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United States Environmental Protection Agency
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains two data management systems containing water quality information for the nation's waters: the Legacy Data Center (LDC), and STORET. The LDC is a static, archived database and STORET is an operational system actively being populated with water quality data.

The LDC contains historical water quality data dating back to the early part of the 20th century and collected up to the end of 1998. STORET contains data collected beginning in 1999, along with older data that has been properly documented and migrated from the LDC. Both systems contain raw biological, chemical, and physical data on surface and ground water collected by federal, state and local agencies, Indian Tribes, volunteer groups, academics, and others. All 50 States, territories, and jurisdictions of the U.S. are represented in these systems.

Each sampling result in the LDC and in STORET is accompanied by information on where the sample was taken (latitude, longitude, state, county, Hydrologic Unit Code and a brief site identification), when the sample was gathered, the medium sampled (e.g., water, sediment, fish tissue), and the name of the organization that sponsored the monitoring. In addition, STORET contains information on why the data were gathered; sampling and analytical methods used; the laboratory used to analyze the samples; the quality control checks used when sampling, handling the samples, and analyzing the data; and the personnel responsible for the data. The main database concepts of STORET follow the business of water quality monitoring.

Both the LDC and STORET are web-enabled and available to the public. With a standard web browser, you can browse both systems interactively or create files to be downloaded to your computer. If you want to query and download data from the LDC or STORET, go to Obtaining Water Quality Data from any of the STORET web pages.

Monitoring organizations who wish to submit data to STORET must operate the STORET System locally. The local STORET System is a data management system with data entry and reporting software modules that operate on personal computers. Please see the STORET Architecture diagram to understand how data is transferred from local organizations to the national STORET Warehouse. If you are interested in using STORET as your water quality data repository, EPA will provide you with the STORET System free of charge.

The minimum hardware requirements for STORET v2.0 are:

  • Pentium II 200 MHz or equivalent processor
  • 128 MB RAM
  • CD-ROM drive
  • 300 MB free hard disk space (software only installation)
  • 2 GB free hard disk space (software and database installation)

The minimum software requirements are:

  • Windows 98/NT/2000/XP
  • STORET System v2.0 CD-ROM
  • Oracle Connection:
    • Database on Workstation - Personal Oracle v8.1.7
      - or -
    • Database on Server - Oracle Server v8.1.7 or higher

To receive a free copy of STORET, call 1-800-424-9067 or send an email to


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