The Pittsburgh based Colcom Foundation awarded WVU’s Water Research Institute (WVWRI) $508,000 grant to continue water testing through the 3 Rivers QUEST, Quality Useful Environmental Study Team.
In 2009, the WVWRI began testing the river since after acid mine drainage threatened the water supply.
The program has grown to include the entire Upper Ohio River Basin, an area covering more than 25,000 square miles and includes the Ohio, Monongahela, and Allegheny rivers.
“I’d like to see this continue to expand. There isn’t another program like this in the United States. For example, any citizen can go online and see what the trends look like,” said WVWRI Director Paul Ziemkiewicz.
The program tests water in 54 locations, and uses hundreds of volunteers to test water at other smaller tributaries associated with the basin.
The results are then posted online for the public to see.
WVWRI research partners include Wheeling Jesuit University, Duquesne University, and the Iron Furnace Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
In 2011, Colcom, a foundation dedicated to preserving and creating a sustainable habitat donated more than $1.2 million to WVWRI.
Learn more about the 3 Rivers QUEST Program on its web site.