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SWAMP - Quality Assurance

A key component of the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) is the development, implementation, and maintenance of the monitoring infrastructure (e.g., indicators, methods, quality assurance/quality control [QA/QC], and data management) necessary to support a robust monitoring program while also fostering data comparability and collaboration with monitoring partners. This page provides access to those tools.

Quality assurance (QA) is an integrated system of management activities (i.e., planning, implementation, assessment, reporting, and quality improvement) that focuses on providing confidence in the data or product by ensuring that it is of the type and quality needed and expected by the client.

The State Water Resources Control Board Quality Assurance/Quality Control website

The key components of the SWAMP QA program are: the Quality Assurance Program Plan (QAPrP), QA Project Plans (QAPPs), and other QA Resources (including QA training, a Help Desk and the SWAMP QA team).

QAPrP  |  QAPP Tools  |  Examples of QAPPs  |  QA Process & Guidance Documents  |  Water Quality Goals


SWAMP Quality Assurance Program Plan (QAPrP)

  • QAPrP describes SWAMP's quality system including elements such as; responsibilities of management and staff; as well as quality control and sample handling guidelines for both laboratory and field activities.
SWAMP-funded projects, and projects required to be consistent with SWAMP, must follow the guidelines of the SWAMP QAPrP. QA Archive - The documents listed below below are historic SWAMP documents. For current QA information and program requirements, users should defer to the 2017 SWAMP Quality Assurance Program Plan.

Quality Assurance Project Plans

  • A QAPP is required for certain large, ongoing, or special projects. To streamline the creation of these documents, SWAMP encourages the use of the following resources:
  • The following resources provide additional assistance with SWAMP comparability:
    • SWAMP QA Help Desk – a telephone and email service that provides support and tools for SWAMP-comparable projects.

Examples of Quality Assurance Project Plans

Quality Assurance Process and Guidance Documents

  • Corrective Action (updated 03/06/12)
    A PDF document that describes the process followed by SWAMP to document, resolve, and follow-up on corrective actions associated with programmatic samples. The process is based on the SWAMP Corrective Action Form, and is applied to sample results that fail to meet the technical and non-technical requirements of SWAMP and its associated projects.
  • Data Classification System (updated 06/17/10)
    A PDF document that describes the process used by the Quality Assurance Team (QAT) and Data Management Team (DMT) to classify data batches and sample results that will be included in the SWAMP database. Classifications are based on the requirements specified in the QAPrP.
  • Help Desk Review of Quality Assurance Project Plans (updated 05/02/11)
    A PDF document that describes the process used by the SWAMP Help Desk to review the quality assurance project plans (QAPPs) of projects seeking SWAMP comparability. The review may include consultation with the Help Desk, and produces a completed checklist and narrative that may be used to make QAPP updates prior to document approval.
  • Quality Systems Assessment for Contract Laboratories (updated 07/01/10)
    A PDF document that details the process used by the QAT to conduct assessments of SWAMP contract laboratories. During these assessments, procedures, personnel, and facilities are evaluated against QAPrP guidelines.
  • Review of Program-funded Quality Assurance Project Plans (updated 04/13/11)
    A PDF document that describes the process used by the QAT to review the QAPPs associated with SWAMP-funded projects. The review may include consultation with the QAT, and produces a completed checklist and narrative that may be used to make QAPP updates prior to document approval.

Water Quality Goals

  • A Compilation of Water Quality Goals
    Numeric water quality thresholds from the literature for over 860 chemical constituents and water quality parameters. The text of the report explains, with examples, how these thresholds may be used to assess protection of beneficial uses of water resources in the context of California's quality standards. A summary of relevant statutes, regulations, plans, and policies and links to original references are included.