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STORET/WQX: WQX Transition

Transitioning from STORET

Transitioning from STORET to WQX entails a variety of issues that will affect different organizations in different ways. Transitioning away from using the distributed STORET tools is one aspect of moving towards using WQX. Another issue is handling data that is already in the STORET Warehouse once STORET data exports (Oracle dump files) are no longer accepted and WQX becomes the primary means of submitting data to EPA. The purpose of this page is to provide a general discussion of both of these issues:

Transitioning from Distributed STORET Transitioning STORET data to WQX

Transitioning from Distributed STORET

Support for the current distributed STORET database will scale down by late 2009. This means that EPA will no longer be updating and maintaining the STORET tools that currently exist. This includes the STORET Data Entry Module, STORET Reports Module, and STORET Import Module (SIM). EPA will continue to support receiving data via STORET export (Oracle dump) files through the end of 2009.

Organizations use the distributed STORET database in different ways. Some organizations use distributed STORET as their primary means of managing water quality data. Others use different systems to manage data, and then use STORET purely for submitting data to EPA. Smaller organizations may not run STORET locally, but rely on outside parties to host STORET to which these smaller organizations supply data through WebSIM.

Primary STORET Users

The group of STORET users that utilize the distributed STORET system as their primary database are most affected by EPA's decision to no longer support the tools and software that make up the distributed STORET system. Thus, it is important that over the next 2-3 years, these organizations begin to plan what type of system will replace distributed STORET.

The following transition strategies should be implemented within the next year:

  1. Pick an option for replacing STORET. EPA can assist states and other organizations by providing examples of what non-STORET states are developing and using for their water quality data management systems. Contact the STORET Team for more information: storet@epa.gov.

  2. Begin identifying state requirements for a state maintained database.

  3. Identify resources for developing and maintaining a state database. EPA Office of Environmental Information (OEI) awards Exchange Network grants on an annual basis to assist states, tribes and territories in building capacity for involvement on the Exchange Network. This includes funding for developing infrastructure, building data exchange tools, and partnering with other states and organizations for effective data sharing. For more information about these grants, please visit the Exchange Network Grants website Exit EPA Disclaimer.

The following transition strategies should be implemented within the next two years:

  1. Begin development on replacement system.

  2. Continue to compare your system against the WQX schema to make sure you can support the core data elements required for submitting data using WQX.

  3. Map data system to the WQX schema. For materials that will assist you with this process, please refer to the WQX Implementation Resources and Downloads page.

  4. Work with your state's IT staff (those responsible for maintaining your state's Exchange Network node) to set-up your data system to be able to send data to EPA via your organization's operational Exchange Network node.

Coordination with state IT staff for publishing Water Quality data via an operational Exchange Network node is very important, and should be an ongoing activity as an organization is preparing to flow data through WQX.

Small Organizations

Smaller organizations such as tribes or smaller watershed groups may currently not run STORET locally, but rather, use WebSIM to upload STORET data to the STORET Warehouse. EPA is planning to put in place two main mechanisms to assist smaller organizations with uploading data to the STORET Warehouse. With these mechanisms in place, WQX will not create a major burden for small organizations; in fact, these organizations will experience a relatively seamless transition to WQX.

National WebSIM

National WebSIM is a temporarily available tool that allows Tribal users to submit data to the National STORET Data Warehouse. National WebSIM is accessable using the EPA Portal. The National WebSIM page includes information about how to sign up to begin using National WebSIM. Beginning in late 2008, users will be able to submit data to the National STORET Data Warehouse using the future planned WQX Web Submission tool (described below) which will be similar to WebSIM, but will fully utilize the WQX framework.

Future WQX Web Submission Tool

EPA plans to develop a web based tool that will allow small organizations (such as tribes and volunteer monitoring groups) to create a WQX-compliant XML file from a flat file (i.e. Excel Spreadsheet). This tool will allow users who are not a part of the Exchange Network, or who are unable to create XML, to still submit data to the STORET Warehouse. This tool will function much like WebSIM and walk the user through creating an XML file from a formatted flat file for submittal to the STORET Warehouse. A template much like the current STORET Template will be available to assist tribes in formatting data prior to utilizing the tool. The final web submission tool is scheduled for completion in September 2008.

Transitioning STORET data to WQX

As Organizations begin to submit data through WQX, there are many considerations for transitioning and handling data that was previously submitted using the STORET system. Please refer to the paper entitled "Transitioning STORET data to WQX" (PDF 61KB) for a discussion and steps for dealing with already published STORET data once WQX becomes the primary means of submitting and changing data in the STORET Warehouse.

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the Adobe PDF files on this page. See EPA's PDF page for more information about getting and using the free Acrobat Reader.

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