Water: Water Quality Standards Academy
Basic Course: Supplemental Topics (f)
Program Elements: Managing the Data
- Listing Impaired Waters and Developing TMDLs
- Monitoring & Assessment
- NPDES Permit Program
- Human Health Ambient Water Quality Criteria
- Aquatic Life Criteria
M&A Program Elements
- Identify Objectives
- Design the Project & Develop a QA Plan
- Collect Data
- Manage Data
- Interpret Data
- Convey Results
- Evaluate & Improve
Monitoring data should be maintained through an accessible electronic database that will allow it to be permanently available and shared among water quality management agencies and others interested in water quality protection and restoration.
STORET is the Agency’s main repository of water quality monitoring data, containing information from across the country submitted by entities that range from small volunteer watershed groups to State and Federal environmental agencies.
- EPA has released a web-enabled data management/submission framework—the Water Quality Exchange (WQX)—that can be used to submit raw water quality data (as opposed to assessment conclusions) across the web to EPA’s STORET web-based system (STOrage and RETrieval system). Use of the system’s data management/submission tools are provided by EPA at no cost to the user. Many States and other entities involved in water quality monitoring use STORET to manage and share water quality data. A users’ tool is also available for small groups with templates for standard data elements.
Key Point. All States/Tribes should submit water quality data to the STORET warehouse through WQX or WQX-web. States that do not currently use the WQX/STORET system should plan to do so.
Resource. To access STORET, go to the data warehouse’s home page, which provides comprehensive information on using the system.
Resource. For more information specifically about the Water Quality Exchange, go to What is WQX?
In addition, when submitting data EPA asks that States/Tribes define the geographic location of assessment units using the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD). Providing geographic information supports data analysis and interpretation. The NHD is used for mapping waters for 305(b) water quality inventory reports and for 303(d) lists of impaired waters.
Resource. For more information about the National Hydrography Dataset, visit the U.S. Geological Survey’s web page on the NHD. . See also the 1998 Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata.