WQX Web:  A  Tool for Sharing Your Water
                         Quality Data

                         Water Quality Exchange (WQX) Web is a newly-developed internet tool that allows
                         organizations to share their data nationally with others
Background

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working to improve the ease with which organizations large and
small can store their water quality monitoring data in a national warehouse of water information. Once data are stored in this
National STORET Data Warehouse, they are accessible to scientists, government policy makers, and the public.
  The National STORET Data
  Warehouse is a repository for water
  quality monitoring data collected by
  federal agencies, states and territories,
  tribes, volunteer monitoring
  organizations, and universities. It
  contains over 70 million records of
  water quality  data from across
  jurisdictional  boundaries.  Data in the
  Warehouse are used by many agencies
  and scientists in water quality
  reporting, research, and decision
  making through tools such as mapping
  applications, water quality models or
  statistical  software, and automated
  services. Overall, sharing data
  nationally opens up opportunities for
  data access, reuse of data, and
  improved data quality.
                                       WQX Web is a newly-developed internet tool that allows any organization with
                                       a connection to the web to share its data nationally with others.  It works with
                                       EPA's Water Quality Exchange (WQX) framework (the successor to the
                                       STORET data system) to handle a complete suite of water quality monitoring
                                       data (physical, chemical, biological and habitat) that are used to determine the
                                       condition of waters.

                                       Many groups across the country manage their water quality monitoring data
                                       using software tools such as Microsoft Excel or Access. WQX Web is designed
                                       to accept output from these types of applications for submittal to the National
                                       STORET Data Warehouse.

                                       Benefits of Using WQX Web

                                       There are a number of reasons why smaller organizations should consider using
                                       WQX Web. WQX Web allows you to share your organization's data with other
                                       groups, policy makers, scientists, and the public.  It makes it possible for your
                                       data to be visible, accessible, and usable in the National STORET Data
                                       Warehouse alongside data from state, interstate, and federal agencies, tribes,
                                       universities, and volunteer water monitoring organizations. WQX Web relieves
you of the need to build special tools to create and submit your files - it translates and submits your files for you.

Having your data in the National STORET Data Warehouse offers an additional bonus: your data will remain publicly
available even if your data managers leave your organization or data management technology evolves in new directions.
WQX Web also provides a standard template that helps you organize your data using a software tool of your choice, such as
Microsoft Excel.

Using WQX Web

System Requirements

WQX Web is free to use and has only a few basic system requirements:

       Internet access and a Web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 (IE7 or higher) or Firefox
       Pop-up blockers turned off for this site
       A WQX Web account and a Central Data Exchange (CDX) Web account. CDX is EPA's portal through which all
       environmental data is expected to flow

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WQX Web Functionality

The main functions of WQX Web are to:

       Create WQX-compatible XML files from simple text files that
       are created from a group's local data management system, such
       as Microsoft Excel or Access
       Allow you, as the data submitter, to define import
       configurations to specify the format of your data, assign default
       values, and translate data to match WQX domain values
       Submit data via WQX to the National STORET Data Warehouse

Error Handling

WQX Web validates all submissions against a defined set of data rules
within WQX. It provides access to validation and processing reports so
you can troubleshoot errors. If errors are present, users either manually
fix the original data and re-import it, or, in certain cases, use WQX Web
functionality to individually address errors. For example, upon import,
WQX Web allows you to easily add a translation to your data.

WQX Web Template

EPA has developed a WQX Web template in Microsoft Excel to help
you put your data in a WQX Web-compatible format.  The template has
one spreadsheet for entering data and another that describes what fields
are mandatory or optional. The template also includes the "allowable
values" lists for the types of information you must include in order for
the data to be successfully submitted to the STORET Data Warehouse.
The WQX Web template is available at
htto://www.epa.gov/storet/wqxweb  downloads.html.
Some Definitions...

XML is an internet standard for sharing and
viewing data on the internet. When a file is in
XML format, it can be sent over the internet
for placement in a database, or it can be used
for vie wing.

Text files are simple files containing data in
plain text format separated by tabs or other
delimiting characters.  Text files can usually be
opened in tools such as Notepad or Wordpad,
and can be created from any spreadsheet or
database software.

Import configurations are definitions of what
data looks like in a file that a user is going to
submit.  Import configurations tell WQX Web
what your data looks like so that it can import
it in and submit it via WQX.

Domain values are standardized names that
must be used for certain elements that are
reported in the National STORET Data
Warehouse. For example, the list of chemical
names that WQX uses is part of a domain
value list.  STORET Data Warehouse and
WQX domain values are the same. Sometimes
domain values are also referred to as
"allowable values".










Create text file of your data using
the WQX Web template, or other
spreadsheet or database tools
JL
Teach WQX Web to read and
translate the text file by creating ar
import qoofjauration
n
Import Data into WQX Web,
correct validation errors
i  i
n
=xport Data through CDX, correct
any other errors
Jl
Data gets updated to the
STORET Warehouse weekly



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                                     At left: Steps for Submitting Data Using
                                     WQX Web: A set of steps bridges the gap
                                     from your internal database to the National
                                     STORET Data Warehouse
                                          Web Resources and Additional Information

                                          More information about using WQX Web is located at
                                          http://www.epa.gov/storet/wqx.html .  There you will find information on
                                          setting up and using the WQX Web tool, including a WQX Web tutorial.
                                          For additional assistance, you can also contact the WQX/STORET team at
                                          storetigiepa.gov or 1-800-424-9067.
                                          USEPA Office of Water
                  EPA 841-F-07-002

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