The problem of eutrophication has, since the 1970s, reached a global scale and become a problem of principal importance due to its negative consequences, which could result in the total loss of biospheric functions of aquatic ecosystems, and also their economic role. The increasing intensity of eutrophication processes and their specificity in various types of waters requires the development of special methods of control and protection of aquatic ecosystems. As a result of the high dynamism of eutrophication and its dependence on different factors (hydrological, hydrodynamic, hydrobiological, morphological, edaphic and climatic conditions), the assessment of trophic status in order to control and manage this process is very complicated. The evaluation of the consequences of anthropogenic eutrophication and the scale of its development can be provided only on the basis of systematic observation during a multi-annual period. Careful analysis of the state of knowledge on the issues related to eutrophication, especially the methods of trophic status assessment, have allowed us to conclude that at present there is no universal methodology for the assessment of the surface water trophic level, while the existing methods have various shortcomings, which reduce the reliability of the results and complicate the development of appropriate technical, organizational and legal protection measures. A critical analysis of trophic status assessment approaches for different categories of waters has also allowed us to state that there is no an appropriate method for the assessment of the trophic status of running waters, since almost all existing assessment methods are developed for lakes and coastal areas. This paper presents an original approach elaborated for the assessment of the trophic state of running waters based on the statistical analysis of long-term monitoring data and numerical criterion ITS, which allows for a simple and low-cost monitoring of eutrophication suitable for the solving of different application tasks in the field of surface water protection.