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Surface Water Quality Monitoring Information System (SWQMIS) . Cindi Atwood Tetra Tech, Inc. (703) 385-6000 Nancy Ragland TCEQ (512) 239-6546 TCEQ’s New Enterprise Data System for Managing Ambient Water Quality Data . Benefits.

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Surface Water Quality Monitoring Information System (SWQMIS)

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Surface Water Quality Monitoring Information System (SWQMIS)

Cindi Atwood

Tetra Tech, Inc.

(703) 385-6000

Nancy Ragland


(512) 239-6546

TCEQ’s New Enterprise Data System for Managing Ambient Water Quality Data



  • Consolidate and centralize data

  • Increase data consistency and integrity

  • Assist your agency with internal and external data requests

  • Help management to turn around urgent, high priority requests quickly

  • Save time and money

One Week vs One Day

  • 44 Hours down to 8 Hours

  • 2 person task down to a 1 person task

System Deployment

System Deployment

  • Deployed the system successfully in early 2007

  • Developed the system as:

    • Web-based

    • J2EE and Oracle

  • Integrated the system with web-based GIS functionalities using ESRI ArcIMS and ArcSDE

Core System Modules

  • Monitoring Stations

  • Equipment

  • Geographical Areas

  • Constituents

  • Sampling

  • Comparison Information

  • Projects

  • Reports and Extracts

  • Maps (GIS)

  • Assessment

  • Administration

Manage Ambient Water Quality Data

Manage Ambient Water Quality Data

  • Organize data in a way that enhances business processes

  • Protect data integrity through clean system design

  • Involve stakeholders at all levels of organization in design and test

  • Keep system flexible to meet future needs

Consolidate & Centralize Databases

Consolidate & Centralize Databases

  • Allow core data submittal from various data owners

  • Consolidate and centralize databases containing :

    • Field measurements

      • Toxics and organics in a variety of media

      • Biological

      • Habitat parameters, etc.

    • Spatial data

Various Data Sources

Various Data Sources

  • Supply custom interfaces for manual entry

    • Administrators

    • Data Managers

    • Field Personnel

    • Assessors

  • Provide mass data loaders for various data sources including

    • Continuous data from data loggers

    • LIMS

    • USGS

    • River and municipal authorities in Texas

Data Integrity

Data Integrity

  • Provide custom interfaces for manual entry

  • Enforce consistent data entry of all types of data

    • Typographical errors

    • Outlier checks

  • Validate data from manual and mass loaded data

  • Review of submitted data by data managers to approve or deny

Mass Loaded Data Validation

  • The automated validation checks are all run, without stopping after the first “failure.”  In this way, a complete list of errors can be shown.

  • Over 50 validation checks run on mass loaded data

    • Check for outliers.  Check measurements against predefined ranges (min/max).  Compares verify flag in the Results file to see if the outlier value has already been verified by the collector.

    • If sample collected when raining or has rained within the last 24 hours, report a value of <1.  In other words, is days since precipitation (72053) < 1?

    • Check for duplicates in data set based on station ID, sample date, sample time, and parameter code.

GIS Integration

GIS Integration

  • Allow map-based creation of sites

  • Automatically assign geographic attributes such as basin, county and ecoregion to a site

  • Provide map-based search and reporting features

  • Synchronize geographic data with tabular data

GIS Integration

GIS Integration

Public Access

Public Access

  • Allow the public and other organizations to retrieve water quality data

Public Access

Public Access – Drill Down

100 x 100

Mile Square

Public Access – Drill Down

25 x 25

Mile Square

Public Access – Drill Down

6.25 x 6.25

Mile Square

Public Access – Select Stations

Public Access -- Reports

Public Access – Text Reports

Reports & Data Extractions

Reports & Data Extractions

  • Avaliable in:

    • HTML

    • CSV (Comma Separated Values)

    • Pipe delimited “|” (text) format

Reports & Data Extractions

Station Inventory Report

Reports & Data Extractions

Sampling History Report



  • Integrates SWQMIS with the statistical SAS tools in order to:

    • Summarize data

    • Calculate various statistics

    • Provide reports for assessors


Assessments – Business Logic

  • Identify and convert preferred parameters to correct units

  • Handle profile samples appropriately

    • Identification of the mixed surface layer

  • Summarize data and calculate statistics

    • Mean, geometric mean, median, standard deviation, percentiles, confidence intervals

Assessments – Business Logic (cont.)

  • Determine appropriate criteria and identify exceedances

    • Basin-specific

    • Segment-specific

    • Site-specific

    • Formulas (acute & chronic metals)

  • Ascertain waterbody’s support status

  • Provide full documentation for all steps of the process

Data Flow

Data Flow

  • Transfer of core data to EPA automatically on a periodic basis through web services and the Central Data Exchange (CDX via the Water Quality Exchange (WQX)

Data Flow

  • Actively flowing data to the EPA since September, 2007

  • Fully automated process

  • Currently transfer physical and chemical data

  • Will transfer biological data at a later date



  • Track the “history” of data changes

  • Provide interfaces that allow a database administrator to manage:

    • Users

    • Security

    • Reference data

Lessons Learned

  • Allow design time that is adequate for the scope

  • Employ tried technology

  • Use agile development techniques

  • Start third party integration communication and testing early

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