Mandatory Use of New Analytical Services Request (ASR) Form for Submitting Samples to the National Water Quality Laboratory

In Reply Refer To:
Mail Stop 412                                      July 14, 2000

Office of Water Quality Technical Memorandum 2000.09

Subject:  Mandatory Use of New Analytical Services Request (ASR) Form for
          Submitting Samples to the National Water Quality Laboratory


The National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL) processes samples based on the
information contained on the Analytical Services Request (ASR) form.  The
form is used to: identify sample site location, pass pertinent information
to the laboratory (hazards, high concentrations of contaminants, ancillary
information such as volumes and/or areas needed for calculations, etc),
request analytical work, serve as a packing list for sample shipments, and
provide needed field measurements (pH, conductance, alkalinity) used to
conduct quality control/assurance checks, and provide enough information to
process (login) samples into the National Water Information System (NWIS).
Currently the NWQL receives and processes more than 20 different versions
of an ASR.  This can cause problems for login when unpacking shipping
containers and data entry when entering the information resulting in
misidentified samples and incorrect analytical work requests.


The revised standard ASR form addresses the needs of both laboratories and
water-quality projects.  The ASR has been reviewed and approved by the
Water Quality Users Group (Phoenix Project), representatives from each
region identified by the regional specialists and NWQL programs.

Summary of Changes:

    Mandatory: All items in this section must be filled out before samples
can be processed.  The only exceptions are NWIS Record Number (use by
District only) and sample end date and time (blanks are valid entries for
end date/time).

1.   The ASR now requires sample type, District contact phone number, and
contact email address.

   Reminder:  User code is used to identify what location analytical data
   should be sent to (Generally the Sun computer where the NWIS software is
   loaded), and Project Account is used for billing of analytical work

    Optional Site/Sample Information: All items in this section are
optional but will be entered into the lab computer if filled out.

1.   NWQL Proposal Number: This number, assigned by the NWQL, is used to
identify work (custom, research, etc.) that has a project proposal
associated with the sample.
2.   NWQL contact/email will be used to notify a person in the NWQL that a
sample has arrived  (replaces the 'Attn: someone' currently entered into
the comments field).
3.   Hazard is now a text entry instead of a code.

   Note:  For bed-sediment samples that are processed by Geologic Division
   the following information must be provided in the 'Comments to NWQL

x    Spheroid and datum from GPS or basemap.
x    Latitude and Longitude in decimal degrees (with minimum of 4 digits to
     the right of the decimal point) and direction example: 108.1234W.
x    FIPS 2 digit state code  (county code is no longer required).

    Analytical Work Requests

1.   Up to 6 schedules may now be requested.
2.   Up to 15 labcodes may be added or deleted.

   Note:  In an effort to minimize the amount of manual data entry, the
   NWQL suggests that on-going projects or projects with several samplings
   create a custom schedule that addresses the project needs with a single
   schedule number.  This schedule is owned by that project and can be
   modified as project goals and objectives change.  Please contact Steve
   Glodt (srglodt)
   303-236-3721 to request a new schedule or modify an existing one.

    Shipping Information

1.   Several container types have changed.  There are no longer container
types that are labeled as labcodes.  A new list of container types and
treatment/preservation required is available on the NWQL web page and is
attached to this memorandum distribution.
2.   Login comments will be used by NWQL login personnel to document any
problems or changes occurring during the login process.

    Field Values

1.   Please provide the top three field measurements if collected.
2.   Project personnel use Field comments when collecting samples.  This
information will be project related only and will not be entered into the
NWQL database.

Implementation schedule:

The following schedule defines the implementation of the standardized ASR.
New 2 part pads of forms can be ordered from the NWQL at a charge of $29
per pad.  This charge covers the cost of printing and shipping forms.

1.   The use of the new ASR should begin on October 1, 2000 and must begin
by January 1, 2001.  The period is to allow District to use existing
supplies of ASR pads.
2.   Any sample received after January 1, 2001 that does not have the
standardized ASR will receive a login/data entry processing fee of $20 per
3.   The ASR will be available as follows:

    In the Personal Computer Field Forms (PCFF) software.
    In FrameMaker 4 and FrameMaker 5 versions on the NWQL homepage.
    In Microsoft Word format on the NWQL homepage ASCE CONFERENCE.
    In paper form from the NWQL at a charge of $29 per pad.

                    Janice R. Ward /s/
                    Acting Chief, Office of Water Quality


This memorandum does not supercede any other OWQ Technical Memorandum.

Distribution: All WRD Employees

(See attached file: ASR-Sample-Containers.0009attach.xls)(See attached
file: Final-ASR.0009attach.doc)

Janice Ward
Acting Chief, Office of Water Quality
US Geological Survey
Reston, VA