Welcome to the State Water Resources Control Board Welcome to the California Environmental Protection Agency
Governor's Website Visit the Water Board Members Page
My Water Quality
Performance Report
Electronic Submittal of Information (ESI)

Electronic Submittal of Information (ESI) - Frequently Asked Questions

Uploading of Data and Reports

6.1 Uploading Data - Summary of steps to upload data to a site

In summary, in order to upload data and reports into the Geotacker and to view previously uploaded submittals:

  • Set up an account in GeoTracker
  • Log-On and get upload access to your site/facility(s) in GeoTracker
  • Have your data/report prepared in the right format
  • Add your Field Point Names (FPNs)
  • Recommended: Error check your data files using the "Check EDD" TOOL
  • Upload your data and reports, no specific order (note: submittals become available to the regulator 48-hours after upload)
  • If you want, save or print the "SUCCESS" (successful upload confirmation) page
  • To view previously uploaded submittals: under "View Submittals," click on "By Facility", then on the facility's name to display the full list of uploaded submittals for that Global ID. Click on a title to view a submittal. Click on the "CONF NUM" (confirmation number) to view the "SUCCESS" (successful upload confirmation) page again. As long as an uploaded submittal is still "Pending" review by the lead regulator, you can delete it by clicking on "Delete Submittal"
  • You can use the same Geotracker account to upload to multiple Global IDs as long as they are listed in your "Associated Facilities"

For additional information, go to the public ESI webpage (http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/ust/electronic_submittal/index.shtml) and in the “ESI Overview” section see “Roles and Responsibilities (Who's Involved?)” and “What Data Needs to be Reported.” In the “Getting Started” section, see “Beginner’s Guide.”

6.2 What is an “EDF”?

“EDF”(Electronic Deliverable Format) is a comprehensive data standard designed to facilitate the transfer of electronic data files between data producers and data users. The GeoTracker “EDF” is specific to analytical laboratory data.

6.3 How do I create, check, and upload an EDF?

EDF files are normally created by the Laboratory, not by the RP or consultant, but are normally uploaded by the RP or consultant, not by the Laboratory. For information about the formatting and structure of EDF files, see the section “Technical Information on Uploading Data” on our ESI webpage http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/ust/electronic_submittal/index.shtml.

IMPORTANT: Laboratories should always perform an online error check of an EDF before delivering the EDF to their client.

To check an EDF, at upper left under “TOOLS”, click on “Check EDD”, then on “EDF.” There are two types of EDF check available: a limited check (the default) intended for Laboratories who normally do not have upload access to the Global ID, and a complete check for those who have upload access to the Global ID:

Limited (Laboratory) check: Since Laboratories do not normally have upload access to Global IDs, the default EDF checker settings do not check the Global ID and Field Point Names in the EDF. “Browse...” to the location of the EDF zip file and click on “Check File.”

Complete check: Users who have upload access to the Global ID can perform a complete check (i.e. check Global ID and Field Point Names as well). Click inside the two check boxes on the checker to place checkmarks in them and then “Browse...” to the EDF zip file’s location and click on “Check File.” If a “Global ID access not found” or “Field Point Name (LOCID): is invalid” error occurs, you can verify the EDF is properly formatted except for the Global ID and/or Field Point Name(s) by performing the limited (Laboratory) version of check described above. Note: if the “USE GLOBAL_ID FROM EDF UPLOAD FILE” checkbox already has a checkmark in it and is clicked on again, a list of all of your “Associated Facilities” will appear and you can manually select the correct Global ID by clicking on that Global ID’s “FACILITY NAME.” The checker will then use the Global ID for the site you selected instead of the one in the EDF.

To upload an EDF, at upper left under “TOOLS,” click on “Upload EDD,” then click on “EDF.” Enter the “UPLOAD TITLE” and select the appropriate “REPORT TYPE” from the drop down list. Note: the UPLOAD TITLE and REPORT TYPE should be the same as the written report (GEO_REPORT) that the EDF is associated with. Then “Browse...” to the EDF zip file’s location on your computer and click on “Upload File.” TIP: by default, the Global ID contained in the EDF will be used. By unchecking the “USE GLOBAL_ID FROM EDF UPLOAD FILE” check box, a list of your “Associated Facilities” will be displayed and you can manually select the correct Global ID by clicking on its “FACILITY NAME.”

6.4 Is there a specific name convention for EDF deliverable text files?

The text file names in EDF 1.2i (the current version) have a prefix of “EDF”. There are two formats, “relational” and “flat”. The “relational” format file names are: EDFSAMP.txt, EDFTEST.txt, EDFRES.txt, EDFQC.txt, EDFCL.txt, and optional narrative file EDFNARR.txt. The “flat” format file names are: EDFFLAT.txt, EDFCL.txt , and optional narrative file EDFNARR.txt. EDF 1.2a (the historic, but still acceptable, EDF format) uses a prefix of “NPDL” instead of “EDF” for its text file names.

An EDF's text files are "zipped" (compressed) into a single "zip" file prior to upload.

6.5 Where can I obtain the COELT program?

The COELT (Corps of Engineers Loading Tool) EDF formatting tool can be downloaded for free from enABL, Inc,'s "EDF Help Desk" (http://www.edfdata.com/software.html). COELT is not the recommended method for creating EDFs and laboratories are encouraged to incorporate the Geotracker EDF format into their LIMS software.

6.6 Does vapor sample analytical data have to be included in EDF uploads?

Starting Jan. 1, 2005 all vapor or gas sample analytical data required by the regulatory agency must be uploaded to GeoTracker in EDF format.

6.7 What are GEO_XY, GEO_Z, and GEO_WELL files?

GEO_XY file: Provides sub-meter accuracy horizontal location measurements data for import into the GeoTracker system. Each permanent sampling location's longitude (X) and latitude (Y) should be reported only once for a site unless resurveyed (a "permanent sampling location" is one that is sampled for more than 30 days). The longitude/latitude coordinates should be geographic, decimal degrees to 7 decimal places, NAD83 datum. The GEO XY file is a text file and must always be named "GEO_XY.txt." It must be "ZIPPED" prior to uploading into GeoTracker.

GEO_Z file: Provides top-of-casing elevation measurements data for import into the GeoTracker system. Elevation data should be submitted every time a new survey is performed. The GEO Z file is a text file and must always be named "GEO_Z.txt." It must be "ZIPPED" prior to uploading into GeoTracker.

GEO_WELL file: Provides depth-to-water field measurements data from groundwater wells for import into the GeoTracker system. GEO_WELL data should be submitted after every sampling event. The GEO WELL file is a text file and must always be named "GEO_WELL.txt." It must be "ZIPPED" prior to uploading into GeoTracker.

Note 1: The SWRCB has received a legal opinion from the State of California - State and Consumer Services Agency on behalf of the California Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors as to the use of licensed professionals for collection of GeoTracker XY&Z data.

In summary, the collection of information related to the exact location of groundwater wells, required by Title 23, California Code of Regulations §§2729-2729.1, constitutes "land surveying," as the term is defined in section 8726 of the Business and Profession Code and the collection of data is restricted to those who are licensed to practice land surveying in California. See http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/ust/electronic_submittal/pe_ls_legal.shtml

Note 2: Consumer-grade GPS units do not meet GeoTracker's sub-meter accuracy requirements (less than one meter). You can view an online list of acceptable GPS units by going to our ESI webpage and then:

  • Scroll down to the section "Technical Information on Uploading Data"
  • Click on "Valid Value Lists (VVL) for ESI"
  • Choose "GEO_XY"
  • Choose "GPS_EQUIP_TYPE" from the "Field Name" drop down list
  • Click on "Search for Values"

(Note: you can do the same search while logged onto your secure ESI account, see FAQ 6.15 "How to lookup Valid Values")

The list of approved GPS units will appear. You must use a GPS unit that is either specifically listed or at least its general model series is listed on the "GPS_EQUIP_TYPE" list. If the general model series is listed, enter that valid value for GPS_EQUIP_TYPE and enter the actual unit used in the "XY_SURVEY_DESC" field. If your GPS unit or series is not on the list and you think it meets GeoTracker's accuracy requirements, email your request to the Geotracker Help DeskĀ geotracker@waterboards.ca.gov and include either the manufacturer's specification sheet in electronic format (e.g. Adobe Acrobat) or a web link to the manufacturer's online specifications page. If the specifications meet GeoTracker requirements, we will add a valid value for that GPS unit to the GPS_EQUIP_TYPE list of approved units.

6.8 How do I create and upload GEO_XY, GEO_Z, or GEO_WELL files?

Information about the formatting and structure of GEO files is available in the document "GeoTracker Survey_XYZ, Well Data, and Site Map Guidelines & Restrictions" available in the "Technical Information on Uploading Data" section on our ESI webpage http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/ust/electronic_submittal/index.shtml. Please note that the above document contains some out-of-date links and "valid value" information. Please refer to the FAQs (this document) for up-to-date information on, for example, how to look up valid values. Also in the "Technical Information on Uploading Data" section on our ESI webpage is a link labeled "GeoTracker Survey XYZ Templates (MS Excel)". Click on it to display the web page that provides the templates. Note: this guidance document does not cover the formatting guidelines for uploading Non-Surveyed Field Points. These instructions can be found on the “Uploading a Non-Surveyed GEO_XY File” page of your ESI account and in the “ESI Guide for Responsible Parties (Revised 10/30/2019)”.

To prevent receiving the common error message "incorrect number of fields," the delimited text file MUST contain a delimiter for EACH field, whether or not it contains data. Section 4.2.1 in "GeoTracker Survey_XYZ, Well Data, and Site Map Guidelines & Restrictions" addresses this issue. The following three italicized paragraphs provide a summary of how to avoid"incorrect number of fields" errors:

If creating the text file directly in a text editor such as notepad, be sure to place one delimiter before each field except the first one, even for fields being left blank.

If using a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel and you are leaving the last field empty, you must enter a "space" (i.e. hit the spacebar once) in each cell in the last field (i.e. column) before saving as a "text (tab delimited)( .txt)" file. This will ensure that Excel places delimiters for all fields in the text file. Do not enter a space in blank fields to the left of the last field. Also, be sure to delete the top row containing the column names before saving as a delimited text file, or, if you have already saved it to a text file, delete the top row containing the column names from your text file.

Apple computer users: If you are using Microsoft Excel for Mac, save your Excel worksheet as "Windows text" instead of "Text (Tab delimited(*.txt)".

In fields that require valid values, you can look up valid values online. See FAQ 6.15 "How to lookup Valid Values" for general instructions on how to look up valid values. For specific instructions on looking up GPS_EQUIP_UNIT valid values, see "Note 2" in FAQ 6.7.

Before uploading your GEO text file, you must "zip" it. To upload the "zipped" GEO file, log in to GeoTracker, choose "Upload EDD," and then choose the type of GEO file that you are uploading (TIP: you can error check your file by clicking on "Check EDD").

6.9 What is a GEO MAP file

The GEO_MAP file is an electronic image of the generalized site plan map. Although the electronic version of the written report (GEO_REPORT) usually contains a site map, you still need to upload a stand-alone version of the site map as a GEO_MAP submittal. The GEO_MAP file can also be created by electronically scanning a paper copy of the site map.

The GEO_MAP should display locations of existing and former underground storage tanks, buildings, dispenser islands, streets bordering the facility, and sampling locations of all ground water wells and soil samples.

The GEO_MAP does not need to contain locations of composite samples (often collected from stockpiles or holding drums).

We don't recommend any specific software program to create a GEO_MAP. The acceptable file formats for the GEO_MAP are: PDF (the preferred format), GIF, TIFF (TIF), or JPEG (JPG).

The GEO_MAP file name can be whatever you want plus the appropriate file-type extension and the file should NOT be "zipped" prior to upload. The title displayed for an uploaded GEO_MAP is not entered by the user and will always be "GEO MAP".

6.10 Can I submit more than one GEO MAP to a site (GLOBAL ID)?

Yes, you may submit multiple maps per site but they must be uploaded separately.

6.11 Do old monitoring wells need to be surveyed?

If a well is still being sampled, it must be surveyed.

6.12 Can I make corrections or additions to an uploaded file?

If your submittal has not been "Received" yet, you can delete it and then resubmit a corrected version. While logged onto your ESI account, on the left under "View Submittals," click on "By Facility." Click on the facility's name to display the complete list of submittals for that Global ID. "Pending" submittals uploaded by you will have a "Delete Submittal" option on the right.

If your submittal has already been "Received", you'll need to contact your Lead Agency Regulator and explain the situation to them. They can retroactively "Deny" a previously "Received" submittal. It is recommended that you provide the regulator with the facility name, address, Global ID, Confirmation Number, submittal title, submittal type, and submittal date. For GEO_XY, GEO_Z, and GEO_WELL submittals, if the corrected version has the same dates as the original version, you will need to wait until the original one has been denied before you can upload the corrected version. For EDFs, GEO_REPORTs, GEO_MAPS, and GEO_BOREs, you do not have to wait for the old one to be denied before uploading the corrected version.

6.13 GEO_BORE: The Bore Log File

The GEO_BORE file is an electronic image of the boring log for import into the GeoTracker system. Each boring log is associated with an individual sampling location where the borehole was drilled. The graphics of a boring log will vary, and may require more or less detail depending on the specific project. The boring log image is to be submitted in PDF format. To submit a GEO_BORE file, select "GEO_BORE" from the "Upload EDD" menu page and follow the instructions. A GEO_BORE file contains the boring log of one FPN and is uploaded to that FPN (i.e. GEO_BORE files cannot be uploaded to multiple FPNs at once). An example boring log is available at: https://geotracker.waterboards.ca.gov/esi/sample/SampleBoringLog.pdf

6.14 GEO_REPORT: The Electronic File of the Complete Report

The GEO_REPORT file is an electronic version (PDF file format) of the complete written report being submitted for regulatory review. (Please note that other types of documents in PDF format can also be uploaded as GEO_REPORT submittals.) Each GEO_REPORT submittal is associated with a "Title," "Report Type," and "Report Date" that are entered/selected during the electronic submission (i.e. upload) process. The complete report should include the signed transmittal sheet, text, graphs, diagrams, tables, maps, figures, and appendices that are (or would have been included) in the hard copy paper report. The regulations adopted on January 1, 2005 required that written reports must be submitted in PDF format as well as in hard copy format. As of July 1, 2005, the requirement that written reports must continue to be submitted in hard copy format is no longer expressly required by Geotracker and is left to the discretion of the lead oversight agency. The electronic GEO_REPORT is intended to replace the need for a paper copy and is expected to be relied upon for all public information requests, regulatory review, and compliance/enforcement activities. The PDF file security settings for your GEO_REPORT should allow viewing and printing of the document.

To upload a GEO_REPORT PDF file, at upper left under TOOLS, click on "Upload EDD", then click on "GEO_REPORT." A list of your "Associated Facilities" will appear. Click on the "Facility Name" you are uploading the report to. Enter the "UPLOAD TITLE" (i.e. the title of the report) and select the appropriate "REPORT TYPE". If the date of your document is not today's date, change the "REPORT DATE" to the actual date of the report. "Browse..." to where your PDF file is located on your computer. Click in the checkbox to the left of 'IS YOUR FILE LESS THAN 400MB IN SIZE?" (your file DOES need to be less than 400 MB - see below if it isn't)

IMPORTANT: The GEO_REPORT PDF file must not exceed the maximum allowable size in order for the file to successfully upload. Properly generated PDF files using current technology should average no more than 100KB per page of report while still retaining acceptable viewing clarity. For example, a 100 page report should be less than 10MB. We suggest that you use the PDF file size reduction tools provided by your PDF-creation software (be sure to retain a copy of your original file just in case your reduced-size PDF results in unacceptable viewing clarity and you need to redo the size-reduction process using different reduction settings).

If you are using the full version of Adobe Acrobat, search Adobe's "Help" for "file size" to find file size reduction instructions for your version of Adobe Acrobat.

Note: If the PDF file size cannot be reduced to less than maximum allowable size limit, please split the PDF file into separate parts (i.e. files), each less than the limit. Each part should begin with the same REPORT TITLE followed by additional text identifying which part it is (Part 1, Part 2, Pt 1, P2, Appendices, Appendix 1, Figures, etc...) and all should have the same REPORT TYPE and REPORT DATE.

6.15 How to lookup Valid Values

Valid Values can be looked up on the public ESI webpage and from a secure ESI account.

Public ESI webpage http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/ust/electronic_submittal/index.shtml
Scroll down to the "Technical Information on Uploading Data" section
Click on "Valid Value Lists (VVL) for ESI"
Click on the type of submittal
From the "FIELD NAME" drop down list, select the field name.
Click on "Search For Values" to view the entire list of valid values for that field name

Secure ESI account
At upper left under TOOLS, click on "VVL Search Tool"
Click on the type of submittal
From the "FIELD NAME" drop down list, select the field name
Click on "Search For Values" to view the entire list of valid values for that field name