Macroinvertebrates

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Compact states that the Ohio River should support and maintain a balanced, diverse, and healthy ecosystem. To determine if pollution control efforts have achieved this objective, ORSANCO conducts biological assessments. These biological assessments are a direct measure of the condition of a water resource at a particular location.

Macroinvertebrate populations provide additional perspective on aquatic life conditions in the river. Because many species are highly sensitive to pollution, and because they are relatively immobile, the assessment of macroinvertebrate populations can bring valuable insights on water quality. ORSANCO uses these small water-dwelling organisms as indicators of water quality; some require good, clean water to survive and reproduce. ORSANCO has conducted macroinvertebrate sampling each year since 1990, including site-specific studies, pool-wide studies and river-wide surveys.

For more information about ORSANCO’s Macroinvertebrate program, contact Ryan Argo.

Biological Programs Standard Operating Procedures: Click here for the 2019 Biological Programs Standard Operating Procedures.