Streamflow and Water-Quality Characteristics of the Ottawa River and Selected Tributaries in Allen, Hardin, and Putnam Counties, Ohio

Open-File Report 2003–0215
Prepared in cooperation with the Ottawa River Coalition



Streamflow and water-quality measurements were made on the Ottawa River and selected tributaries between 1999 to 2002. Ten sets of streamflow measurements were made at an index station on the Auglaize River at Fort Jennings (station 04186500) and at 19 other sites along the Ottawa River and selected tributaries. These data were collected to relate daily mean streamflow at the Auglaize River at Fort Jennings and the instantaneous streamflow at each of the other 19 sites.

Two sets of water-quality samples were collected and 4 or 5 dissolved-oxygen measurements were made at the 19 sites. Water samples were collected during periods of potential stress on the aquatic communities, once during low flow and once during a runoff event that occurred after recent land application of pesticides. The first set of water-quality samples was analyzed for groups of nutrients, major ions and trace elements, and physical properties, whereas the second set was analyzed for nutrients, pesticides, and physical properties.

With regard to nutrients and physical properties, median values of specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, alkalinity, and orthophosphate were higher during low flow than during the runoff event. In contrast, the median concentrations of total phosphorus, ammonia nitrogen, nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen, and ammonia plus organic nitrogen were higher during the runoff event than during low flow. Orthophosphate, total phosphorus, and dissolved-oxygen concentrations all had wider ranges during the low-flow sampling than the runoff-event sampling.

Of the 25 major ions and trace elements analyzed for, 15 were detected in all 18 samples, and 10 were detected infrequently or not detected at all. The runoff samples were analyzed for 48 pesticides, 18 of which were detected in one or more samples and 30 of which were not detected. Of the 18 pesticides detected, 13 were detected in 5 or more samples. Five pesticides acetochlor, atrazine, deethylatrazine, metolachlor, and simazine were detected in all the samples.

Suggested Citation

Shaffer, K., 2003, Streamflow and water-quality characteristics of the Ottawa River and selected tributaries in Allen, Hardin, and Putnam Counties, Ohio: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2003–0215, 49 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods of Study
  • Relation Between Streamflow at Index Station and Synoptic Sites
  • Water-Quality Characteristics
  • Summary
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Streamflow and water-quality characteristics of the Ottawa River and selected tributaries in Allen, Hardin, and Putnam counties, Ohio
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2003–0215
DOI 10.3133/ofr03215
Year Published 2003
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Ohio Water Science Center
Description iv, 43 p.
Country United States
State Ohio
County Allen county, Hardin county, Putnam county
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details