Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Thomas K. Pauley

Second Advisor

Mindy Armstead

Third Advisor

David Mallory


Whole effluent toxicity (WET) tests have become a common tool in the evaluation of effluent for discharge acceptability. In this study, four years of toxicity data from 119 sampling locations were analyzed to determine relationships with ions and conductivity as indicators of toxicity. West Virginia Stream Condition Index (WVSCI) scores were also examined to evaluate correlations between stream scores, conductivity, and IC25 endpoints from toxicity results. Conductivity was not an indicator of toxicity in the range of conductivities tested. Streams dominated by mining effluent sometimes exhibited toxicity to Ceriodaphnia dubia; however, toxicity was not found to be related to ionic concentration in the range tested. Although mortality and reproductive impairment were often demonstrated in the mining effluent dominated streams, there were no relationships established between survival and reproductive endpoints and the ionic concentrations. Benthic macroinvertebrate communities in the streams sampled indicated some level of impairment. Only a weak relationship was demonstrated between habitat assessment scores and WVSCI scores. No apparent relationship between conductivity and WVSCI was observed.



Rivers - West Virginia.