Lab-to-State Frequently Asked Questions


  • Will submittal of LCR data through LTS be mandatory or optional?
  • There is planning in the works to require the use of LTS in the near future, laboratories are encouraged to get onboard so that the transition will be smoother. As of right now, LTS is an optional service that laboratories can use to send data directly to SDWIS.

  • The presentation mentioned other states are using something similar. Is this structure migrating towards a national EPA database, or only usable in California?
  • Yes, the structure is Lab-To-State Portal will help California transition smoothly into the federal SDWIS Prime.

  • What are the approved methods for laboratories to perform lead and copper analyses?
  • What are the approved methods for laboratories to perform lead and copper analyses? ELAP-accredited laboratories may utilize any of the following test methods:

    SM 3113 BXX
    EPA 200.8XX
    EPA 200.9XX
    EPA 200.5XX
    EPA 200.7 X
    SM 3120 B X


  • How will the sample locations be identified since the sampling point is a generic “LCR”?
  • There is a field (number 33 on the structure set) called Collection Address. This field accommodates 200 characters so descriptors in addition to the street address provided by the water system should be included.

  • It seems that the record sequencing takes this way beyond the scope of setting this up as a simple export from our LIMS. Is there a reason for this submittal structure?
  • Records need to be uniquely identified for Lab-To-State. This is a requirement of the structure set that we cannot change.  Labs that were involved in our initial pilot were able to produce files from their LIMS that met this requirement.  Our recommendation is to contact your LIMS provider to see if this functionality can be added to your specific application. 

  • Can laboratories upload more than one file at one time?
  • No, only one file can be uploaded at a time. However, that file can contain as many sample and result records that you wish to report.

  • How will the LCR data entered through LTS be associated to an LCR monitoring period?
  • The LCR data uploaded through LTS will be associated the correct monitoring period based on the generic LCR sampling point and the water system number provided in the file from the laboratory.

  • Is there a section to add the calculations (i.e. 90th percentile) or would the laboratories only be entering the actual lead and copper values without these statistics?
  • Laboratories will only be providing individual results.  SDWIS will calculate the 90th% after the end of the monitoring period.

  • Will the laboratories have to log in to SDWIS to set up our own monitoring schedules?
  • No, the monitoring schedules will be determined and set up by the Districts, LPAs or the SDWIS Unit.

  • Why can't SDWIS use CASNUM instead of Analyte Codes?
  • The requirement to use Analyte Codes in SDWIS was established by EPA.

  • Are DDW District Offices able to access the LTS Portal?
  • No, only accredited laboratories can access the LTS portal.

Other Laboratory Data Submittal Methods

  • Will using this portal affect my other water quality submittals?
  • Not at all. This project will not affect the lead data that you may be submitting for schools, nor does it affect the current process you may be using for submitting existing data to WQM.  It only pertains to lead and copper data that is submitted for the LCR.

  • Can we use the Write-On application?
  • The Write-On application will not work for generating files in the correct format and we do not plan to create a new application at this time to replace Write-On as we transition to the use of LTS.

  • Are laboratories able to submit lead results from lead in schools sampling through this portal?
  • No, lead sampling for schools will not be submitted through LTS. Laboratories will continue to submit those results through the existing process.

Quality Assurance

  • How quickly will the state approve the lab results? Will it be instantaneous?
  • The State will develop a quality assurance procedure in order to ensure the quality of the laboratory results. The process will not be instantaneous. Once finished processing, the State will migrate the data into SDWIS and Drinking Water Watch.

  • Is there a QA/QC process to prevent the lead sampling data from schools being submitted through LTS Portal?
  • The LTS structure is not compatible with the lead sampling in CA schools structure set. There will be errors that will indicate the incorrect submittal.

  • Will there be any notification to the Districts/LPAs on any action level (AL) exceedance?
  • This has been identified as a business need and various options are under consideration.  Modified DWW may become the mechanism for Districts to review their data for AL exceedances.

  • Will there be a log available if an error is encountered during submission to help us troubleshoot what kind of errors occurred?
  • Yes, under the tab View Report on the left side, the errors and descriptions will be displayed in different reports.