; the federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948 which created ORSANCO; and most recently, the federal Clean Water Act of 1972. These combined efforts along with the decline of some of the early industries that contributed to the degradation of the river, including many of the older steel mills, have led to the improved conditions in the Ohio River that we see today.
However, threats continue from stormwater runoff, agricultural runoff, mercury deposition from coal-fired plants, and millions of gallons of untreated sewage that flow into the river each year from sewer overflows.
Please join the Ohio River Trail Council in its support of the Ohio River watershed water quality.