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Open-File Report 2006-1275

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Quality-Assurance Plan for Water-Quality Activities of the U.S. Geological Survey Montana Water Science Center

Compiled by John H. Lambing

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In accordance with guidelines set forth by the Office of Water Quality in the Water Resources Discipline of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a quality-assurance plan has been created for use by the USGS Montana Water Science Center in conducting water-quality activities. This quality-assurance plan documents the standards, policies, and procedures used by the USGS Montana Water Science Center for activities related to the collection, processing, storage, analysis, and publication of water-quality data. The policies and procedures presented in this quality-assurance plan for water-quality activities complement the quality-assurance plans for surface-water and ground-water activities and suspended-sediment analysis.



1.0 Introduction

1.1 Purpose and Scope

2.0 Organization and Responsibilities

2.1 Organizational Chart

2.2 Responsibilities

2.3 References for the Organization and Responsibilities Section

3.0 Project Planning

3.1 Project Proposals

3.2 Project Workplans

3.3 Project Reviews

3.3.1 Review Schedules

3.3.2 Review Documentation

3.4 References for the Project Planning Section

4.0 Water-Quality Analytical Laboratories

4.1 Selection and Use of an Analytical Laboratory

4.1.1 Selection

4.1.2 Requirements for Use

4.2 Analytical Laboratories Used by the U. S. Geological Survey Montana Water
Science Center

4.3 Documentation for Laboratories Used by the U.S. Geological Survey Montana
Water Science Center

4.3.1 National Water Quality Laboratory

4.3.2 Outside Analytical Laboratories

4.4 References for the Water-Quality Analytical Laboratories Section

5.0 U.S. Geological Survey Montana Water Science Center Water-Quality and Sediment Laboratory, Field Service Units, and Water-Quality Field Vehicles

5.1 Water-Quality and Sediment Laboratory and Field Service Units

5.1.1 Facilities Water-Quality and Sediment Laboratory Field Service Units

5.1.2 Procedures

5.1.3 Equipment and Supplies

5.2 Water-Quality Field Vehicles

5.3 References for the U.S. Geological Survey Montana Water Science Center Water-Quality and Sediment Laboratory, Field Service Units, and Water-Quality Field Vehicles Section

6.0 Water-Quality Instruments

6.1 Field Meters

6.2 Continuous Monitors

6.3 Calibration and Maintenance of Water-Quality Instruments

6.4 References for the Water-Quality Instruments Section

7.0 Site Selection and Documentation

7.1 Site Selection

7.1.1 Surface Water

7.1.2 Ground Water

7.1.3 Other Sites

7.2 Site Documentation

7.2.1 Surface Water

7.2.2 Ground Water

7.2.3 Other Sites

7.3 References for the Site-Selection and Documentation Section

8.0 Sample Collection and Processing

8.1 Water-Quality Samples

8.1.1 Preparation for Sampling

8.1.2 Field Measurements

8.1.3 Cleaning of Sampling and Processing Equipment

8.1.4 Surface-Water Sampling Equipment Selection Sample Collection

8.1.5 Ground-Water Sampling Equipment Selection Sample Collection

8.1.6 Precipitation Sampling

8.1.7 Sample Processing Sample Compositing and Splitting Sample Filtration Sample Preservation

8.2 Other Types of Samples Related to Water Quality

8.2.1 Biological Samples

8.2.2 Sediment Samples

8.3 Quality-Control Samples

8.4 Safety Issues

8.5 References for the Sample Collection and Processing Section

9.0 Water-Quality Sample Handling and Tracking

9.1 Onsite Sample Handling and Documentation

9.2 Sample Shipment and Documentation

9.3 Sample Tracking Procedures

9.4 Chain-of-Custody Procedures for Samples

9.5 References for the Water-Quality Sample Handling and Tracking Section

10.0 Water-Quality Data Management

10.1 Processing Data

10.1.1 Analytical Data

10.1.2 Continuous-Monitor Data

10.1.3 Non-National Water Information System Databases

10.2 Data Review

10.2.1 Analytical Data

10.2.2 Continuous-Monitor Data

10.3 Data Storage

10.4 Records Archival

10.5 References for the Water-Quality Data Management Section

11.0 Publication of Water-Quality Data

11.1 Data Reports

11.2 Interpretive Reports

11.3 Other Data Outlets

11.4 References for the Publication of Water-Quality Data Section

12.0 Water-Quality Training and Reviews

12.1 Training

12.2 Reviews

13.0 Bibliography

13.1 References

13.2 Publicly Accessible Internal Documents

For additional information contact:
Director, Montana Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
3162 Bozeman Avenue
Helena, Montana 59601
Telephone: 1-406-457-5900
World Wide Web:
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