This study was conducted to determine if there is a relationship between the health of the Ohio River and coal based power plants. This was determined using several probes to test for conductivity (µs/cm), pH, salinity (ppt), water temperature (°C), and dissolved oxygen (mg/l and percentage). Testing took place a 30.4 mile stretch of the Ohio River. The four testing locations included Manchester, OH; Dayton Power and Light Stuart generating station; Maysville, KY; and Augusta, KY.

The Ohio River was chosen as the focus of this study due to the high pollution rate of the river. An article from USA Today which covered the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory listed the Ohio River as the most polluted river in the United States with more than twice the amount of pollution of the second most polluted river, the Mississippi River (usatoday.com, 2015). The coal-power plants were chosen specifically to test for the possible correlation due to the colloquial association with coal-based power plants and high areas of pollution.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-8-2017


Sherry L. Harrel

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Biological Sciences

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Biological Sciences