Publications—Open-File Report 98–394
By GREGORY E. GRANATO, U.S. Geological Survey; FRED G. BANK, and PATRICIA A. CAZENAS, Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98–394
Prepared in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration. A Contribution to the National Highway Runoff Data and Methodology Synthesis.
This report is available in Portable Document Format (PDF):
OFR 98–394 (176 KB) – 25 pages
The Federal Highway Administration and
State transportation agencies have the responsibility
of determining and minimizing the effects of
highway runoff on water quality; therefore, they
have been conducting an extensive program of
water–quality monitoring and research during the
last 25 years. The objectives and monitoring goals
of highway runoff studies have been diverse,
because the highway community must address
many different questions about the characteristics
and impacts of highway runoff. The Federal
Highway Administration must establish that available
data and procedures that are used to assess
and predict pollutant loadings and impacts from
highway stormwater runoff are valid, current, and
This report examines criteria for evaluating water–quality data and resultant interpretations. The criteria used to determine if data are valid (useful for intended purposes), current, and technically supportable are derived from published materials from the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Intergovernmental Task Force on Monitoring Water Quality, the U.S. Geological Survey and from technical experts throughout the U.S. Geological Survey.
Water–quality data that are documented to be meaningful, representative, complete, precise, accurate, comparable, and admissible as legal evidence will meet the scientific, engineering, and regulatory needs of highway agencies. Documentation of basic information, such as compatible monitoring objectives and program design features; metadata (when, where, and how data were collected as well as who collected and analyzed the data); ancillary information (explanatory variables and study-site characteristics); and legal requirements are needed to evaluate data. Documentation of sufficient quality–assurance and quality–control information to establish the quality and uncertainty in the data and interpretations also are needed to determine the comparability and utility of data sets for intended uses. The fact that a program's data may not meet screening criteria for a national synthesis does not mean that the data are not useful for meeting that program's objectives or that they could not be used for water–quality studies with different objectives.
Purpose and Scope
Data Quality Objectives
Basic Information Requirements
Monitoring Objectives and Program Design
Quality Assurance and Quality Control
This report is available online in Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader, it is available for free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.
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Granato, G.E., Bank, F.G., and Cazenas, P.A., 1998, Data Quality Objectives and Criteria for Basic Information, Acceptable Uncertainty, and Quality–Assurance and Quality–Control Documentation: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98–394.
For additional information write to:
USGS Massachusetts–Rhode Island Water Science Center
10 Bearfoot Road
Northborough, MA 01532
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