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 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.
- 2017 SWAMP Quality Assurance Program Plan (entire document) Google Doc version with current information, for the purpose of programmatic updates only. (Approved by US EPA in May 2017)
- US EPA Approval Letter for 2017 QAPrP
- SWAMP Quality Control and Sample Handling Guidelines (clickable links to individual tables) 2013 Revised Tables. Posted - April 8, 2013
These guidelines are also known as Measurement Quality Objectives (MQOs) or MQO Tables.
- 2008 SWAMP Quality Assurance Program Plan (entire document)
- Freshwater Reporting Limits 2015 Revised freshwater reporting limits. Posted April 27, 2015.
- Quality Assurance Memos
Changes to policies and procedures related to SWAMP quality assurance (QA) are often documented in the form of programmatic memos.
- 2002 Quality Assurance Management Plan for SWAMP (for appendices contact OIMA Help Desk)
- 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:
- SWAMP QAPP Review Checklist - a tool for assessing each element of a completed SWAMP-comparable QAPP. This checklist is equally useful during QAPP creation.
- Guidance for Quality Assurance Project Plans and EPA Requirements for Quality Assurance Project Plans - Environmental Protection Agency Quality System documents that are the basis for the above QAPP tools.
- 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.
- The following Quality Assurance Project Plans (QAPPs) were developed by various statewide monitoring and assessment programs. They may be referenced or excerpted in the production of QAPPs for other projects.
- Bioaccumulation Monitoring Program
- Bioassessment Monitoring Program - June 2009
- Stream Pollution Trends (SPoT) Monitoring Program - December 2018
- Assessing Natural Water Quality in Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS) - October 2008
- 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.
- 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.