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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, and STORET.

The Legacy Data Center, or 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., along with portions of Canada and Mexico, 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 LDC and STORET are web-enabled. With a standard web browser, you can browse both systems interactively or create files to be downloaded to your computer. If you want to browse or download data from the LDC or STORET, click on "Obtaining Water Quality Data" on the main STORET homepage.

If you are interested in using STORET as your water quality data repository, you will need the following minimum hardware requirements:

  • Pentium 75 MHz or equivalent processor (166 MHz or higher is recommended)
  • 32 Meg RAM
  • 3.5" diskette drive
  • 4x speed CD-ROM drive
  • 100 MEG free hard disk space (software only installation)
  • 300 MEG free hard disk space (software and database installation)
  • Display: VGA 640 x 480 min (800 x 600/256 or 1024 x 768/256 color also supported)
  • Microsoft mouse or compatible pointing device

The minimum software requirements are:

  • Windows 95/98 or Windows NT v4.0
  • STORET Production v1.1 CD-ROM
  • Oracle Connection:
    • Database on Workstation - Personal Oracle v7.3.3 or v7.3.4
      - or -
    • Database on Server - Oracle Server v7.3 or higher (Oracle 8.x OK)

For a more detailed description of STORET, click on the Database Description or Database Architecture buttons to your left.

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


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