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STOrage and RETrieval and Water Quality eXchange

Portal Data Flow

This flowchart illustrates the flow of data described in the paragraph above.

Basic Information about STORET and WQX

Water quality monitoring is a crucial aspect to protecting water resources. State, Tribal and Federal agencies must monitor lakes, streams, rivers and other types of water bodies to assist them in determining water quality condition. From these monitoring activities, water quality monitoring data is generated. Without this data, water resource managers cannot know where pollution problems exist, where we need to focus our pollution control energies or where we've made progress.

Water Quality Data Download

Water quality data is available in three locations, according to when it was originally supplied to EPA and when it was originally archived. The more current database is the STORET Data Warehouse, and the older database which contains pre-1999 data is the STORET Legacy Data Center (LDC for short). Users can query the Water Quality Portal which contains all data from STORET and USGS National Water Information System (NWIS). In addition, STORET provides automated data calls via web services and links to other user tools and applications.

On this tab:

The STORET Data Warehouse

All data supplied to EPA since January 1, 1999 have been placed in the STORET Data Warehouse.

  • Biological Results
  • Habitat Results
  • Physical/Chemical Results
  • Metrics
  • Indices

The STORET Data Warehouse is currently receiving new data on a regular basis, including data being submitted via Water Quality Exchange (WQX) and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Downloads performed for the same sites may differ over time as a result of the addition of new data by their owners.

The STORET Data Warehouse is EPA's repository of the water quality monitoring data collected by water resource management groups across the country. These organizations, including states, tribes, watershed groups, other federal agencies, volunteer groups and universities, submit data to the STORET Warehouse in order to make their data publically accessible. Data can then be re-used for analysis. 

Download STORET Data

(For assistance please contact the STORET helpdesk)

Data in the STORET Warehouse are of documented quality, meaning that a certain level of metadata, including where, how, why, when and what was monitored must be included with all data submissions. Each sampling result in the STORET Warehouse is accompanied by information on:

  • where the sample was taken such as:
    • latitude
    • longitude
    • state
    • county
    • Hydrologic Unit Code
    • a brief site identification
  • when the sample was gathered
  • the medium sampled (e.g., water, sediment, fish tissue)
  • the name of the organization that sponsored the monitoring

In addition, the STORET Warehouse 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
  • the personnel responsible for the data

Please visit the STORET/ WQX concepts page to learn more about the vocabulary used in the system to describe water quality monitoring samples.

The EPA does not change or filter incoming data. This means that when pulling data out of the Warehouse, users must be aware that they are responsible for screening the data for their use.

Specific examples of the types of data that the STORET Data Warehouse contains include:

  • Chemical parameter measurements made in the field or lab
  • Physical parameter measurements such as water temperature or pH
  • Biological sampling results
  • Habitat assessments or observations

Data in the STORET Warehouse can be accessed through the web, either through the STORET Warehouse query application or through more automated web services.

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The STORET Legacy Data Center

The LDC (Legacy Data Center) contains historical water quality data dating back to the early part of the 20th century and collected up to the end of 1998. Data is no longer being placed in the Legacy Data Center, but the public can still access data from it, either from flat files, or query tools. Please visit the LDC page for more information or to download data.

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Water Quality Portal

The Water Quality Portal (WQP) is a cooperative service sponsored by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC). It serves data collected by over 400 state, federal, tribal and local agencies.

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STORET Warehouse Web Services

Substance Registry Search

Substance Registry Services (SRS) is the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) central system for information about substances that are tracked or regulated by EPA or other sources. It is the authoritative resource for basic information about chemicals, biological organisms and other substances of interest to EPA and its state and tribal partners. The SRS makes it possible to identify which EPA data systems, environmental statutes, or other sources have information about a substance and which synonym is used by that system or statute. It becomes possible therefore to map substance data across EPA programs regardless of synonym.

  • WQX/WQX Web Domain Values Services

    ** Updated Daily **: WQX Domain Values are referenced for data submission (mapping STORET/WQX standards)
    A zip file containing the WQX domain values / List as zipped XML documents.
    This output of the WQX domain values is cached files with a nightly refresh cycle.

    View the WQX Web Domain Values Services (SOAP)

  • STORET/WQX & STORET-National Water Information System (NWIS) Web Services

    STORET now provides a suite of web services which provide direct access to data in the STORET Warehouse.

    Please Read the BETA Version and Disclaimer

    The STORET Result Service have been revised as of March 3, 2010. Revisions to the STORET Result Web Service include additional schema elements in the Result Measure section of the outbound schema. See service description below for more information.

    The following list describes the most current web services available and each service's endpoint and output schema. The service endpoints provide the WSDL (Web Service Definition Language) for each service as well as the different operations and web methods each service supports. The output schemas are a machine readable formal definition of the schemas that each service will return as output. Please refer to the revised STORET Web Services Consumption User Guide for a full description of the services, including the required input parameters, as well as examples of how to consume them from other applications. Please note this document is draft and may be changed as the services are further tested and used.

    Example Tool

    This Web Service Data Browser (ZIP)(1 pg, 304 K) allows users to interact dynamically with the STORET web services. When opening the tool in Excel, make sure to enable macros in order for the tool to function.

  • STORET Web Services

    Watershed Summary Web Service

    The Watershed Summary Web Service provides summary information for the types of data (Organizations with data, number of stations, result counts by characteristic type, etc) available within a given watershed (8-digit HUC).

    *The Watershed Summary Tool is an example of an application that uses the Watershed Summary Web Service.

    Station Catalog Web Service

    The Station Catalog Web Service provides station summary information such as station name, period of record and result counts by characteristic type.

    *The Watershed Summary Tool is an example of an application that uses the Station Catalog Web Service.

    Project Catalog Web Service

    The Project Catalog Web Service provides project summary information such as the period of record, characteristics monitored and station names.

    Station Web Service

    The Station Web Service provides information for all monitoring locations within a given geographic area (geographic bounding box).

    *Please Note: The Station Web Service has been revised (as of February 8, 2008) into multiple web methods that provide enhanced data return. These new methods allow users to quickly pull station locations for mapping, return station counts for a given geographic area, or obtain detailed station information if desired.

    STORET Result Web Service

    The STORET Result Web Service provides direct access to STORET results.

    *Please Note: The Result Web Service has been revised (as of March 3, 2010) to provide additional data elements in the outbound schema, as requested by users. Additional data elements include: Result Measure Qualifier Code and Activity Start Time. The service also returns all data element tags within the Result Measure block even if results are not present. Per previous versions of the services, results can be requested via latitude/longitude parameters, or by the type of characteristic a user is searching for.
    Please note that to ensure good scalability and availability, the result output returned by the Web Service is configured to be restricted by a maximum number of results (20,000). If the number of results requested exceeds the maximum limit, then the web method will notify the end user to narrow down the search criteria in order to reduce the number of results requested. Please refer to the STORET Web Services Consumption User Guide(641 K) for a full description of the STORET Result Web Service.

  • National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC) Water

    National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC) Water Quality Portal (WQP) Mini Portal

    The NWQMC Water Quality Portal provides a form for submitting parameters to the outbound web services via SOAP and RESTLike service calls to download Staions (Site) and Results Data.

    *Please Note: The NWQMC Water Quality Portal web service is still in beta testing stage, so results may not be provided for both agencies.

    National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC) Water Quality Portal (WQP) Web Service

    The Water Quality Portal (WQP) is a cooperative service sponsored by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Water Quality Monitoring Council.

    Technical Documentation

  • Spatial Web Service: ArcGIS mapping services for STORET

    The STORET mapping service provides three end points. One mapping service provides access to the raw data in the warehouse (non-indexed - aka no reach/measure) and the other two mapping services provide access to the indexed data stored in WATERS/RAD with the release of NHDPlus v2.1 which is based on a snapshot of data in the warehouse at a particular point in time.

    Geospatial Data Downloads

    • State and Watershed Geospatial Data
    • National Geospatial Datasets
    • ATTAINS Program
    • Impaired Waters with TMDLs
    • BEACH Program
    • Water Quality Standards Program
    • 303(c) Water Quality Standards

    Geospatial data for EPA’s Office of Water Programs, including 303(d) Impaired Waters, 305(b) Assessed Waters and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) are available for download by state or watershed, as well as at a national extent. Generally, state-level geospatial data represents the most recent data submitted to EPA by states. EPA provides WATERS geospatial data in a variety of formats including Geographical Information Systems (GIS) compatible shapefiles and geodatabases, as well as both vector and raster keyhole markup language (KML) and KMZ files for viewing WATERS data in Google Earth.

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User-Created Tools and Applications

View links to and descriptions of tools and applications created by users of STORET and WQX.

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Beta testing software is a great way to experience and help shape the development of new software programs. It often gives you access to tools you may need months before they are available to the general public, and it gives you a way to influence the development of that software by having direct access to the developers during the creation process.

This is your opportunity to try some great new software and to help shape the development of that software. With this opportunity, however, comes some responsibilities.

First, you must remember that this software is under development. The software is stable, but there is the possibility that not all functionality is in tact and that it may even crash. We don't think so, but that is where we need your input, ideas and the diversity of your experience and equipment.

The software is provided "as is". Each beta software package is fully functional. The software accesses the production STORET Warehouse and data submissions.

STORET helpdesk may provide you with support services related to the Software ("Support Services") in the form of email support through the list serve associated with that software. Any supplemental software code provided to you as part of the Support Services will be considered part of the Software and subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

With respect to technical information you provide to STORET helpdesk in connection with the Support Services, STORET helpdesk may use such information for its business purposes, including for product support and development.

Water Quality Data Upload with WQX


Getting started with WQX Web

Water quality data can be uploaded using WQX. WQX is a common format for sharing water quality data of physical, chemical, biological, habitat, metric and index results. Data can be shared over the Exchange Network using an automated WQX XML file or a more manual Microsoft Excel based WQX Web file format.

WQX Web is accessed through CDX Web. Users of WQX Web will always log in to CDX Web in order to access WQX Web.

For users already signed up, here are quick directions for accessing WQX Web now:

  • Go to CDX Login page
  • Log on to CDX Web
  • Once logged on, click the WQX Web link to access the tool

How to sign up to use WQX Web

The WQX Web Registration presentation can be referred to understand the process of WQX Web sign up.

  • Step 1: Request a WQX Web account and an WQX Organization ID

    To begin the process of setting up your WQX Web account, please provide the following information in an email to the STORET Team (storet@epa.gov).

    • First name
    • Middle name
    • Last Name
    • Prefix (Mr./Mrs./Ms)
    • WQX Organization ID (see below for more information about WQX Organization IDs)
    • WQX Organization Name
    • Mailing Address 1
    • Mailing Address 2
    • City
    • State
    • Zip/Postal Code
    • E-mail Address
    • Phone Number

    WQX Organization IDs

    All Organizations submitting data through WQX Web will require a new WQX Organization ID that is unique from any previous STORET Org IDs. This ensures that users do not duplicate data already within an Organization in the STORET Warehouse when submitting data through WQX Web. EPA will work with users to assign new Org IDs. Options for new WQX Org ID's include:

    • Same Org ID as what is in STORET (if applicable) with "_WQX" at the end
    • Completely new WQX Org ID (If your organization has never had a STORET Org ID, then you will just create a new WQX Org ID)

    For previous WebSIM users, the STORET team will automatically place new WQX Organization IDs in to WQX Web, and users will be able to begin submitting data under these new IDs. For example, if your ORG ID for WebSIM was "NLAKEORG", your new WQX Web ID will be "NLAKEORG_WQX", and you will begin submitting data under this new ID. Please note if you are a previous WebSIM user when requesting a new WQX Web account.

    In order to set up a WQX Org ID, please contact the STORET help desk by email (storet@epa.gov). You will choose a WQX Org ID, and we will ask that you provide us with the following information in order to set up the Org ID:

    • WQX Org ID of your choice (can be up to 30 characters long)
    • WQX Organization Name
    • Your contact information as outlined above
  • Step 2: Register in CDX Web

    After you have sent a request to the STORET Helpdesk for a WQX Web account and a WQX Organization ID, you will receive a message from STORET confirming your request. This message will include information regarding setting up your account within CDX Web, including information about your user name. All user names for CDX Web must follow the convention: firstnamelastname (example "michaeljones"). So when you set up your account with CDX Web, you must follow this convention.

    After the confirmation from STORET, you will also receive a message from CDX Web, providing you with directions on accessing the Customer Retrieval Key (CRK) that is mandatory for registering in CDX Web.

    Once you have used your CRK to register, you will be able to set up your user account and have access to the WQX Web application.

  • Step 3: Log into CDX Web and confirm access to WQX Web

    Log into EPA's CDX Web (https://cdx.epa.gov/). You'll want to confirm that you can log into the tool before submitting data.

Example Data Files

WQX Web V 2.0 Tutorials and Example Data Files (ZIP)(1 pg, 10 MB)

The folder has step by step tutorial documents, sample data files, and a sample template to provide training to new users. The tutorials may be used for assistance in submitting a users' own data via WQX Web all the way to the STORET Warehouse, or may be used within the WQX Web demo mode (a training mode). Please email the STORET Team if you would like to use WQX Web in its demo mode for training purposes.

Webinars and Tutorials

WQX Web Video Webinars - 2015