A Water Quality eXchange (“WQX”) Nutrient Best Practices Guide (“Guide”) has been issued.

The Guide was created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) in collaboration with the United States Geological Survey (“USGS”) and WQX state partners.

The Guide is stated to have been created to:

. . . guide organizations in submitting nutrient data to WQX and to address other metadata issues with data to support the submission of nutrient information.

The secondary purposes of the Guide include:

  • Make submitting nutrient datasets more user-friendly
  • Promote consistency when submitting data
  • Remove confusion and ambiguity for secondary data users

A WQX nutrient QA Workgroup is comprised of representatives from EPA, USGS and a number of states. The nutrient Q Workgroup addressed what it describes as “six areas of concerns” in regards to documenting nutrient data “to improve its value for secondary users.” These areas of concern include:

  • Duplicate monitoring locations
  • Addressing duplicate or ambiguous nutrient characteristic names (synonyms) in WQX
  • How to correctly use the WQX elements “method of speciation” and “sample fraction”
  • Correctly submitting values above or below detection limits
  • National analytical methods
  • How to submit a complete and unambiguous result

A copy of the Guide can be downloaded here.