Considerations for Incorporating Quality Control Into Water Quality Sampling Strategies for the U.S. Geological Survey

Open-File Report 2020-1109



This report describes considerations for incorporating routine quality-assessment and quality-control evaluations into U.S. Geological Survey discrete water-sampling programs and projects. U.S. Geological Survey water-data science in 2020 is characterized by robustness, external reproducibility, collaborative large-volume data analysis, and efficient delivery of water-quality data. Confidence in data, or robustness, can be increased by supplementing traditional field-based quality-control data with laboratory quality control (QC) data, such as third-party blind spikes and blind blanks, laboratory blanks, and laboratory-reagent spikes. Laboratory quality-control data can provide additional information about bias and variability, method performance, and false-positive and false-negative rates that are not available from field QC data alone. Reproducibility is supported by means of standardizing metadata and documentation. Collaborative analysis brings together disparate elements of various types of quality-control review and communicates persistent data quality issues for compounds to data users internal and external to the U.S. Geological Survey. Efficient delivery of water-quality data is achieved when quality-control review is accomplished in the same expedited (near real-time) time frame as distribution of environmental results to the public and might be improved with consideration given to data versioning or to a system of alerting data users to data interpretation that might differ from originally published data.

Suggested Citation

Medalie, L., 2020, Considerations for incorporating quality control into water quality sampling strategies for the U.S. Geological Survey: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1109, 5 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Considerations for Incorporating QA/QC Into Discrete Water-Quality Sampling at the U.S. Geological Survey
  • Summary
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Considerations for incorporating quality control into water quality sampling strategies for the U.S. Geological Survey
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2020-1109
DOI 10.3133/ofr20201109
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) New England Water Science Center
Description iii, 5 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details