STOrage and RETrieval and Water Quality eXchange
Basic Information about STORET and WQX
Water quality monitoring is a crucial aspect to protecting water resources. State, Tribal and Federal agencies must monitor lakes, streams, rivers and other types of water bodies to assist them in determining water quality condition. From these monitoring activities, water quality monitoring data is generated. Without this data, water resource managers cannot know where pollution problems exist, where we need to focus our pollution control energies or where we've made progress.
Water Quality Data Download
Water quality data is available in three locations, according to when it was originally supplied to EPA and when it was originally archived. The more current database is the STORET Data Warehouse, and the older database which contains pre-1999 data is the STORET Legacy Data Center (LDC for short). Users can query the Water Quality Portal which contains all data from STORET and USGS National Water Information System (NWIS). In addition, STORET provides automated data calls via web services and links to other user tools and applications.
On this tab:
- The STORET Data Warehouse
- The STORET Legacy Data Center
- Water Quality Portal
- STORET Warehouse Web Services
- User-Created Tools and Applications
The STORET Data Warehouse
All data supplied to EPA since January 1, 1999 have been placed in the STORET Data Warehouse.
- Biological Results
- Habitat Results
- Physical/Chemical Results
The STORET Data Warehouse is currently receiving new data on a regular basis, including data being submitted via Water Quality Exchange (WQX) and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Downloads performed for the same sites may differ over time as a result of the addition of new data by their owners.
The STORET Data Warehouse is EPA's repository of the water quality monitoring data collected by water resource management groups across the country. These organizations, including states, tribes, watershed groups, other federal agencies, volunteer groups and universities, submit data to the STORET Warehouse in order to make their data publically accessible. Data can then be re-used for analysis.
(For assistance please contact the STORET helpdesk)
Data in the STORET Warehouse are of documented quality, meaning that a certain level of metadata, including where, how, why, when and what was monitored must be included with all data submissions. Each sampling result in the STORET Warehouse is accompanied by information on:
- where the sample was taken such as:
- Hydrologic Unit Code
- a brief site identification
- when the sample was gathered
- the medium sampled (e.g., water, sediment, fish tissue)
- the name of the organization that sponsored the monitoring
In addition, the STORET Warehouse contains information on:
- why the data were gathered
- sampling and analytical methods used
- the laboratory used to analyze the samples
- the quality control checks used when sampling, handling the samples and analyzing the data
- the personnel responsible for the data
Please visit the STORET/ WQX concepts page to learn more about the vocabulary used in the system to describe water quality monitoring samples.
The EPA does not change or filter incoming data. This means that when pulling data out of the Warehouse, users must be aware that they are responsible for screening the data for their use.
Specific examples of the types of data that the STORET Data Warehouse contains include:
- Chemical parameter measurements made in the field or lab
- Physical parameter measurements such as water temperature or pH
- Biological sampling results
- Habitat assessments or observations
Data in the STORET Warehouse can be accessed through the web, either through the STORET Warehouse query application or through more automated web services.
The STORET Legacy Data Center
The LDC (Legacy Data Center) contains historical water quality data dating back to the early part of the 20th century and collected up to the end of 1998. Data is no longer being placed in the Legacy Data Center, but the public can still access data from it, either from flat files, or query tools. Please visit the LDC page for more information or to download data.
- Visit the Legacy Data Center
Water Quality Portal
The Water Quality Portal (WQP) is a cooperative service sponsored by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC). It serves data collected by over 400 state, federal, tribal and local agencies.
- Visit the Water Quality Portal
STORET Warehouse Web Services
Substance Registry Search
Substance Registry Services (SRS) is the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) central system for information about substances that are tracked or regulated by EPA or other sources. It is the authoritative resource for basic information about chemicals, biological organisms and other substances of interest to EPA and its state and tribal partners. The SRS makes it possible to identify which EPA data systems, environmental statutes, or other sources have information about a substance and which synonym is used by that system or statute. It becomes possible therefore to map substance data across EPA programs regardless of synonym.
- WQX/WQX Web Domain Values Services
** Updated Daily **: WQX Domain Values are referenced for data submission (mapping STORET/WQX standards)
A zip file containing the WQX domain values / List as zipped XML documents.
This output of the WQX domain values is cached files with a nightly refresh cycle.
- STORET/WQX & STORET-National Water Information System (NWIS) Web Services
STORET now provides a suite of web services which provide direct access to data in the STORET Warehouse.
Please Read the BETA Version and Disclaimer
The STORET Result Service have been revised as of March 3, 2010. Revisions to the STORET Result Web Service include additional schema elements in the Result Measure section of the outbound schema. See service description below for more information.
The following list describes the most current web services available and each service's endpoint and output schema. The service endpoints provide the WSDL (Web Service Definition Language) for each service as well as the different operations and web methods each service supports. The output schemas are a machine readable formal definition of the schemas that each service will return as output. Please refer to the revised STORET Web Services Consumption User Guide for a full description of the services, including the required input parameters, as well as examples of how to consume them from other applications. Please note this document is draft and may be changed as the services are further tested and used.
This Web Service Data Browser (ZIP)(1 pg, 304 K) allows users to interact dynamically with the STORET web services. When opening the tool in Excel, make sure to enable macros in order for the tool to function.
- STORET Web Services
Watershed Summary Web Service
The Watershed Summary Web Service provides summary information for the types of data (Organizations with data, number of stations, result counts by characteristic type, etc) available within a given watershed (8-digit HUC).
*The Watershed Summary Tool is an example of an application that uses the Watershed Summary Web Service.
Station Catalog Web Service
The Station Catalog Web Service provides station summary information such as station name, period of record and result counts by characteristic type.
*The Watershed Summary Tool is an example of an application that uses the Station Catalog Web Service.
Project Catalog Web Service
The Project Catalog Web Service provides project summary information such as the period of record, characteristics monitored and station names.
Station Web Service
The Station Web Service provides information for all monitoring locations within a given geographic area (geographic bounding box).
*Please Note: The Station Web Service has been revised (as of February 8, 2008) into multiple web methods that provide enhanced data return. These new methods allow users to quickly pull station locations for mapping, return station counts for a given geographic area, or obtain detailed station information if desired.
STORET Result Web Service
The STORET Result Web Service provides direct access to STORET results.
*Please Note: The Result Web Service has been revised (as of March 3, 2010) to provide additional data elements in the outbound schema, as requested by users. Additional data elements include: Result Measure Qualifier Code and Activity Start Time. The service also returns all data element tags within the Result Measure block even if results are not present. Per previous versions of the services, results can be requested via latitude/longitude parameters, or by the type of characteristic a user is searching for.
Please note that to ensure good scalability and availability, the result output returned by the Web Service is configured to be restricted by a maximum number of results (20,000). If the number of results requested exceeds the maximum limit, then the web method will notify the end user to narrow down the search criteria in order to reduce the number of results requested. Please refer to the STORET Web Services Consumption User Guide(641 K) for a full description of the STORET Result Web Service.
- National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC) Water
National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC) Water Quality Portal (WQP) Mini Portal
The NWQMC Water Quality Portal provides a form for submitting parameters to the outbound web services via SOAP and RESTLike service calls to download Staions (Site) and Results Data.
*Please Note: The NWQMC Water Quality Portal web service is still in beta testing stage, so results may not be provided for both agencies.
National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC) Water Quality Portal (WQP) Web Service
The Water Quality Portal (WQP) is a cooperative service sponsored by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Water Quality Monitoring Council.
- Spatial Web Service: ArcGIS mapping services for STORET
The STORET mapping service provides three end points. One mapping service provides access to the raw data in the warehouse (non-indexed - aka no reach/measure) and the other two mapping services provide access to the indexed data stored in WATERS/RAD with the release of NHDPlus v2.1 which is based on a snapshot of data in the warehouse at a particular point in time.
- STATION Download End Point
End point of the STATION Mapping Service (Raw Data Source/Non-indexed)
- Indexed STATION End Point
End point of the STORET-RAD Mapping Service (Indexed - snapshot)
(Web Mercator and Tiled)
- Waters/RAD End Point
End point of the WATERS/RAD Mapping Service (Indexed - snapshot)
(contains all RAD programs - non-tiled)
- State and Watershed Geospatial Data
- National Geospatial Datasets
- ATTAINS Program
- Impaired Waters with TMDLs
- BEACH Program
- Water Quality Standards Program
- 303(c) Water Quality Standards
Geospatial data for EPA’s Office of Water Programs, including 303(d) Impaired Waters, 305(b) Assessed Waters and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) are available for download by state or watershed, as well as at a national extent. Generally, state-level geospatial data represents the most recent data submitted to EPA by states. EPA provides WATERS geospatial data in a variety of formats including Geographical Information Systems (GIS) compatible shapefiles and geodatabases, as well as both vector and raster keyhole markup language (KML) and KMZ files for viewing WATERS data in Google Earth.
- STATION Download End Point
User-Created Tools and Applications
Water Quality Data Upload with WQX
- WQX Overview
- Water Quality Exchange (WQX) Flow Configuration Document (PDF) (29 pp, 1 MB, About PDF) Exit
- Node 2.0 - Flow Configuration Document Addendum (DOC)(4 pp, 162 K)
- Data Exchange Template (XLS)(1 pg, 191 K)
- WQX Node Endpoints (v.1.0 and v2.1) Exit
- User Guide Version 2.10 for WQX Web
- WQX Domain Services
- Exchange Network - Water Quality Exchange Exit
- WQX Web Overview
What is WQX?
The Water Quality Exchange (WQX) is a new framework that makes it easier for States, Tribes, and others to submit and share water quality monitoring data over the Internet. States, Tribes and other organizations can now submit data directly to the publicly-accessible STORET Data Warehouse using the WQX framework. The STORET Data Warehouse will continue to be the repository for all modern STORET data and will now also be the new home for data submitted through WQX. WQX will eventually replace the distributed STORET Database (including the STORET Data Entry Module, Reports Module and STORET Import Module or SIM) as the primary means of submitting water quality monitoring data to EPA.
The purpose of these pages is to assist water quality professionals and data managers with understanding WQX, how it works, how it relates to STORET, and how to begin submitting data using the WQX framework. Below is a description of how WQX works, followed by useful links for water quality data managers.
How does WQX Work?
WQX uses Extensible Markup Language (XML) and a defined set of data elements (the WQX schema) to allow states, tribes and other organizations to submit data from their own database to the STORET Warehouse. WQX makes use of the technology and procedures that are defined by the National Environmental Information Exchange Network.
Data can be submitted via WQX through different mechanisms. Exchange Network Nodes or Node Clients may be used to submit data that follow the WQX schema. Alternatively, data can be submitted using WQX Web, a web-based data loading tool that is based on the WQX schema.
The WQX schema is based on the Environmental Sampling, Analysis and Results (ESAR) data standard, which is EPA's approved standard for sharing water, solid waste and air quality data. It also uses other registries of common data, names, and data formats.
This technical WQX fact sheet describes how WQX works.
Getting started with WQX Web
Water quality data can be uploaded using WQX. WQX is a common format for sharing water quality data of physical, chemical, biological, habitat, metric and index results. Data can be shared over the Exchange Network using an automated WQX XML file or a more manual Microsoft Excel based WQX Web file format.
WQX Web is accessed through CDX Web. Users of WQX Web will always log in to CDX Web in order to access WQX Web.
For users already signed up, here are quick directions for accessing WQX Web now:
- Go to CDX Login page
- Log on to CDX Web
- Once logged on, click the WQX Web link to access the tool
How to sign up to use WQX Web
The WQX Web Registration presentation can be referred to understand the process of WQX Web sign up.
- Step 1: Request a WQX Web account and an WQX Organization ID
To begin the process of setting up your WQX Web account, please provide the following information in an email to the STORET Team (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- First name
- Middle name
- Last Name
- Prefix (Mr./Mrs./Ms)
- WQX Organization ID (see below for more information about WQX Organization IDs)
- WQX Organization Name
- Mailing Address 1
- Mailing Address 2
- Zip/Postal Code
- E-mail Address
- Phone Number
WQX Organization IDs
All Organizations submitting data through WQX Web will require a new WQX Organization ID that is unique from any previous STORET Org IDs. This ensures that users do not duplicate data already within an Organization in the STORET Warehouse when submitting data through WQX Web. EPA will work with users to assign new Org IDs. Options for new WQX Org ID's include:
- Same Org ID as what is in STORET (if applicable) with "_WQX" at the end
- Completely new WQX Org ID (If your organization has never had a STORET Org ID, then you will just create a new WQX Org ID)
For previous WebSIM users, the STORET team will automatically place new WQX Organization IDs in to WQX Web, and users will be able to begin submitting data under these new IDs. For example, if your ORG ID for WebSIM was "NLAKEORG", your new WQX Web ID will be "NLAKEORG_WQX", and you will begin submitting data under this new ID. Please note if you are a previous WebSIM user when requesting a new WQX Web account.
In order to set up a WQX Org ID, please contact the STORET help desk by email (email@example.com). You will choose a WQX Org ID, and we will ask that you provide us with the following information in order to set up the Org ID:
- WQX Org ID of your choice (can be up to 30 characters long)
- WQX Organization Name
- Your contact information as outlined above
- Step 2: Register in CDX Web
After you have sent a request to the STORET Helpdesk for a WQX Web account and a WQX Organization ID, you will receive a message from STORET confirming your request. This message will include information regarding setting up your account within CDX Web, including information about your user name. All user names for CDX Web must follow the convention: firstnamelastname (example "michaeljones"). So when you set up your account with CDX Web, you must follow this convention.
After the confirmation from STORET, you will also receive a message from CDX Web, providing you with directions on accessing the Customer Retrieval Key (CRK) that is mandatory for registering in CDX Web.
Once you have used your CRK to register, you will be able to set up your user account and have access to the WQX Web application.
- Step 3: Log into CDX Web and confirm access to WQX Web
Log into EPA's CDX Web (https://cdx.epa.gov/). You'll want to confirm that you can log into the tool before submitting data.
Example Data Files
WQX Web V 2.0 Tutorials and Example Data Files (ZIP)(1 pg, 10 MB)
The folder has step by step tutorial documents, sample data files, and a sample template to provide training to new users. The tutorials may be used for assistance in submitting a users' own data via WQX Web all the way to the STORET Warehouse, or may be used within the WQX Web demo mode (a training mode). Please email the STORET Team if you would like to use WQX Web in its demo mode for training purposes.
Webinars and Tutorials
WQX Web Video Webinars - 2015
Learn More about STORET and WQX
- EPA Interoperable Watersheds Network: Continuously Monitored, Environmental Sensor Data
In 2016, EPA performed an E-Enterprise sensors demonstration project to pilot how to share continuously monitored, environmental sensor data. The Interoperable Watersheds Network was tested in two watersheds; the Little Miami River Watershed in Ohio and the Hackensack-Passaic watershed in New Jersey. In 2017, EPA released CURRENTSExit, the user interface developed using open standards for sharing sensored data. For more information about the project, visit our lessons learned document.
- EPA Interoperable Watersheds Network: Continuously Monitored, Environmental Sensor Data
- STOrage and RETrieval/Water Quality Exchange Useful Internet Links
- STOrage and RETrieval and Water Quality Exchange List Server
- Ambient Water Quality Monitoring System
- Exchange Network Grant Program
- Water Resources - What You Can Do
- Biological Assessment
- Monitoring, Assessment and Reporting Guidelines
- Support for Data Owners
- EPA Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool (NPDAT)