Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Envirofacts

Customized Search User Guide

Water Logo  PCS
PCS logo

This search allows users to report on any data element, and is primarily geared toward the experienced user. The search consists of four main steps, as well as other features. Columns with a "code" value have a corresponding description column, a Comma Separated Value (CSV) option is available, and users can specify sort order and column display order.


General Instructions

The Customized Search searches for data elements using the user's table and column selections and other search criteria.

Follow these four basic steps to search data elements:

  1. Select subjects
  2. Select tables from the subject functional areas
  3. Select columns from the specified tables
  4. Enter search criteria and organize output data

STEP 1: Subject Selection

The data in this database is classified by subject area of the information provided by the table(s) in that specific subject area. This allows you to start by determining the subject area of the data that you wish to retrieve. You may select only one subject at a time from the functional area table provided.

A brief description appears in the column next to the subject name. Click the underlined subject of your choice. This selection will automatically bring you to a page that allows you to either repeat Step 1: Subject Selection or go on to Step 2: Retrieve Tables based on the chosen subjects.

The option to select more subjects will be predicated on the subjects that you have already selected since certain subjects are incompatible with others. This incompatibility is because some subject areas do not have a relationship with each other, which is defined by a common column and therefore they cannot be picked together. Once you have completed Step 1, click the Step 2: Retrieve Tables for Selected Subjects button.

STEP 2: Table Selection

You may select one or more tables available based on your subject selection. These tables, which will be used for your output, will change depending on which subjects you choose. Three buttons follow the table which enable you to: return to Step 1 to select additional functional areas (if there are additional subjects that you can choose), go on to Step 3 to retrieve columns for the tables you selected, or you may reset and make new selections for this step.

If you repeated Step 1 and selected all available subjects, only the Step 3 and Reset buttons will appear on this page. You may click on the underlined table name to view the metadata for that table. Once you have made your table selection(s), click on the button to go on to Step 3: Selection of Columns.

STEP 3: Column Selection

You may select one or more columns that are listed according to your table selection. You may also click on the underlined table name at the top of the list to view the metadata for that table. Click the underlined column name to view that column's metadata. To select the columns which will be used for your output, click on the box next to the column name.

If you decide to select columns other than those already chosen, you may either click the box again to deselect, or click the Reset button that appears at the bottom of the page. A Step 4: Enter Search Criteria button also appears at the bottom of the page. You must select one or more columns before clicking the Enter Search Criteria button, to proceed to the fourth step.

If you click on the button without making a selection, a notice will appear stating that you must return to the column list on the previous page and make at least one column selection. Once you make the column selection, click on the Step 4: Enter Search Criteria button.

STEP 4: Enter Search Criteria and Organize the Output

Enter search criteria and organize the output data for data retrieval using the PCS Customized Search page, which appears after clicking the Enter Search Criteria button in Step 3. Use either the standard search columns or your selected columns as search criteria.

Facility Identification Search

You may enter a partial facility name to receive a broad retrieval list. To narrow the list, enter a complete facility name. Due to the large amount of output, we strongly recommend that you restrict a search for corporations with multiple facilities by using this search option in conjunction with the Geography Search option.

The Facility Identification Search option allows you to enter information into three fields. The first field allows you to select to search by Facility Name or NPDES Number.

The second field allows you to select an Operator Definition. The "Beginning with" option should be selected to receive a list of all corporations/facilities beginning with the characters you enter. Select the "Equal to" option to receive a list of corporations/facilities that exactly match the characters you enter. If you enter a partial name, the "Containing" option should be selected to limit the size of the data retrieval.

Use the third field to enter the partial or full name of the corporation with facilities. You may also use this field to enter the appropriate NPDES Number.

Geography Search

The Geography Search option should be used along with the Facility Identification Search option to limit the amount of data received when you enter corporations with multiple facilities. The Geography Search option consists of five fields: Zoning Improvement Plan (ZIP) Code, United States Geological Survey (USGS) Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) Number, City, County, and two-digit State postal abbreviation. If you enter the City and County fields, you must enter the State field. You do not need to enter information in all of the Geography Search fields to run a search.

A list of the postal abbreviations and the state names is provided below:

AK = Alaska AL = Alabama AR = Arkansas
AS = American Samoa AZ = Arizona CA = California
CN = Canada CO = Colorado CT = Connecticut
DC = District of Columbia DE = Delaware FL = Florida
FM = Federated States of Micronesia GA = Georgia GU = Guam
HI = Hawaii IA = Iowa ID = Idaho
IL = Illinois IN = Indiana KS = Kansas
KY = Kentucky LA = Louisiana MA = Massachusetts
MD = Maryland ME = Maine MH = Marshall Island
MI = Michigan MN = Minnesota MO = Missouri
MP = Northern Mariana Islands MS = Mississippi MT = Montana
NC = North Carolina ND = North Dakota NE = Nebraska
NH = New Hampshire NJ = New Jersey NM = New Mexico
NV = Nevada NY = New York OH = Ohio
OK = Oklahoma OR = Oregon PA = Pennsylvania
PR = Puerto Rico PW = Palau, Republic of RI = Rhode Island
SC = South Carolina SD = South Dakota TN = Tennessee
TX = Texas UT = Utah VA = Virginia
VI = Virgin Islands VT = Vermont WA = Washington
WI = Wisconsin WV = West Virginia WY = Wyoming

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code

You may enter a partial or complete SIC Code as search criteria for your search. You do not need to enter any other search criteria in conjunction with the SIC Code.

Chemical Name Search

The Chemical Name Search option contains three fields to enter search criteria. The first field allows you to select to search using Chemical Name or Parameter Code. The second field allows you to select an Operator Definition. The "Beginning with" option should be selected to receive a list of all chemicals beginning with the characters you enter. Select the "Equal to" option to receive a list of chemicals that exactly match the characters you enter. If you enter a partial name, the "Containing" option should be selected to limit the size of the data retrieval. Use the third field to enter the partial or full Chemical Name or Parameter Code.

Output Options

The PCS Customized Search allows you to organize the output data according your selections from Steps 1, 2, and 3. Arranged in a table format, six fields for output data organization appear: Column Name, Operator Definition, Search Value, Column Display Order, Sort Column, and Sort Order.

Column Name

Under Column Name, each column you selected from Step 3 appears in the order in which you made the selections. Click on the underlined column name to retrieve an extended description of that column.

Operator Definition and Search Value

The Operator Definition and Search Value fields allow you to enter specific search criteria to further refine the information that is being selected. If the column that you selected is already a search criteria in the standard part of the form such as chemical name, then these two options will not be available to you. A note will appear in these columns stating that the column is already a standard search option above.

For all other columns, the Operator Definition field allows you to specify the scope of the search value that you are entering under the Search Value option. It is predicated on the type of column that you selected: character, number or date. You are given search options allowing greater specificity for the search. The options include: Equal to, Less than/Equal to, Greater than/Equal to, Less than, Greater than, and Containing.

You will only be allowed to enter search values that are appropriate to the type of the column. For instance, if you entered a character value in a number column, that value will be rejected by the search engine. If you are unsure about column type, clicking on the column name will take you to a page detailing the column.

Column Display Order

The Column Display Order field allows you to change the order of the columns for the output. If you do not insert an order, the columns will remain listed in the order that the columns were selected. To change the order, insert numeric values into the blank fields, beginning with 1 for the first column to be listed, 2 for the second column, and so on. You need enter only the numbers for those columns that you specifically care about ordering.

All the remaining columns, you may leave blank and the search engine will reshuffle them automatically. For instance, if you wish the last column listed here to be the third column in the output, simply enter 3 in the last column and leave the others blank.

Sort Column

This option allows you to sort the entire output by a specific column (or columns) data. You may use the sort order column to further refine the ordering of the output.

Sort Order

Once you have entered values for the sort column, you may choose to further refine the sorting of data by choosing an option for the Sort Order. You may select to arrange the data in either ascending or descending order. Ascending order will list the smaller data values first and the larger data values last; descending order will list the larger data values first and the smaller data values last. Please note that if you do not enter a value for the sort column, this entry will be ignored.

Once you have entered all of your search criteria and organized your output data, click the Search Database button, the Reset button, or the Output to CSV File button. Click the Search Database button to run the search. To re-enter the search criteria or to re-organize the output data, select the Reset button. You may select the Output to CSV (Comma Separated Value) File button if you wish to view the data in a spreadsheet on your PC. If you select this option, you will be given the file name and you will be asked to save the file to your hard drive. On Windows 95, the CSV file is automatically associated with the Excel Spreadsheet program.

Where Only

This option allows you to separate variables into search and retrieval categories. By clicking on a specific variable in this column, you are specifying that the variable should only be used to specify what to retrieve from the database but should not appear as part of the data retrieved and shown to you by this search. Please note that you will therefore have to specify a search value for the variable if you click on the where only column for the variable. Also neither the Column Display Order option or the Sort Column option is valid and will be ignored in the retrieval, if you mark this variable as Where Only, since those options only apply to variables that are going to be displayed.

Jump to main content.