Water: Water Quality Standards
Technical Fact Sheet
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
This is the final release of the WQSDB—it will not be updated. (For future plans, see the Release 9 Fact Sheet.) You can see the WQS documents upon which the WQSDB information was based and access state WQS program webpages. You are also able to download pre-formatted reports, and copies of the database.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
Release 9.0 Technical Enhancements
November 2007 Release Notes
- Streamlined Database tables to improve data relationships and meet States/Tribes needs.
- Improved reporting and user interface.
- Improved query performance by implementing new Oracle technologies.
- Updated the WQSDB to include pollutant criteria for the nation. Criteria currently in the WQSDB represents only the Clean Water Act (CWA) §101(a) and §303(c) Public Water Supply designated uses and the associated chronic criteria for selected contaminants.
- Implemented a revised database model that relates specific criteria to protective designated uses for all fifty states.
- Implemented a revised database model that relates criterion to site-specific waterbodies and designated uses.
Enhancements for Release 8.0
- Modified Database tables to remove redundant data.
- Improved query performance.
- The National Designated Use Reports structure was improved and updated. The update removed some redundant data linked to National Specific Designated Use categories.
- Implemented an online agreement form for the state approval process.
- Updated online agreement form source document dates to include "State Effective Date" and "EPA Effective Date" attributes.
Enhancements for Release 7.0
- Modified Database tables to remove redundant data.
- Improved query performance.
- Added Basin column to WbInfo files to reflect basin names. Specifically, North Carolina basins have been added to the database.
- For the Internet version, the Glossary was improved and updated.
- Changed naming conventions for HTML pages.
Enhancements for Release 6.0
- Added indexes on frequently accessed fields in database tables, to speed up access.
- Standardized constraint naming for improved communication about database structure.
- Recoded html, adding end tags and standardizing capitalization, for compatibility with XML.
- Provided more complete separate sets of html files, for the Internet and Internet, to support diverging functionality.
- For the Internet version, added a Glossary of terms, specific to WQSDB. It has a linked set of Abbreviations & Acronyms.
- From the new Glossary, linked to two other EPA Glossaries, and to a USGS Glossary.
- Implemented zoom to waterbody segment entity identifier, through EnviroMapper for Water 3.0.
- Improved report response times.
- Added the state Most Recent Effective Date to the DU by National DU report as a subtitle.
- Added the EPA Criteria Effective Date to the EPA Numeric Criteria report and to the State vs. EPA Numeric Criteria report.
- Added the waterbody segment description to another report, making it easier to access.
- Provided a new State Status Report with review status, accessed from the Status Map on the Basic Information page.
- Redesigned the home page, making the WQS image smaller, and rewording the content for clarity.
- Redesigned the Basic Information page, adding a clickable Status Map to it to access the State Status Report.
Enhancements for Release 5.0
- Upgraded the Oracle database from 8i to 9i.
- Supported access to reach-indexed data through the new Reach Address Database version 2.0.
- Supported access to map functionality through the new EnviroMapper for Water 3.0.
- Implemented EPA's Tribal Identifier data standard for 3-digit Tribe codes.
- Began phasing out support for the Netscape Communications Corporation browser, a process which EPA plans to complete by June 1, 2004.
- Included for reference the prior version What's New content along with the current version in the Technical What's New page.
- Provided links from tabular reports on either waterbody segment entity identifier or hydrologic unit code to zoom to those features in the improved mapping tool, EnviroMapper for Water.
- Included direct link to the Data Dictionary report about table data from the Data Summary Diagram page.
- Enhanced report response times.
- Clarified and improved instructions on report parameter pages.
- Reordered the selection list for jurisdictions to be by states, then territories, then tribes.
- Appended the main state name, with which the tribe is geographically associated, to the tribe name.
- Improved the Data Summary Diagram, adding new buttons for data kinds, summary kinds, and table kinds, and new instructions and definitions.
- Added the table status column to the report on table data.
- Organized the Entity Relationship Diagram into sections for easier reference.
- Organized the Data Model Diagram into sections for easier reference to the Data Summary Diagram.
Enhancements for Release 4.0
- Provided users with more insight into the data structures through the new Data Summary Diagram, implemented as a user interface to access the Entity Relationship Diagram, the Data Model Diagram, and the Data Dictionary. Arranged the data elements as Active, In Process, or Planned. From the Data Summary Diagram page:
- click on the indicated hyperlink to view the Entity Relationship Diagram.
- click on a data kind heading, such as Attribute Data or Document Data, to view the associated Data Model Diagram.
- click on a table kind button, such as Waterbody or State, to view the associated list of tables.
- From the list of tables, click on a table name to view the associated list of fields and other data from the Data Dictionary.
- Revised the layout of Data Model Diagrams to support the Data Summary Diagram interface.
- Revised report column headings to be based on the new field for Column Heading in table WQS_METADATA.
- Improved descriptions of fields, put the indicator for mandatory or optional into a separate field, and added a field to describe limitations on values, in WQS_METADATA. Also added more fields for tracking prior release values.
- Data kinds now include 1 = document, 2 = attribute, 3 = criteria, 4 = reach-indexed, 5 = antidegradation, 6 = report/track, 7 = administrative, 8 = web sites, and 9 = other.
- Revised the OWNER_FOCUS text string in WQS_OWNER to indicate expertise with U for Unknown, Y for Yes, or N for No, by position in the string for these data kinds.
- Updated the Web pages to the current version of the EPA template.
- Deleted three tables, previously generated for reports, related to improvements in WQS_METADATA.
- Added table definitions to identify Default Use Provisions, and to link them to Class, Designated Use, and Waterbody. These will support comparisons between such provisions, by jurisdiction.
- Added to table WQS_RAD field REACH_AREA for calculated square kilometers; REACH_LENGTH for calculated linear kilometers; REACH_TYPE for A=Area, L=Linear, P=Point; SUBWATERSHED_NAME to name a subwatershed; and WATERSHED_NAME to name a watershed. These fields will aid in reporting statistics.
- As part of the ongoing criteria pilot effort, to table WQS_WATER_CRITERIA_REFERENCE field IMPACT_CATEGORY, which already had values B for Biological, C for Chemical, and P for Physical, added value R for radiological.
- Added table WQS_OWNER_DOCUMENT to relate one or more contacts or "Owners" in WQS_OWNER to one or more documents in WQS_DOCUMENT.
- Added table WQS_STATE_SPECIFIC_DU_CRITERIA, to link the State Specific DU values to CRITERIA_ID. The SUMMARY_NAME is "State DU Criteria Linking" for the Data Summary Diagram.
- The Team made great progress towards migrating data to the new re-leveled flow-validated Reach Addressing Database (RAD) version 2. Of nearly 70,000 waterbody segment entity identifiers, almost 60,000 or over 80% are now in the new RAD v.2. The Team will cooperate with the EPA regional coordinators and the GIS and WQS experts of the States, Territories, and Tribes to correctly reach-index with appropriate designated uses the remaining waterbody segments which have not yet been spatially located. We ask patience from all our constituencies while we await the release of the new RAD v.2 to production.
- After the new EnviroMapper for Water is released, we will add a zoom to entity ID feature to some WQSDB reports. The new feature will support a click on an entity ID in a tabular report to launch a map displaying the location.
- In addition, the Team is identifying numerous parameters that impact WQS criteria. After EPA experts evaluate the many choices, the new approach to criteria data will be sent to the four pilot states, FL, IL, MO, and MS. We also expect to update the EPA numeric criteria values for release 5.