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UST Program - GeoTracker - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

UST Program - GeoTracker - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


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

Common upload ERROR messages

REGULATOR-specific Questions

Water Agency (Purveyor)-specific Questions


Who is involved with reporting to GeoTracker and what roles do they play?

Responsible Party (RP)
The Responsible Party (RP) is the owner or the operator of a facility who may be the party legally responsible for cleanup of an unauthorized release or the permittee for an operating site. The RP is legally responsible for submission of compliance data and the authenticity and accuracy of any electronic data submitted by individuals that they have authorized as their agent to have access to their site on the GeoTracker system.
The RP has two primary electronic reporting responsibilities:
1. "Claiming" the sites they are responsible for and submitting electronic compliance data
2. Authorizing secondary access to allow a CONTRACTOR or LABORATORY to submit compliance data on their behalf for an individual site

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Authorized RP Agent
The Authorized RP Agent (Auth_RP) is an individual or organization to whom primary electronic reporting responsibilities for a specific site (GLOBAL ID) have been delegated to by a Responsible Party (RP) who does not have Internet access or does not wish to perform the electronic role of RP. The consultant who acts as an Authorized RP Agent must obtain a username/password as an Authorized RP Agent. This same username/password can be used for all RP clients they may have. Access for upload to a specific site (GLOBAL ID) is granted on a site by site basis. The Authorized RP Agent logs onto GeoTracker and “claims” the site(s) they need to upload to. When a site is claimed, it is added to the Authorized RP Agent’s “Pending Facilities” list. Before the SWRCB grants the Authorized RP Agent full access to the site (i.e. before it is added to their “Associated Facilities” list), the SWRCB must receive via fax or regular mail a fully completed (including the RP’s signature) “Electronic Authorization Form” for each site. You can obtain the form by going to GeoTracker Homepage, scrolling down to the section “Forms”, and then to “Authorization Form”. RPs may revoke this Authorization by signing and faxing or mailing the “Revocation” form which is available next to the Authorization form.

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Contractor
Contractors are often hired by RPs and Authorized RP Agents to collect samples, perform groundwater measurements, survey locations and elevations and/or manage data for their facility or cleanup site. If their client wants them to, a Contractor can also upload data. To do so, the Contractor must first have a GeoTracker username/password as user type Contractor. Since a username/password can be used for multiple clients, the Contractor does not need to obtain more than one username/password. It is important that before attempting to search for and claim a client’s site, a Contractor should first check with their client to verify that they have already claimed the site and are now associated with it. The first reason for doing this is that a Contractor can only find sites that have already been claimed by at least one RP or Authorized RP Agent. The second reason is that even if a Contractor is able to find a site in GeoTracker they must be sure that their client is associated with it (there can be more than one RP and or RP Authorized Agent associated with a site). Otherwise, the Contractor’s request to be associated with it will not get approved since other RPs or Authorized RP Agent won’t be expecting the Contractor to request the site. Once the Contractor has verified their client is associated with the site, they should then log onto GeoTracker and, using “Request Additional Facilities,” search for and claim (Add) the site. They should then let their client know right away so the client can log onto GeoTracker and approve the Contractor’s request (the SWRCB does not approve or deny a Contractor’s request for access).

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Laboratory
The Laboratory is responsible for sample analysis and providing the RP, Authorized RP Agent, or Contractor with both a hard copy report and EDF formatted electronic data. Each laboratory must obtain a unique GeoTracker identifier called a LabCode. This code must be included in all EDF submittals to GeoTracker. The LabCode can be obtained by calling the Arsenault Legg EDF Help Desk at 1-800-506-3887. In some cases, the RP may wish to have the laboratory submit the EDF data directly to GeoTracker. To submit EDFs directly, the laboratory must first apply for a username/password as a Laboratory (if they do not already have one), log onto GeoTracker, and, using “Request Additional Facilities,” search for and claim (“ADD”) the site to their “Associated Facilities” list (see the above instructions for Contractor for more detailed instructions). Their request will be approved or denied by the RP or their Authorized RP Agent for that site. Typically, RPs do not want the laboratory to be responsible for directly uploading the EDFs to the GeoTracker system. Rather, the laboratory will forward the EDF to the RP/Authorized RP Agent/Contractor who will review the files (e.g. to ensure the sample FPNs and site GLOBAL ID are correct) before submission to the GeoTracker system.

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State Water Resources Control Board
The SWRCB is responsible for approving RP and Authorized RP Agent requests for access to sites (GLOBAL IDs). The SWRCB is also responsible for providing guidance to standardize and tools to upload the formatted electronic compliance data.

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Lead Agency Case Worker (Regulator)
The lead agency case worker or their delegate "receives" the electronic data. Normally, they verifying that the hard copy report has been received and that the FPNs in the EDF match the names in hard copy report. Once the data is "received" it is then moved into the GeoTracker archive database and made available to the public

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What is a GeoTracker “USERNAME/PASSWORD” and how do I to get one?

GeoTracker requires a USERNAME and PASSWORD (the username/password pair is sometimes referred to as your “login”) to gain access to the secure portion of GeoTracker in order to claim sites and upload data. If you are an RP, Authorized RP Agent, Contractor, or Laboratory, you can obtain a Username/Password at our webpage. We recommend you first review the “Establishing a Username” demo pages ” for a step-by-step tutorial on how to obtain a Username/Password.

To get to the demo, scroll down our webpage to the section “Getting Started”

  • Click on “Delivering Data to the Internet (online demo)"
  • Choose "Establishing a Username"

Once you have completed the demo:

  • Go back to our webpage
  • Scroll down again to “Getting Started” again
  • Click on “Login or Request a Password.” (This will take you to the GeoTracker LOGIN PAGE)
  • Choose “Password Request.”
  • Fill out the online form, being sure to choose the applicable “User Type.”

Once you have completed and successfully submitted the online form, your Username/Password becomes effective immediately and you will be taken to the "Main Menu" page where you can click on "View/Add Facilities" and then "Request Additional Facilities" to search for and claim a site. You do not have to claim a site on your first visit. The next time you log onto GeoTracker you will be taken directly to the "View/Add Facilities" page.

Users may have more than one username/password (e.g. one as “Contractor” and another as “Authorized RP Agent”), but each username must be unique.

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What is meant by the term “LOGIN”?

The term “LOGIN” refers to the Username/Password pair one uses to log onto the GeoTracker secure website.

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What and where is the “LOGIN PAGE”?

The LOGIN PAGE is the webpage where a user enters their Username/Password to gain access to the secure portion of GeoTracker. It is also where new users can obtain a Username/Password and where users who have forgotten their password can find out what it is. The LOGIN PAGE for all users except Regulators and Water Agencies/Purveyors can be reached by going to our webpage at scrolling down to “Getting Started”, and clicking on “Login or Request a Password.”

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What is a GLOBAL ID?

The GLOBAL ID is the unique GeoTracker identifier for a regulated facility (site). A LUFT site (Leaking Underground Fuel Tank) GLOBAL ID begins with the letter “T” followed by a series of numbers. A UST (Underground Storage Tank) GLOBAL ID is normally shorter than a LUFT GLOBAL ID and normally contains only numbers.

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What is meant by the term “CLAIM” a site (facility, Global ID)?

The term “CLAIM” a site is synonymous with the terms “add” and “request”. Before an RP (or Authorized RP Agent, Contractor, or Laboratory) can upload data to a site (Global ID) they must first “CLAIM” a site and become “ASSOCIATED” with the site.

To “CLAIM” a site, a user logs onto GeoTracker with their username/password and searches for the site using the “Request Additional Facilities” option.

  • If the site is found, the user places a checkmark in the “ADD” box to “CLAIM” the site.
  • If the user is an RP, the SWRCB will grant access after verifying their information.
  • If the user is an Authorized RP Agent, the user must send the SWRCB (via fax or regular mail) a completed “ELECTRONIC SUBMITTAL PASSWORD AUTHORIZATION FORM FOR CREATING CONSULTANTS AS AUTHORIZED RP AGENTS.” This form is available on our webpage.
  • In the section "Forms." Click on "RP Authorized Agent: Authorization Form". The form is available in Adobe Acrobat PDF and Microsoft Word formats.
  • If the user is a Contractor or Laboratory, their request for access must be approved or denied by their RP or AUTHORIZED RP AGENT client (who must have already claimed and become associated with the site).

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I’m a CONTRACTOR (or LABORATORY) and can’t find my client’s site. What do I do?

(The following also applies to “LABORATORY” user type)
A CONTRACTOR user type can only find sites that have already been "claimed" by at least one RP/AUTHORIZED RP AGENT.

  • If you are unable to find a site when logged in to GeoTracker, you can still determine whether or not the site is in GeoTracker by looking it up on the main GeoTracker webpage.
  • If you know the Case Number you can try searching for it using the “Case Finder” tool, and, if successful, you can determine the GLOBAL ID associated with that Case Number by clicking on "Locational Information”.
  • Now that you know that the site is in GeoTracker and you know the Global ID, contact your RP/Authorized RP Agent client and ask them to go online and “claim” the site.
  • Once your client becomes associated with the site, you, as a Contractor, should be able to log onto GeoTracker and find the site using “Request Additional Facilities” and then claim it by placing a checkmark in the “ADD” box.
  • After you’ve claimed the site, contact your client again and ask them to go back online and “Approve” your request (the SWRCB does NOT approve/deny Contractor or Laboratory requests for access).
  • If your “Case Finder” search is unsuccessful, you can try searching for the site address usingthe "Site/Facility Finder" tool, also on the main GeoTracker webpage.
  • When using the “Site/Facility Finder” It often works best to leave the site name empty, enter the street number, enter the core portion of the street name surrounded by asterisks (e.g. "North Court Blvd" would be entered as just "*court*" (without the quotes)), and enter the city (or county if not sure about city).
  • Leave the other boxes blank.
  • Click on “Search”. If your search turns up just one listing for that street address, you’ve probably found the site you need to claim.
  • Click on "Locational Information” to determine the GLOBAL ID. Some site addresses in GeoTracker have more than one GLOBAL ID. Normally, unless you are instructed otherwise by your Lead Regulator, you’ll want to choose the one whose case “Status” is “Open.”
  • If there are more than one “Open” status cases for a particular address, click on “REPORT” for each site in turn and note the Case Number (if present) in the upper right corner.
  • Compare that Case Number to the Case Number referenced in correspondence received from your regulator.
  • If the Case Numbers match, you’ve found your site.
  • Click on “Locational Information” to determine the GLOBAL ID.
  • Now that you know that the site is in GeoTracker and you know the Global ID, contact your RP/Authorized RP Agent client and ask them to go online and “claim” the site.
  • Once your client becomes associated with the site, you, as a Contractor, will be able to logonto GeoTracker and find the site using “Request Additional Facilities” and claim it by placing a checkmark in the “ADD” box.
  • After you’ve claimed the site, contact your client again and ask them to go back online and “Approve” your request (the SWRCB does NOT approve/deny Contractor or Laboratory requests for access).

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What if I find more than one GLOBAL ID listed for the same address? How do I know which one to claim and upload data to?

First, check the “Status” column to see if only one of the GLOBAL IDs is an “open” case. Unless your Lead Regulator instructs otherwise, the “open” case would normally be the one you should claim and upload to.

To alert the regulator that there are multiple Global IDs (i.e. cases) for this site, you can use the "Report Duplicate" utility (instructions are available in "Delivering Data to the Internet (online demo)" on our webpage

If more than one GLOBAL ID has a status of "Open", then you’ll have to perform some additional steps.

  • In addition to contacting your Lead Regulator for clarification as to which one to upload to, you can try looking up the Case Number (the Case Number should be referenced in correspondence you’ve received from the Lead Regulator) using the “Case Finder” tool on the main GeoTracker webpage.
  • If your Case Finder search is successful, you can determine the GLOBAL ID associated with that Case Number by clicking on "Locational Information”. That’s the GLOBAL ID you need to claim.
  • Log onto GeoTracker again with your username/password, choose “Request Additional Facilities,” and this time search for that GLOBAL ID (leave everything else blank). Hint: if nothing is found, be sure you are not entering any letter “O”s instead of zeros and check to make sure there aren’t any blank “spaces” after the Global ID (the cursor should be right up against the last digit).

If your Case Finder search is unsuccessful, you can use the “Site/Facility Finder” tool also located on the main GeoTracker webpage to do an address search.

  • When entering “Site/Facility Finder” search criteria, it often works best to leave the “Business Name” blank,
  • enter the “Street Number,”
  • enter just the core portion of the “Street Name” surrounded by asterisks (e.g. "North Court Blvd" would be entered as "*court*" (without the quotes)), and
  • enter the “City” (or leave “City” blank and
  • enter “County” if you aren’t sure about the “City” or if you want to widen your search).
  • Then search.
  • Your search results should list all cases for that site address.
  • Click on "Report" for each listing in turn and note the Case Number (if present) at upper right;
  • ompare it to the Case Number referenced in correspondence you've received from your Lead Regulator.
  • Once you've found the correct Case Number, you can determine the GLOBAL ID associated with that Case Number by clicking on "Locational Information.”
  • Log onto GeoTracker again with your username/password,
  • choose “Request Additional Facilities,”
  • search for that GLOBAL ID (leave everything else blank) and
  • claim it.

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How do I correct a GLOBAL ID’s facility name in GeoTracker?

For a description of how to do this, go to the "Online RP/Contractor Demo Pages" on our web page and choose "Submitting a Name Change.”

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How do I correct a GLOBAL ID’s site address in GeoTracker?

If the address shown in GeoTracker is incorrect for a site, contact your lead regulator and tell them what needs to be changed. In the future, GeoTracker may add functionality enabling you to make changes yourself.

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Uploading Data - Summary of steps to upload data to a site:
  1. If CONTACTOR, check with RP/Auth RP client to make sure they have already claimed the site.
  2. Obtain a USERNAME/PASSWORD
  3. Claim Site
  4. If CONTRACTOR, notify RP/RP AUTH AGENT client to go online and approve your request for access to the site
  5. If RP AUTH AGENT, be sure to write the GLOBAL ID on the “ELECTRONIC SUBMITTAL PASSWORD AUTHORIZATION FORM”, fill out the rest of the form, have the RP sign it, and fax or mail it ASAP to the address on the form
  6. Upload FIELD POINT NAME list
  7. Check EDDs (online error check). Fix any errors found (EDFs may need to be sent back to the originating Laboratory)
  8. Upload EDDs – There is no specific order required. If you have an EDF ready to go, you can upload it prior to uploading GEO files. Make a record of the confirmation number.

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What is a FIELD POINT NAME (FPN)?

  • The FPN is a unique identifier the RP (or their RP Authorized Agent, Contractor, or Laboratory) assigns to a specific point (location) where measurements or samples are taken, e.g. MW-1 (Monitoring Well 1), B-1 (Borehole 1), etc.
  • The FPNs should normally match those used in the hard copy report (any descrepancies should be explained in the narrative).
  • Do not use spaces, commas, quotes, or apostrophes in the FPN. FPNs must be uploaded to a GLOBAL ID before uploading GEO_XY, GEO_Z, GEO_WELL, and EDF files. Important:
  • When samples are taken at multiple depths, the EDF files use the SAMPID field in conjunction with FPN to uniquely identify these samples.
  • The Field Point Names uploaded to GeoTracker must be the same as the well names and borehole names used in the hard copy report submitted to the lead agency caseworker. The SWRCB will reject EDFs where the field point names do not match well names and borehole names in the hard copy reports. The SAMPID field is the sample identification as listed on the COC. In many cases this will be identical to the entry in FIELD_PT_NAME.
  • Depth Specific Sampling - The SWRCB will be providing an expanded reporting format for dealing with depth specific sampling information when final regulations are enacted. Presently, for soil samples, please upload a single Field Point Name for each borehole (e.g. B-1) and use the SAMPID field to identify the sampling depth in feet (e.g. B-1d5.0, B-1d10.0, etc.). For nested wells, each "well" should be entered with a separate Field Point Name (i.e. MW-1A, MW-1B, MW-1C). If depth discrete sampling is performed within a single groundwater well, please upload a single Field Point Name for the well (e.g. MW-1) and use the SAMPID field to identify the sampling depth in feet (e.g. MW-1d15.0, MW-1d20.0...).
  • Do not upload separate FPNs for each sample depth! Also important: The FPNs used in GEO and EDF uploads must exactly match those previously uploaded in the FPN list (e.g. MW-1 is NOT the same as MW1).
  • If a consultant receives an EDF file from the lab that uses FPNs that are slightly different from those already uploaded to the site (e.g. they used MW1 instead of MW-1), DO NOT upload additional FPNs to your site that match the lab’s version.
  • You can use a text editor to edit the EDF files (EDFSAMP & EDFTEST, or EDFFLAT) so the FPNs match, or you can ask the lab to redo them using the proper FPNs, or, if no EDD uploads have been made to this site yet (other than FPNs) you can delete the existing list of FPNs and then upload a new list containing the lab’s version of FPNs. The important thing is to use the same ones from now on.
  • To avoid this problem in the future, make sure everyone always uses the same FPNs for the site. Be sure the COC (chain of custody) that the lab receives with the samples properly identifies the sampling locations.
  • Field QC Samples - The SWRCB will be providing a permanent solution for dealing with field QC information when final regulations are enacted. Presently, for entry of field QC data in EDF, enter Field Point Names of QCTB for a Trip Blank, QCEB for an Equipment Blank, and QCAB for an Ambient Blank. To associate field QC samples with a specific well or borehole, one may append the Field Point Name to "QCEB" for a total of 10 characters in length. For example, if an equipment blank is taken at monitoring well MW-1, the Field Point Name for that equipment blank could be identified as "QCEBMW-1."

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How do I create and upload a FIELD POINT NAME (FPN) file?

FPNs are uploaded via a simple comma-delimited (no quotes) or tab-delimited text file which can be created using either a simple text editor such as Windows “Notepad” or a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel and then saving as a delimited text file.

If using notepad, type in the GLOBAL ID followed by either a comma or a tab. Then enter the FPN. The third field is optional and contains the RP FACILITY ID which is the RP’s own in-house identifier for the site (GeoTracker ignores the actual content).

If you are including the RP FACILITY ID, hit either comma (or tab) and enter the RP FACILITY ID, then hit “Enter” to start a new row. If not including RP FACILITY ID, just hit “Enter” after entering the FPN. Make sure there are no blank rows in your file. Save the completed file. There is no set name for this file so you can name it anything you want.

Although we recommend using a simple text editor such as notepad, you can also create the file in a full-featured word processor. But be sure to save it as “Text Only (*.txt)”. Be alert to the fact that full-featured word processing programs sometimes automatically make unwanted formatting or text changes to entered text. This may result in a file that won’t upload.

Note that the FPN text file is NOT zipped into a zip file prior to upload. The demo “Upload FPNs” shows the steps to upload the FPN file (see “Delivering Data to the Internet (online demo)” in the section “Getting Started” on our webpage.

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How do I delete or add a FIELD POINT NAME (FPN) if I’ve already uploaded the FPN list?

You CAN add a new FPN to your existing list by simply uploading a new FPN text file using the same format as your original FPN text file, but this file should only contain the new FPN(s). The new FPN(s) will be appended to the existing list.

You CANNOT edit or delete specific FPNs from your uploaded list. Instead, you have to replace the entire existing FPN list for that site (Global ID) with a modified version. Here’s how:

  • Search for the "Associated Facility" that you want to edit or delete FPNs.
  • Click on "View/Download Field Points".
  • Download the current FPN list to your hard drive.
  • Minimize your browser.
  • Open the file you just downloaded in notepad to make sure it downloaded OK (you may want to change the file's extension from ".tab" to ".txt"). Just to be safe, make a backup copy of this file.
  • Using notepad you can edit or delete FPNs from the list (be sure to delete the entire row when deleting a FPN). Also delete the top row containing the column names, if present.
  • Save the file with a name that you'll recognize as the modified FPN file.
  • Now maximize your browser window and click on "Delete Field Points" for that site.
  • To verify the FPNs have been deleted from GeoTracker, you can click on "View/Download Field Points" again. If the old field points are still listed, go back a screen and click on your browser's "Refresh" button, then click on "View/Download Field Points" again and hopefully you'll see that you now have no FPNs listed for the site.

On the same screen that shows your current empty list of field points note that one of the options available is "Upload Field Points".

  • Click on that option,
  • then browse to where you saved the modified FPN list file.
  • Upload that file. Again, you may have to refresh your browser before “View/Download Field Points" will display the modified FPN list.

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How much is the field length for FIELD POINT NAME?

The FPN can be up to 15 characters long with ONE exception: if your lab is creating EDF text files using “fixed length” format, then you MUST limit all of your FPNs to 10 characters maximum. The reason for this is that “fixed length” EDF files still use the original field length of 10 characters, so if the lab enters an FPN > 10 characters and saves it in fixed length format, it will be truncated to 10 characters. This will result in an error message when you try to upload your EDF since the truncated FPNs won’t match the FPNs already uploaded for your site.

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When do I upload the FIELD POINT NAMEs (FPNs)?
You MUST upload the FPNs to a site (Global ID) prior to uploading GEO_XY, GEO_Z, GEO_WELL, or EDF files.

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What is an “EDF”?

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

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How do I create and upload an EDF?

The “Uploading EDF Data” demo pages describe how to upload EDF files (see “Delivering Data to the Internet (online demo)” in the section “Getting Started” on our webpage . For information about the formatting and structure of EDF files, see the section “Technical Information” on our webpage. We suggest that you first perform an online error check of your EDF submittal. If your EDF passes the error checker, you will be given the option to actually upload it.

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Is there a specific naming convention for EDF deliverable text files?

Yes there is.

  • EDF 1.2a, the historic EDF format, used an “NPDL” prefix for all of its files (i.e. NPDLSAMP.txt, NPDLTEST.txt, NPDLRES.txt, NPDLQC.txt, NPDLFLAT.txt, and NPDLCL.txt).
  • GeoTracker uses EDF 1.2i (a modified version of EDF 1.2a) which uses a naming convention prefix of “EDF” rather than “NPDL” (i.e. EDFSAMP.txt, EDFTEST.txt, EDFRES.txt, EDFQC.txt, EDFFLAT.txt, and EDFCL.txt).
  • The EDF text files are “zipped” (compressed) into a single “zip” file prior to submittal.

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

At this time, vapor sample analytical data does not need to be submitted to GeoTracker.

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What is a “LABCODE”?

The LABCODE is a unique code of up to four characters that identifies the analytical Laboratory that receives the samples (not necessarily the laboratory that performs the analyses).

The LABCODE can be obtained by calling ArsenaultLegg at 1-800-506-3887. If you get a voicemail message, just leave your contact info and they will get back with you shortly.

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What is a “LOGCODE”?

The LOGCODE is a unique code of up to four characters that identifies the Field Organization responsible for collecting samples and related field data (i.e., environmental sampling information).

The LOGCODE can be obtained by calling ArsenaultLegg at 1-800-506-3887. If you get a voicemail message, just leave your contact info and they will get back with you shortly.

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What is “SAMPID” and what is it used for?

SAMPID (Sample ID) is a field in the EDFSAMP, EDFTEST, and EDFFLAT files and is the identification assigned to a sample during collection in the field and as it appears on the chain-of-custody. SAMPID normally is the same as FPN, although it may be different (e.g. multiple depth samples and duplicate samples).

See “Data Entry Tips” located in the section “Technical Information” on our webpage for tips on how to identify these types of samples.

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How do I identify DUPLICATE samples?

Duplicate samples should be identified in the EDF file’s SAMPID field by entering the SAMPID used for the non-duplicate plus the letters “DUP” (e.g “MW-1DUP”).

The FIELD_POINT_NAME for the non-duplicate sample and its duplicate should be the same.

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What about STOCKPILE and COMPOSITE samples?

If the stockpile sample or composite sample (often collected from stockpiles or holding drums) laboratory analytical results are included in the hard copy regulatory report, then you must also submit them electronically to GeoTracker. To do so, you'll need to first upload FPNs.

Stockpile sample locations do not have to be surveyed but do need to be shown on the site map (see the document titled "Reporting Requirements” in the section “Electronic Reporting Overview" at the top of our webpage.

Composite sample locations do not have to be surveyed nor do they have to be shown on the site map.

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What are GEO XY, GEO Z, and GEO WELL files?

GEO_XY file: Provides sub-meter accuracy horizontal field measurements data for import into the GeoTracker system. Each fixed sampling location’s longitude (X) and latitude (Y) for each groundwater monitoring well should only be reported once for a site unless resurveyed. 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 field 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 field measurements 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: 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 12, 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 “Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, Legal Opinion to SWRCB” in the section “Technical Information” on our webpage.

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How do I create and upload a GEO XY, Z, or WELL file?

Information about the formatting and structure of GEO files is available in the document “GeoTracker Survey_XYZ Guidelines & Restrictions” available in the “Technical Information” section on our webpage. Microsoft Excel spreadsheet templates are available by clicking on “GeoTracker Survey XYZ Templates (MS Excel)” in the “Forms” section on our webpage.

Hint: Some of the GEO file fields are optional. To prevent receiving the error message “incorrect number of fields,” the delimited text file MUST contain a delimiter for EACH field, whether or not it contains data.

  • If creating the text file directly in a text editor such as notepad, be sure to place one delimiter before each field in the table except the first one.
  • 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 of the empty field before saving as a delimited text file. This will ensure Excel places a delimiter for the last field in the text file. Also, be sure to delete the top row containing the column names before saving as a delimited text file. In fields that require Valid Values, tables listing the acceptable Valid Values are provided in the above-mentioned “GeoTracker Survey_XYZ Guidelines & Restrictions”. Before uploading your GEO text file, you must “zip” it using a program such as WinZip. 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 (we suggest you first perform an error check by clicking on “Check EDD”).

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Do old monitoring wells need to be surveyed?

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

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What is a GEO MAP file?

The GEO_MAP file is an electronic image of the generalized site plan map and is most often created by electronically scanning the hard copy report’s 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. You can use any software program that can create a GIF, TIFF, JPEG (JPG), or PDF from a scanned image of your hard copy site map or, if the software you used to create your hard copy site map is capable of saving the file in one of the acceptable formats, that’s fine too.

The GEO_MAP file must always be named “GEO_MAP” and should have the applicable file extension (.gif, .jpeg, .jpg, or .pdf) and should NOT be “zipped” prior to upload.

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

Yes, you may submit multiple maps per site.

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What is a “ZIP” file?

A ZIP (a.k.a. ZIPPED) file is a file that has been compressed so it takes up less disk storage space and, because it is smaller in size from the original file, takes less time to upload and download on the internet. When a file is Unzipped (uncompressed or “Extracted”) later, it is identical to the original.

To ZIP a file you need a program that is capable of Zipping (compressing) and Unzipping (decompressing) files.

  • There are a number of programs available that can do this.
  • WinZip is one that is available from www.winzip.com and is also sold by many retail stores that sell computer software. A WinZip “demo” version is downloadable from their website www.winzip.com and from many download sites such as www.download.com, www.tucows.com, http://downloads-zdnet.com.com/2001-20-0.html, etc.
  • Upload only one GEO file or one set of EDF text files at a time. Do not include GEO and EDF files in the same zip file. The names of the text files contained in the zip file must always be as specified for that kind of file (e.g. must be “GEO_XY.txt” or “geo_xy.txt” and not “233BranchSt_GEO_XY.txt”).
  • The zip file itself can be named anything you want, e.g. “233BranchSt_GEO_XY.zip” or “GEOXY_233branch.zip”, “J34456_GEO_XY.zip”, etc.

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Consulting firm vs GeoTracker Account Name
A consulting firm may choose to have only one GeoTracker account name for all their employees. As long as the person on the Password Authorization form remains with the company they do not need to submit a revised form if a site is taken over by a new project manager.

Company has the option of having separate GeoTracker accounts for different projects.

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Authorization form for RPs with multiple Sites
If your RP client has many sites and they want you to be their authorized agent, then you can fill out just one copy of the Authorization Form and write "see attached" in the GLOBAL ID box. On the attached sheet(s), list all of the required information for EACH site. Also include yours and the RP's printed name, signature, phone number, and date (once per sheet).

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Can I make correction or addition to an uploaded file?

If your submittal has not been "Accepted" yet, you can delete it and then resubmit a corrected version. For a description of how to do this, go to our online demo pages at "Delivering Data to the Internet (online demo)" on our webpage and choose "Deleting a Submittal".

If your submittal has been already "Accepted", you'll need to contact your Lead Agency Regulator and explain the situation to them.

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Common upload ERROR messages:

ERROR MESSAGE: “incorrect number of fields” (GEO files)

The error message "incorrect number of fields" can be caused by either having too FEW or too MANY delimited fields per row in your text file.

If you are using a spreadsheet program such as Excel to create your table and are choosing to leave the optional field on the far right (i.e. the last field) of your table empty, it is important that you place a single "space" (i.e. hit the space-bar once) in each empty cell in that field. Excel will then know how many fields your table is supposed to contain and will provide the proper number of field delimiters in your text file.

To avoid having too many fields, it is important that you start with either a new, clean (blank) worksheet or a copy of the downloadable Excel template from our website. This will ensure that there are no unnoticed character-containing cells hiding on your worksheet that could cause Excel to add additional field delimiters or blank rows to your delimited text file.

ERROR MESSAGE: “value is not valid” (GEO files)

If you receive an error message saying a field value is not valid, you need to review the document "GeoTracker Survey_XYZ Guidelines & Restrictions" which contains the data dictionary and valid value lists for the GEO files.

It is available as an Adobe PDF document on our webpage in the section "Technical Information."

ERROR MESSAGE: “unspecified errors” (EDF file)

When you try to upload your EDF file, you may get an "unspecified" error message. You should click on "Please click here for more information about resolving these errors" to view a list of possible causes for such error message.

  • The most common cause is "The PARVAL field (in either the RES file or FLAT file) must not be left blank, and it must be a number."
  • To resolve this error, check the PARVAL field in every line (row) in your RES or FLAT file for either an empty PARVAL field or a non-numeric character (e.g. a quotation mark, an extra decimal point, etc.).
  • If you find no PARVAL error, then go to next most common error on the list, etc.

ERROR MESSAGE: “this file is not a zip file”

Your EDF and GEO text files must be “zipped” using a file compression program such as WinZip before uploading. The “zip” file name MUST have a “.zip” file extension.

ERROR MESSAGE: “invalid global ID/field point name”

Be sure you have already uploaded all of the Field Point Names (FPNs) to the site (Global ID).

Check that the file you are trying to upload contains the correct Global ID and the FPNs exactly match those in the FPN list already uploaded to the site.

If the file you are trying to upload is a delimited text, be sure there’s no extra space after the GLOBAL_ID’s last digit.

  • An extra space is not visually apparent when viewing a tab delimited text file, but it is treated as part of the GLOBAL_ID by GeoTracker.
  • An extra space can be present if you used your mouse to copy the GLOBAL_ID from another source and inadvertantly included a space after the last digit in the copied text, and then pasted it into your spreadsheet or text file.
  • You can check for a space by placing your cursor just to the right of the last GLOBAL ID digit and using the right arrow key to see if the cursor immediately tabs over to the next field, or if it first moves over a blank space before tabbing over.

If the file you are trying to upload is an EDF in “fixed length” format, FIELD POINT NAMEs longer than 10 characters are truncated to 10 characters. FIELD POINT NAMEs can be up to 15 characters in all types of files except fixed length EDFs.

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REGULATOR - Specific Questions

I’m a REGULATOR, how do I obtain a USERNAME/PASSWORD?

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I’m a REGULATOR and I need to move the location of a site that is mapped incorrectly in GeoTracker. How do I relocate a site?

There is a tutorial available that was originally created to show Water Agencies/Purveyors how to use GeoTracker's "Relocation Tool" to move the location of their water wells. We suggest you review the tutorial to see how to use GeoTracker's relocation tool.

The last page of the tutorial provides links for Water Agencies/Purveyors to either obtain a new username/password or to login if they already have one. IGNORE these links as they'll take you to the wrong login page for Regulators. Regulators log in at https://geotracker.swrcb.ca.gov/regulators.

Once you are logged in to GeoTracker as a Regulator:

  • Choose the menu item "Move Sites",
  • Then search for the site you want to move.

Once you've found your site, note the column "Data Source".

  • If it says "ETAK" that means the site was located using Address Geocoding which is sometimes highly inaccurate (note the "Estimated Accuracy").
  • The GeoTracker map displays you'll see will be similar to those you saw in the demo.
  • You can Zoom In and Out, Pan, etc.... The "Select Action" drop-down list above the map window is where you choose the "Mark Location" tool.
  • If you don't like where the red "X" appears, you can use "Mark Location" repeatedly until you are satisfied with its location.
  • If the present site location is way off from where it should be, the map display extent may not be large enough to include the location where you want to move it to.
  • If so, you can Zoom Out (click on the "ZoomOut" button, then click on the map where you want to re-center the Zoomed Out view) until you can also see where you want to move the site to, then use the "Mark Location" tool to place the red "X" on its approximate new location.
  • Then Zoom In (click on "ZoomIn" and click on the red "X" to re-center the Zoomed-In map display on the red "X").
  • Once you are Zoomed In you can make finer location adjustments using the "Mark Location" tool.

Note that once you've "Saved" your new location, the change usually does not show up on GeoTracker until the following business day.

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Water Agency (Purveyor) - Specific Questions

Go to tutorial on how to correct (relocate) the location of a water well:

  • Obtain a username/password?
  • Correct the location of a water well in GeoTracker?

The last page of the tutorial provides links for Water Agencies/Purveyors to either obtain a new username/password or login if they already have one.