NATIONAL WATER INFORMATION SYSTEM--Modifications to Parameter Code Request Procedure (OWQ Tech Memo 90.10)
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Subject: OFFICE OF WATER QUALITY TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM 96.08
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Date: Fri, 16 Aug 1996 14:18:18 -0400
From: "David A Rickert, Chief, OWQ, Reston, VA "
ELECTRONIC VERSION OF MEMO DOES NOT HAVE THE ATTACHMENT. A HARD COPY OF
MEMO WITH ATTACHMENT WILL BE MAILED TO SAME DISTRIBUTION.
In Reply Refer To:
Mail Stop 412 August 16, 1996
OFFICE OF WATER QUALITY TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM 96.08
Subject: NATIONAL WATER INFORMATION SYSTEM--Modifications to
Parameter Code Request Procedure (OWQ Tech Memo 90.10)
The procedures for obtaining new parameter codes or for changes to
existing parameter codes in the National Water Information System (NWIS),
described in Office of Water Quality Technical Memorandum 90.10, are
A. New Parameter Codes-- A Parameter Code Request Form must be filled out
for all requests for new codes. An electronic copy of this form, with
instructions on how to complete it, and an electronic file of related
reference lists, are available as Framemaker documents via anonymous ftp:
The instructions that are included with the form describe the information
that the requester must provide. For new parameters, the Parameter Code
field is to be left blank. OWQ will review the requests for new codes and
forward those that are laboratory related to the National Water Quality
Laboratory (NWQL). NWQL will assign method codes and supply lab codes and
CAS and IUPAC numbers, if necessary. The requests will then be reviewed
by Jim Schornick (NWIS) to make sure that parameter names are correctly
formatted and determine if an EPA code exists. Jim will forward the
requests for new codes to EPA. EPA will assign the codes. When new codes
are received from EPA or if a code is found to have already been defined
by EPA, the information will be forwarded by OWQ to Kerry Garcia, the
NWIS National Data Base Manager for water quality, who will update the
NWIS and WATSTORE Parameter Code Dictionaries (PCDs).
B. Revisions to Existing Parameter Codes-- A Parameter Code Request Form
must also be completed for requests for changes to parameter names,
reporting units, etc. In this case, the Parameter Code field and any
field that requires changes must be filled in. These requests will be
reviewed by OWQ. Approved changes will be forwarded to Jim Schornick for
final review. OWQ will then forward the changes to the NWIS Office. Kerry
Garcia will update the NWIS and WATSTORE PCDs.
New versions of the PCD will be distributed approximately every 6 months.
Exceptions may be made to this schedule if OWQ and NWIS deem it necessary.
It often takes several months to get new parameter codes from EPA. In
some cases, there will be an existing EPA parameter code that exists in
STORET, but not in the USGS Parameter Code Dictionaries (PCDs). In these
cases, the parameter code need only to be moved into the USGS PCDs and no
request to EPA needs to be made.
The Office of Water Quality will maintain a Parameter Code Request Status
Check List that requesters can access. The list is available as a
Framemaker document via anonymous ftp:
For help on completing the Parameter Code Request Form, please contact
Jim Schornick (email to jcschorn or 703-648-6867). For additional
information about parameter code requests, please contact Kathy
Fitzgerald (email to kkfitz or 703-648-6902).
David A. Rickert
Chief, Office of Water Quality
This memorandum supersedes OWQ Technical Memorandum 90.10.
Key Words: Parameter Codes, NWIS, WATSTORE
Distribution: A, B, S, FO, PO
District Water-Quality Specialists