Home
   
Information  
   
Join  
   
News  
   
Library  
   
Topics  
   
Documents  
   
WRAC  
   
Links  
   
Comments  
   
Site Map  
   
Water Column  
   
Aquatic
Nuisance
Species
 
   
Estero Bay
Nutrient
Management
Partnership
 
   
Watershed Open Golf Tournament  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

Data Quality Assessment Elements for

Identification of Impaired Surface Waters

DEP EAS 01-01

 

The Department relies on environmental data from a variety of sources to carry out its mission.  Those data must satisfy the needs for which they were collected, comply with applicable standards, specifications and statutory requirements, and reflect a consideration of cost and economics.  Careful project planning, and routine project and data reviews, are essential to ensure that the data collected are relevant to the decisions being made. 

 

Many aspects of a project affect data quality.  Sampling design, selection of parameters, sampling technique, analytical methodologies and data management activities are a few such aspects, whether the data are being collected for a compliance program, or for research activities.  The level of quality of each of those elements will affect the final management decisions that are based on a projectís outcome.  Data quality assessment is one activity that is instrumental in ensuring that data collected are relevant and appropriate for the decisions being made.

 

Depending on the needs of the project, the intended use of the final data and the degree of confidence required in the quality of the results, data quality assessment can be conducted at many levels.  For the purposes of identification of impaired surface waters, the level of data quality assessment to be conducted (Table 1) requires providing the appropriate data elements (Table 2).

 

If the data and applicable data elements are in an electronic format, data quality assessments can be performed automatically on large volumes of data using software tools, without significant impact to staffing.  Department programs can realize significant improvement in environmental protection without additional process using these types of reviews routinely. 

 

 

Table 1:  Recommended Quality Assessment Checks

 

Quality Test

Review to determine if analyses were conducted within holding times

Review for qualifiers indicative of problems

Screen comments for keywords indicative of problems

Review laboratory certification status for particular analyte at the time analysis was performed

Review data to determine if parts are significantly greater than the whole (e.g., ortho-P > total phosphorus, or NH3 > TKN, dissolved metal > total metal)

Screen data for realistic ranges (e.g., is pH<14?)

Review detection limits and quantitation limits against Department criteria and program action levels to ensure adequate sensitivity

Review for blank contamination

 


 

Table 2:  Data Elements Related to Quality Assessment

 

ID

Element

Description

1

Sample ID

Unique Field Sample Identifier

2

Parameter Name

Name of the parameter measured

3

Analytical Result

Result for the analytical measurement

4

Result Units

Units in which measurement is reported

5

DEP Qualifiers

Qualifier code describing specific QA conditions as reported by the data provider

6

Result Comments

Free-form text where data provider relates information they consider relevant to the result

7

Date (Time) of sample collection

 

8

Date (Time) of sample preparation

 

9

Date (Time) of sample analysis

 

10

Analytical Method

Method number used for sample analysis

11

Prep Method

Method number used for sample preparation prior to analysis

12

Sample Matrix

Was the sample a surface water or groundwater sample, a freshwater or saltwater sample

13

DOH Certificate Number/Laboratory ID

Certificate number issued by the Department of Healthís lab certification program

14

Preservatives Added

Description of the preservatives added to the sample after collection

15

MDL

Method detection limit for a particular result

16

PQL

Practical quantitation limit for a particular result

17

Sample Type

Field identifying sample nature (i.e., environmental sample, trip blank, field blank, matrix spike, etc.

18

Batch ID

Unambiguous reference linking samples prepared or analyzed together (e.g., trip, preparation, analysis batch Ids)

19

Field, Lab Blank Results

Results for field/laboratory blank analysis required by the methods

20

CAS Number

CAS registry number of the parameter measured

 

This site designed and hosted by

Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to web@swfwc.org.
Copyright © 2005 Southwest Florida Watershed Council.  All rights reserved.
Last modified: Tuesday November 06, 2007.

Click here for more information