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Water Quality Data (WQX)

STORET Decommission

The STORET Warehouse was decommissioned on June 29, 2018.  WQX, the mechanism for publishing monitoring data, has remained unchanged and data will continue to be available through the Water Quality Portal. The STORET Dashboard will be temporarily unavailable, starting June 29th.  An alternative application with similar functionality will be deployed within a few months. Please email: wqx@epa.gov if you have questions.

Basic Information

Water quality monitoring is a crucial aspect to protecting water resources. Under the Clean Water Act, state, tribal and federal agencies monitor lakes, streams, rivers and other types of water bodies to determine water quality condition. The data generated from these monitoring activities help water resource managers know where pollution problems exist, where to focus pollution control energies and where progress has been made.

  • The Water Quality Exchange (WQX) is the mechanism for data partners to submit water monitoring data to EPA.
  • Water Quality Portal (WQP) is the mechanism for anyone, including the public, to retrieve water monitoring data from EPA.

The Water Quality Portal is the nation's largest source for water quality monitoring data. The Water Quality Portal (WQP) uses the  Water Quality Exchange (WQX) data format to share over 340 million water quality data records data from 400 federal, state, tribal and other partners.

Water Quality Data Download

Water quality data submitted from over 400 federal, state and tribal agencies, watershed organizations and other groups are available to support your water quality analyses. Water quality data includes physical, chemical, biological, habitat, metrics and indexes data. Data can be retrieved from the following sources:


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 over 300 million water result records from EPA STORET, the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Sustaining the Earth's Watersheds, Agricultural Research Data System (STEWARDS).

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Legacy Data

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 the ftp site:  ftp://ftp.epa.gov/storet/exports/

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Water Quality Data Upload with WQX

There are two options for you to share your data using WQX. You can choose a standard web-based application (WQX Web) that uses Microsoft Excel spreadsheets or you can choose to create a custom submission application using WQX XML schema through Exchange Network Nodes or Node Clients.  The best approach for your organization depends on in house technical expertise, data volume and resources. The WQX Web application requires less technical expertise and manual steps to upload. Custom WQX XML submission applications can be more efficient for organizations with larger databases and a need for automated submissions.


WQX Web - Resources for a Standard Upload

What is WQX Web and how does it work?
WQX Web is an online tool for EPA data partners to upload and share data with EPA and the public. WQX Web enables data owners to submit physical, chemical, biological, habitat, index, and metrics data. WQX web relies on the common WQX format and schema.

WQX Web is traditionally a way to submit excel or other text files manually. Now, WQX Web can also be used to automate data submission via REST web services from a local database or application.

How do I gain access to WQX web?
To use WQX web for data submission, you must register with EPA and create a user account.

  • For users who are already registered, you can access WQX Web directly via  CDX Login page.
  • To register for WQX web and CDX, follow the steps outlined on the WQX Web Account Registration page.
  • WQX Web Registration and Submission Videos -  Coming Soon

How do I prepare my data for submission to WQX Web
The interface allows you to create Import Configurations that WQX web uses to translate your data files into WQX format and enables you to upload your file. Data is formatted into rows and columns that contain the information or metadata supporting the data result, including: where was it collected, when was it collected, how was it analyzed, and other description fields.

Addressing quality assurance in your data file
Good QAQC ensures that your data can be reused by another user for analysis, as well as safeguarding against misuse. The documents below will help you improve the quality of your data.

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Exchange Network - Resources for a Custom Upload

What is the Exchange Network?
Data owners can establish a custom data flow using WQX XML schema and share their water quality data via the Exchange Network.

How do I prepare my data for submission?
Data owners may find the template and domain value services helpful when preparing their data sets.

  • Download the Data Exchange Template (excel file).
  • WQX Domain Values tables provide data elements to assist data owners and users in conforming to a consistent nomenclature and can be queried to determine the EPA-supplied values.

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Learn More


General Information

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Tools

  • Water Quality Portal Data Discovery Tool - Allows advanced users to find, filter, view, and analyze water data.
  • E-Enterprise Tribal Roadmap for WQX Submissions(1 pg, 547 K)   - Excel based tool to guide tribes to document and share their water quality monitoring data
  • WQX Excel Analysis Tool(1 pg, 606 K)   - Excel based tool originally developed to help tribes determine if their data qualifies for tribal measure SP-14b. The tool pulls data directly from the Water Quality Portal and can be used by any organization to determine where basic water quality exceedance occur. 

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Training Videos

  • WQX Web Videos - Coming Soon  

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User Community

  • User Call - The WQX Team hosts a call on the 4th Thursday of each month, from 12-1 EST, to inform the user community of recent updates and answer user questions.  You can view the monthly user call notes at:  Monthly Conference Call Notes
  • List Serve - To be notified of user calls and water data updates, sign up for our List serve by sending a blank email to subscribe-storetinfo@lists.epa.gov. To unsubscribe, send another blank email to unsubscribe-storetinfo@lists.epa.gov.
  • Help Desk Support - The user help desk is available for any WQX and Water Quality Portal related issues or questions. To access the help desk, please contact us at: 1-800-424-9067 or wqx@epa.gov.
  • Regional Coordinators - EPA Regional Staff who are knowledgable on WQX 
  • User-Created Tools and Applications - List of third-party tools and applications developed by members of the WQX user community

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Funding

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