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California Integrated Water Quality System Project (CIWQS)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This list includes questions that:

  • Were asked during analysis and design sessions during the eSMR User Group meetings.
  • Were asked during other outreach and training events throughout California.

What is eSMR2?
eSMR2 is a module of the California Integrated Water Quality System that allow dischargers to electronically submit self-monitoring reports.

Are we required to use the system?
Dischargers with permits issued since approximately 2006 are required to submit to CIWQS when asked to do so by the Water Board. See Attachment E, Section XI.B.1 of your permit.

Once requested by the State or Regional Water Board, failure to submit eSMRs to CIWQS is a violation of section 13383(a) of the California Water Code (Code (“…a regional board may establish monitoring, inspection, entry, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements,…”).

Will I continue submitting paper Self-monitoring Reports to the Regional Board?, After a period of submitting both paper reports and electronic reports, the Regional Board will issue a letter specifying that reports only be submitted electronically, discontinuing paper submittals. Generally, this letter is sent after three successful electronic submissions.  A successful submission is defined as an electronic submission that matches the paper submitted equivalent.

Will I continue submitting paper Discharge Monitoring Reports to the State Board/USEPA?
Yes, you must continue submitting paper DMRs; however, the eSMR User Group is working on a project that will eliminate this requirement. See the eSMR User Group webpage for more information on this project.

What do I do with the QA data and chain of custody forms from my laboratory?
Upload electronic versions of lab sheets and other supporting data in the Attachments tab. Use a meaningful name or file description for the file(s) so your case manager can easily determine what the file contains.

Do I submit data and information other than effluent data through eSMR too?
Receiving water monitoring and influent water monitoring should be entered as data points, unless otherwise specified by your Regional Board case manager. Pretreatment, biosolids, and other special reports should be uploaded on the Attachment tab of an eSMR.

Does the system know my reporting requirements?
No.  The system does not know the parameters you are supposed to report during the reporting period or the numeric limits for each parameter.  The system only knows the reporting frequency required by your permit.

Does the system check for compliance with my permit?
No, the system does not provide compliance checking of the submitted data because the system does not know the requirements of your permit.  The system allows the discharger the opportunity to self-determine reporting violations and enter them into the system.

Does the system create violations?
No. The system allows the discharger the opportunity to report self-determined violations into the system.

Does the system automatically calculate averages?
No. The discharger is responsible for reporting the calculated data.

If a sample goes bad, how do I report it?
You should report it in your cover letter.

What if my facility doesn’t have a fancy Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)?
You may use the Permitee Entry Template (PET). The PET will allow you to enter your data in a user-friendly format (Excel) and then export a CIWQS Data File (CDF) to upload into eSMR2.
If your facility has a LIMS, you can export your data into the CDF format and upload into eSMR2.

No one at my facility has been notified about using eSMR. Is there something that I’m supposed to do?
If your contact information has changed for your facility in the past year, please contact the Regional Board to get this updated. The contact person will be contacted and invited to training when training is available in your region. You may also review the relevant material on the CIWQS NPDES pages to get a better understanding of how the system works.

Can I edit data after “certifying and submitting” a report?
You can contact your case manager and requesting the report get “withdrawn,” which makes the report editable again.

Can I practice using the system?
Sure.  A test version of the application is located at http://water24.waterboards.ca.gov/ciwqs_test.  Use User ID “sdischarger”, Password “Password1”.  Send any comments via our webform at http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/ciwqs/ciwqs_tracking.shtml.

Who do I call if I need help with the system?
If you have any questions on your permit requirements or reporting, please contact your Regional Board case manager.

If you forgot your password or need help navigating the system, please email the CIWQS Help Center or phone 866-79-CIWQS (24977).