Quality assurance (QA) is “the integrated program for assuring the reliability and quality of environmental data.” (from Ecology Executive Policy 1-21)
The caliber of water quality data is important for:
- analyzing a water body;
- evaluating the quality assurance (QA) principles of a water quality study; or
- submitting water quality data to Ecology.
The quality of the data determines how useful and usable they are. As we clean up Washington’s waters Ecology strives to obtain the best data, at the lowest cost.
In 2004, Washington State enacted a law entitled the Water Quality Data Act. It relates to collecting and using water quality data. The law requires that the data used in certain water quality activities meet its credible data principles. The law further requires that Ecology develop a policy regarding the use and collection of water quality data. The three main goals of the policy are:
- to explain how data is used to inform decisions about water quality and water quality improvement projects,
- to describe criteria to establish data credibility, and
- to recommend appropriate training and experience for data collection.
Credible Data Policy (PDF)
This website lists Ecology’s Water Quality Program (WQP) data policies and procedures. They help to improve the quality of the data used in Washington’s water quality improvement projects. Also presented here are the quality assurance methods that EAP employs. Organizations and individuals can use some of these documents if they wish to submit data to Ecology for consideration in water quality decisions.
Links to QA Policies, Procedures, Guidelines | Related Information
The WQP encourages citizens to participate in gathering data to assess the quality of Washington’s waters. Occasionally, grants are available to help fund those efforts. Schools and educators also develop curriculum based on water sampling, testing, and data management. One example is the Chehalis Basin Education Consortium.
Contact us for more information
Back to top of page
Copyright © Washington State Department of Ecology. See http://www.ecy.wa.gov/copyright.htm