Can't understand a word in one of the pages?
Use the links below to jump to the word and its definition.
Advanced Query: The no-frills method of
getting a report. This lists all the searchable criteria on one page and is
designed for users who know about or have used STORET before.
Agency: In the new
Legacy Data Center, this is referred to as an Organization.
Agency Code: In
the new Legacy Data Center, this is referred to as an Organization
Agency Name: In
the new Legacy Data Center, this is referred to as an Organization
Ambient Measurement: A measurement of the
concentration of a substance or pollutant within the immediate environs of an organism;
taken to relate it to the amount of possible exposure.
Ambient Medium: Material surrounding or
contacting an organism (e.g., outdoor air, indoor air, water, or soil) through which
chemicals or pollutants can reach the organism.
Aquifer: An underground geological
formation, or group of formations, containing water. They are sources of groundwater for
wells and springs. The LDC contains valid, historic aquifer codes and names as
determined by the U.S. Geological Survey. The table can be downloaded from the Reference Tables Page.
Beginning Date: The
term used in the query process to denote the earliest date the Sample
Start Date may be in order for the sample to be included in the report.
BIOS: BIOlogical System.
Similar to STORET, it stores biological data for the EPA.
Characteristic: The new STORET version of the
legacy STORET parameter code system. Characteristic is connected to the Parameter
when available. Both tables are available for downloading from the Reference Tables Page.
Composite/Grab Number: A numeric value
representing the total number of grab samples in a composite sample.
Composite Sample: A series of water samples
taken over a given period of time and weighted by flow rate.
The method by which a composite of two or more samples is created. The entire reference table can be see
Statistics (e.g. average, maximum, minimum) and performance types (e.g., accuracy,
precision) that STORET may store for a (non-effluent) composite of several grabs. The
entire reference table can be see here.
Contact: Information regarding the
registered owner of a station, sample, and result information. This is available through
either our Contacts Query or the entire Contacts information reference table.
Effluent: Wastewater--treated or
untreated--that flows out of a treatment plant, sewer, or industrial outfall. Generally
refers to wastes discharged into surface waters.
Effluent Monitoring Code: The code taken
from the Effluent Monitoring Intent table.
Effluent Monitoring Intent: A reference
table which is used to segregate data collected from different monitoring activities, but
which were conducted under the same agency code. The NPDES program has gathered a
considerable amount of effluent data through its permit application forms, including data
on 126 priority toxic pollutants, which were provided on the NPDES application form 2C.
Access to the the Form 2C data stored in STORET is recommended via parameter code 84093,
which identifies those stations that have form 2C data stored. The entire reference table
can be see here.
Effluent Statistic: A reference table
containing effluent statistic types. When the primary activity category for a sample is
Effluent Permit Condition or Effluent Sample, an effluent statistic type may be present
for a sample/parameter/result combination. The entire reference table can be see here.
End Time: The composite sample end time
based on a 24 hour clock.
Ending Date: The
term used in the query process to denote the maximum date the sample
start date may be in order for the sample to be included in the report.
EPA: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
EPA Major Basin Code: The code representing
archaic EPA major basin developed as a part of a drainage area delineation scheme.
EPA Minor Basin Code: The code representing
archaic EPA minor basin developed as a part of a drainage area delineation scheme.
FIPS: Federal Information Processing Standards.
(See Hydrologic Unit Codes.)
First Date Recorded:
In the Aggregate Data Summary, it is the oldest Sample Start Date
for the specified parameter.
HUC: Hydrologic Unit Code
Hydrologic Unit Code: The
code used to identify the hydrologic unit of the station based on FIPS. The
entire reference table can be downloaded from the Reference
Hydrologic Unit Region:
The first two digits in the Hydrologic Unit Code, this divides the country into twenty-one
regions. Visit the USGS Homepage to learn more about
Hydrologic Unit Regions.
Last Date Recorded: In
the Aggregate Data Summary, it is either the most recent Sample End
Date for the specified parameter or if no end dates are specified (meaning none of the
samples were continuous), it is the most recent Sample Start Date.
Latitude: The angular
distance North or South of the earth's equator along a meridian of LDC: The STORET Legacy Data Center
Legacy Data Center: See the Purpose Page for a detailed description.
Legacy STORET Level: Legacy STORET breakdown
of station type qualifiers into six levels. Each has a table that can be viewed
from the Reference Tables Page.
Legacy STORET Station Type: The text code
that preserves the encoded legacy station type field. It can be decoded to determine the
legacy station type codes.
Longitude: The angular
distance East or West of the prime meridian at Greenwich, England.
Migration: The movement of the data from the
old version of STORET to the new Legacy Data Center.
Miles Up Reach: This value is used to
identify the station location by indicating the number of miles up the reach.
Old EPA Basin Code: A concatenation of the
two digit EPA Major Basin Code, the two digit EPA Minor Basin Code, and the two digit Sub
On/Off Reach: Flag indicating if station is
on an indexed search.
Organization: The owner of
the station, sample, and result information. See Agency.
Organization Code: The
eight digit code identifying the organization responsible for the data. It identifies the
owner of the data and is used to provide authorization for updating or deleting data for
specific organizations. Organization codes were user defined prior to 1977. Since 1977,
they have been assigned by the STORET system manager. The combination of an organization
code and a station identifier uniquely identifies a site. See Agency
Organization Name: Name
identifying the organization responsible for the data. It identifies the owner of the data
and is used to provide authorization for updating or deleting data for specific agencies.
See Agency Name.
Output Format: Reports can be created in
three different formats depending on the user's choice.
- HTML: This type of report will load up
directly into the browser and can be saved in .htm format for later viewing within the
browser. This report type is the fastest to download, but is not as easy to read as a PDF.
- PDF: This type of report requires Adobe
Acrobat Reader, available from the Adobe Homepage. This
report will either open automatically or need a confirmation depending on the browser's
preferences. PDF documents format the contents much better than HTML and are easier to
manage, but they are slower to download.
- TXT: This type of report will load up
directly into the browser and should be saved to the hard drive for viewing in a spreadsheet.
The file is comma delimited, so any spreadsheet application (such as Excel) can separate the columns
easily. It is important to import all of the columns as text, so that leading zeros are not dropped from number
like the HUC.
Parameter: A reference table containing the
legacy STORET parameter codes and names, and where appropriate, reference to the Characteristic used in new STORET to
identify the "thing" being measured. The entire list of parameters can be
downloaded from the Reference Tables Page.
Parameter Code: Numeric
code identifying a STORET parameter. Legacy STORET parameter codes also have non-result
usage. Example of non-result parameter codes include: sample qualifiers, result
qualifiers, lab descriptors, people descriptors, and location descriptors.
Parameter Group: A reference table
containing valid codes and names of STORET parameter groups. The entire table can been
Parameter Name (Short or
Long): The name used to identify the parameter. Parameters have one long name and
three short names.
Pipe ID: Pipe identifier for an effluent
Primary Activity Category: A reference table
containing codes used to define a sample type and categories based on the media number in
legacy STORET. The entire table can be viewed here.
Primary Secondary Combo: System generated
unique identifier for an assignment between a Primary and Secondary Activity Category.
Replicate Number: BIOS sample replicate
Report Type: There
are three different types of reports you can receive.
- Station Description Report: This contains
information pertaining only to the stations included in the query. No sample or result
information is reported, but may still limit the stations that appear in the report.
- Summary Data Report: This report contains
basic station information as well as the number of results and the date range for
each available parameter. Station information is repeated on every page that
contains data pertaining to it.
- Detailed Data Report: This is the raw result
information for each station and parameter included in the search. Station header
information, as well as sample header information, appears on every page that contains
result data pertaining to them. Parameter codes, result values, and remark codes are the
main focus of this report.
Reporting Units: A reference table that
contains a list of codes representing the measurement scale that accompanies a numeric
value (e.g., degrees Centigrade, mg/l). The entire table can be viewed here.
Result: Data value for
a sample result or a code representing an observation (e.g., WMO codes). Result values can
be numeric or alphanumeric values. Non-detects are remarked values in the legacy system.
Result Remark: A
single character code and definition used to further quantify a result.
RF1 Reach Segment: The reach segment portion
of the reach index system.
Sample: Information about a monitoring
activity (e.g., ambient samples, measurements, observations, QC samples). Monitoring
activities are performed at a specific date, time, and location in order to characterize
Sample Depth: The
depth, relative to the water surface, at which a sample was taken.
Sample End Date: The
date a composite sample ended. Not present if a grab sample or UMK present.
Sample Media Analysis Type: A reference
table containing analysis types used to describe a parameter code (e.g., filter fraction,
weight basis). The entire table can be viewed here.
Sample Start Date:
The date on which a grab sample was taken or the start date of a composite sample.
Sample Type: The method used to collect the
sample. A sample can either be continuous (C), grab (G), or neither of the two (B).
Secondary Activity Category: A reference
table containing codes used to define a sample type. The secondary activity code is based
on the media code in STORET.
Species Name: Name used to describe the
species of a sample in legacy STORET.
Simple Query: Any one of the processes that limit
step-by-step in limiting the amount of data which will appear in the report. The
three types are the State/County Query, the Hydrologic Unit Code Query, or the Canadian Query.
Start Time: The time which a grab sample was
taken or the start time of the composite based on a 24-hour clock.
Station: The recorded location where
monitoring activities occur.
Station Alias: User-assigned alternative
identifiers for stations in legacy STORET as captured in the Agency Station File (ASF).
One station may have up to three aliases.
Station Depth: The usual or typical depth of
water at the station measured in feet.
Station ID: The code
used by the legacy system to denote the primary station identifier.
Station Name: The
text which was originally used to describe the location. It may contain the Major and
Minor Basin names but can also contain other information such as addresses.
Station Type Indicator
Description: The type of water the station tests (Surface Water, Ground Water, or
Store Date: The date the data was entered
into the STORET system.
STORET: Storage and Retrieval
of Water-Related Data. See the Purpose Page for more
Sub Basin Code: Code representing the user
defined sub basin developed as a part of a drainage area delineation scheme.
Tissue Name: Name used to describe the
tissue of a sample in legacy STORET.
UMK: User Multi-purpose Key. This free text
is not present if End Date is not null.
USGS: United States Geological Service
USGS Field Lab Code: Indicates where the
measurement was made (i.e., in the field or in the lab) as defined by the USGS.