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Publications—Open-File Report 98–636

Principles and Practices for Quality Assurance and Quality Control

By Berwyn E. Jones

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98–636

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 98–636 (163 KB)  – 31 pages


Quality assurance and quality control are vital parts of highway runoff water-quality monitoring projects. To be effective, project quality assurance must address all aspects of the project, including project management responsibilities and resources, data quality objectives, sampling and analysis plans, data-collection protocols, data quality-control plans, data-assessment procedures and requirements, and project outputs. Quality control ensures that the data quality objectives are achieved as planned. The historical development and current state of the art of quality assurance and quality control concepts described in this report can be applied to evaluation of data from prior projects.




Purpose and scope

Terms used to describe quality and their application to water-quality monitoring


Development and evolution of environmental quality assurance

The quality management plan and related activities

The project quality assurance/quality control plan and related activities

Project planning

Project management

Data quality objectives

Data collection plan

Quality-control plan

Data collection


Field measurement

Sampling and sample handling

Analysis of samples

Data management

Data assessment

Data validation

Data quality assessment

Quality Audits

Management accountability




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.

Document Accessibility: Adobe Systems Incorporated has information about PDFs and the visually impaired. This information provides tools to help make PDF files accessible. These tools convert Adobe PDF documents into HTML or ASCII text, which then can be read by a number of common screen-reading programs that synthesize text as audible speech. In addition, an accessible version of Acrobat Reader 8.0 for Windows (English only), which contains support for screen readers, is available. These tools and the accessible reader may be obtained free from Adobe at Adobe Access.

Suggested Citation:
Jones, B.E., 1999, Principles and Practices for Quality Assurance and Quality Control: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 98-636, 17 p.

For additional information write to:

USGS Massachusetts–Rhode Island Water Science Center
10 Bearfoot Road
Northborough, MA 01532

or visit our Web site at:

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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Last modified: Wednesday, 07-Dec-2016 16:49:45 EST
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