National Industry Guideline for water quality metadata

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WATER INFORMATION STANDARDS BUSINESS
FORUM
National Industry Guideline for
Water Quality Metadata
Initial Draft
April 2014
National Industry Guidelines for hydrometric monitoring
Initial Draft, March 2014
Copyright
The National Industry Guideline for water quality metadata is copyright of the
Commonwealth.
Creative Commons licence
With the exception of logos, the National Industry Guideline for water quality metadata is
licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Australia licence.
The terms and conditions of the licence are at:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/
To obtain the right to use any material that is not subject to the Creative Commons
Attribution Australia licence, you must contact the relevant owner of the material.
Attribution for this publication should be: © Commonwealth of Australia (Bureau of
Meteorology) 2014
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National Industry Guidelines for hydrometric monitoring
Initial Draft, March 2014
Acknowledgements
Input to this guideline was initially developed through a project funded under the Modernisation and
Extension of Hydrological Monitoring Systems program, administered by the Bureau of Meteorology.
Primary drafting by original project team:
Rob De Hayr, Manager, Chemistry Centre, DERM
Gabrielle van Willigen, Natural Resource Officer, Science Coordination and Information, DERM
Jennifer Ryan, Senior Project Officer, Chemistry Centre, DERM
Garry Dawson, Principal Information Systems Officer, Spatial Information Group, DERM
Katrina Rodrigues, Senior Project Officer, Spatial Information Group, DERM
Original project steering committee:
Rob De Hayr, Manager, Chemistry Centre, DERM (Chairperson)
Ian White, Principal Policy Officer, Water Monitoring and Information, DERM
Paul Webb, Regional Water and Wetlands Coordinator, Qld Murray-Darling Committee Inc
Grant Robinson, Information Quality Coordinator, NSW Office of Water
Brendan Moran, Manager A/g, Water Standards and Regulation, Bureau of Meteorology
Linton Johnston, Senior Hydrologist, Water Standards and Regulation, Bureau of Meteorology
TRG for water quality metadata National Industry Guideline members (February 2014)
Jacqui Bellhouse, Water Source Strategy Advisor, Water Corporation, WA
Ulrike Bende-Michl, Water Resource Assessment, Bureau of Meteorology
Rob De Hayr (Chairperson), Manager, Chemistry Centre, DSITIA, QLD
John Hayes, Manager Water Information Systems, NSW Office of Water, NSW
Chris Hepplewhite, Water Quality Policy Section, Australian Government Dept. of the Environment
Marty Jack, Data Administrator, Dept. of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Tas
Linton Johnston, Standards and Regulations , Bureau of Meteorology
Dr. Carolyn Maxwell , Senior Environmental Scientist, Hydro Tasmania, Tas
David Malone, Standards and Regulations, Bureau of Meteorology
Monika Muschal,Team Leader Water Quality, NSW Office of Water and NWQMS
Kema Ranatunga, Standards and Regulations, Bureau of Meteorology
Ataur Rahman, Associate Professor, Water and Environment, UWS, Nominated from AWA
Grant Robinson, Webmaster, Australian Hydrographers Association
Katrina Rodrigues, Senior Project Officer, Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Qld
Sabine Schreiber, Manager Water Information, Dept. of Environment and Primary Industry, VIC
Shaun Thomas, Senior Scientific Officer, Environmental Protection Authority, SA
Laura Torrible, Standards and Regulations, Bureau of Meteorology
Damien Venema, Business Project Leader, SA Water, Australian Water Quality Centre, SA
Daniel Wagenaar, Manager Water Monitoring Systems, Dept. of Land Resource Management, NT
(Note that at the time of contribution, individuals may have been employed with different organisations
and some organisations were known by other names).
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Foreword
Under the Commonwealth Water Act 2007, the Australian Government has given the Bureau
of Meteorology (the Bureau) the responsibility for integrating comprehensive water
information (including water quality information) to provide access at a national level and to
support broader national objectives. These include responsibilities to “collect, hold, manage,
interpret and disseminate Australia’s water information” and to “issue National Water
Information Standards”. In 2010 the Bureau established the Water Information Standards
Business Forum (the Forum) as a nationally representative committee to coordinate and
foster the development and endorsement of water information guidelines and standards. In
this capacity, the Forum supports the Bureau to fulfil its functions as outlined in the Act.
Like other Guidelines endorsed by the Forum this Guideline has developed out of extensive
industry consultation and reflects the policies and procedures associated with the collection
and storage of water quality metadata in Australia. The content of the Guideline is based on
a report written by The Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management
(DERM -now Department of Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA)). The
organisation was funded under the Bureau-administered Modernisation and Extension of
Hydrological Monitoring Systems program to identify the water quality information that was
being captured by the various agencies, government bodies, councils and water authorities
across Australia and to develop a nationally standardised approach to water quality metadata
All of the National Industry Guidelines can be considered as living documents. The Bureau
is accountable for ongoing governance of these guidelines and they will be subject to
periodic review by the Forum at intervals of no greater than three years. In the review phase,
consideration will be given to any issues or requests for changes raised by the industry. The
review process will ensure the guidelines remain technically sound and up to date with
technological advancements.
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Introduction
Water quality data transferred to the Bureau under the Water Regulations 2008 (the
regulations) includes data for surface and ground water. In the regulations surface water
data requirements include electrical conductivity, total suspended solids, turbidity, nutrient
concentrations, pH and temperature of surface water. For groundwater the regulations
specify provision of electrical conductivity and pH. The data will be used by the Bureau in
water resource assessments and as the time series is extended it will be used to indicate
trends in water quality for particular water resources.
Water quality data provided to the Bureau is not collected in a consistent manner. Water
quality data is collected across Australia under a variety of programs, using a range of
procedures and under a wide spectrum of climactic and temporal conditions. While many of
the data elements and procedures handled by each organisation to describe the data have
significance internally, they may have limitations on interpretation or relevance outside of the
organisation. Metadata can be used by the Bureau and other data users to understand core
attributes of the data and to improve the capacity for it to be reliably shared, compared and
interpreted.
Basic metadata can describe the “what”, “where” and “when” value of the water quality data.
“What” describes the parameter or determinand. The metadata associated with “where”
identifies the location or site where the measurement or sample was taken, and the “when”
specifies the date and time that the measurement or sample was taken. However, for water
quality data sets other details about the data are also significant because the interpretation of
water quality values and the determinations which can be made from them may vary greatly
depending on the level of knowledge of the users of the data and the type of supporting
information which is available.
By detailing additional metadata on “why”, “how”, and “how well”, the potential for current and
future use of the data is improved, thus increasing the value of the data for water
management decisions. To improve opportunities for use of the water quality data the
following details can be recorded

sampling context – the position or environmental factors at the location where the
measurement or sample was taken (e.g. depth, sample source etc.)

program context – the organisation supplying the data and program under which the
data were captured

methodology – the methods and standards involved in the collection, measuring,
handling and processing of water quality values

quality information – an indicator of level of adherence to methodology and of
reliability, accuracy and scientific confidence
Recording consistent metadata for all stages in the water data collection process including
sampling, analysis results, determinands and technical references is the first step in
progressing nationally consistent data management for water quality in Australia.
This guideline groups key operational, procedural and organisational aspects of water quality
data collection with important procedural and organisational attributes into metadata entities.
Metadata requirements will be listed for each data element within each entity.
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Figure 1: Metadata Entities with Example Data Elements
Sample: Surface Water
- Gauge height
- Flow
- Sample depth
See Table 2.2
Sample: Groundwater
Sample (general)
- Pump intake depth
- Pump start date Time
Latitude
Longitude
Elevation
Measuring point
Watercourse
Date / Time
Organisations
Transect details
Technical references
See Table 2.3
Sample: Technical References
- Method
- Unique identifier
See table 2.4
See Table 2.1
Sample: Sample Set
- Data provider
- Organisation sample set name
See Table 2.5
Sample: Sample set
METADATA






member requirements
-member set position
What
Where
When
Why
How
How well
See Table 2.6
Results
Technical Reference
Name
Link to document
Type
Version
Release date
Determinand used
Lab used
Methods applied
Date and time of analysis
Determinand
See Table 2.11
Technical reference Sources
- source reference identification
- source tech reference identification
See Table 2.12
Technical reference
Organisational definition
Any hierarchical relationship
See Table 2.7
See Table 2.8
Determinand Group
- group name
- group id
See Table 2.9
Determinand Group Member
- determinand group id
- determinand code
- tech ref ID
See Table 2.10
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Table of Contents
1
Scope and general ........................................................................................................ 8
1.1 Purpose................................................................................................................ 8
1.2 Scope ................................................................................................................... 8
1.3 Bibliography ......................................................................................................... 8
1.4 Definitions .......................................................................................................... 11
2
Requirements .............................................................................................................. 11
2.1 Metadata for describing water quality monitoring ................................................ 11
2.2 Obligations ......................................................................................................... 12
2.3 Sample requirements ......................................................................................... 12
2.4 Result requirements ........................................................................................... 25
2.5 Determinand requirements ................................................................................. 31
2.6 Technical reference requirements ...................................................................... 34
Appendix A
Examples of Controlled Lists ....................................................................... 37
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National Industry Guideline
for water quality metadata
1 Scope and general
1.1
Purpose
The purpose of this document is to identify the metadata required to describe water
quality monitoring observations, and to provide guidelines which ensure the quality of
information gathered from water quality monitoring programs is sufficient for users to
identify data fitness for their purposes.
1.2
Scope
This National Industry Guideline applies to water quality data collected and being
supplied to the Bureau of Meteorology under the Water Regulations 2008 (the
regulations) by persons named in the regulations. It pertains solely to those water
quality data parameters being collected from surface water and groundwater as
identified in the regulations. It provides guidance about mandatory and optional
metadata elements and describes data entities (or groupings) that are meaningful and
pragmatic for hydrographical, laboratory and hydrologic practitioners at a national level.
The guideline is applicable to both automated continuous water quality monitoring (e.g.
using in-situ sensors or probes), tests performed in the field and grab samples sent for
laboratory testing.
Implementation of the guideline will facilitate consistent collection of water quality
metadata, and will improve the interoperability, quality and future usefulness of the
water quality data.
1.3
Bibliography
Cognisance of the following was taken in the preparation of this guideline:

AS 2368-1990 Test pumping of water wells

AS 3778.1-2009 Measurement of water flow in open channels – Hydrometric
determinations – Vocabulary and symbols

AS ISO 1000-1998 The international system of units (SI) and its application

AS ISO/IEC 11179 Information technology – Metadata registries (MDR) (All
parts)

AS ISO/IEC 17025:2005 General requirements for the competence of testing
and calibration laboratories

AS/NZS 2031:2001 Selection of containers and preservation of water samples
for microbiological analysis
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
AS/NZS 3654:1996 Information technology – Specification for a data descriptive
file for information interchange

AS/NZS 5667.1:1998 Water quality – Sampling – Guidance on the design of
sampling programs, sampling techniques and the preservation and handling of
samples

AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008 Quality management systems – Requirements

Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council and
Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand
(2000a), Australian and New Zealand guidelines for fresh and marine water
quality, Canberra, retrieved 23 June 2011,
http://www.mincos.gov.au/publications/australian_and_new_zealand_guidelines
_for_fresh_and_marine_water_quality

Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council and
Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand
(2000b), Australian guidelines for water quality monitoring and reporting,
Canberra, retrieved 23 June 2011,
http://www.mincos.gov.au/publications/australian_guidelines_for_water_quality_
monitoring_and_reporting

Australia New Zealand Land Information Council (2007a), ANZLIC metadata
profile (version 1.1) : an Australian/New Zealand profile of AS/NZS ISO
19115:2005, geographic information —metadata (implemented using ISO/TS
19139:2007, geographic information — metadata — XML schema
implementation), Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, retrieved 23 June
2011, http://www.anzlic.org.au/Publications/Metadata+Project/248.aspx

Australia New Zealand Land Information Council (2007b), ANZLIC metadata
profile guidelines (version 1.0), Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, retrieved
23 June 2011,
http://www.anzlic.org.au/Publications/Metadata+Project/243.aspx

American Public Health Association (2005), Standard methods for the
examination of water and wastewater, 21st edition, Washington DC.

American Society for Testing and Materials (2010), Annual book of ASTM
standards : section 11, water and environmental technology, West
Conshohocken, PA.

Bureau of Meteorology (2011), Definitions – sub-categories of water
information, Australian Government, Canberra, retrieved 14 June 2011,
http://www.bom.gov.au/water/regulations/subCategoriesWaterAuxNav.shtml

De Hayr, R and Ryan, J (2010), Scoping information management protocols for
water quality monitoring in Queensland, Department of Environment and
Resource Management, State Government of Queensland, Brisbane.

Ryan, J, Rodrigues, K and De Hayr, R (2011), National information
management protocols for water quality monitoring: Report A, Water quality
metadata guidelines, Department of Environment and Resource Management,
State Government of Queensland, Brisbane.
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http://www.bom.gov.au/water/standards/projects/waterqlty.shtml

Geoscience Australia (2010), Gazetteer of Australia 2008, Committee for
Geographical Names of Australasia (CGNA), Australian Government, Canberra,
retrieved 14 June 2011, <http://www.ga.gov.au/map/names/>

GHD (2010), National water information standards development – an industry
needs analysis, final report for the Bureau of Meteorology by GHD Pty Ltd,
Sydney, retrieved 14 June 2011,
http://www.bom.gov.au/water/standards/documents/nwis-final_report.pdf

ISO 19100 series International geographic information standards

ISO/IEC Guide 98-3:2008 Uncertainty of measurement – Part 3: Guide to the
expression of uncertainty in measurement (GUM)

ISO/IEC 2382-17:1999 Information technology – Vocabulary – Part 17:
Databases

ISO/IEC TR 9789:1994 Information technology – Guidelines for the organization
and representation of data elements for data interchange – Coding methods
and principles

National Association of Testing Authorities (2013), Technical Note 17 :
Guidelines for the validation and verification of chemical test methods,
Chatswood, NSW.

National Association of Testing Authorities (2013), Technical Note 33 :
Guidelines for estimating and reporting measurement uncertainty of chemical
test results, Chatswood, NSW.

National Water Commission (2006), Australian water resources 2005 : a
baseline assessment of water resources for the national water initiative : level 1
assessment key findings, Australian Government, Canberra, retrieved 14 June
2011,
http://www.water.gov.au/publications/AWR2005_Level_1_Report_Oct06.pdf

NZ Ministry for the Environment (2008) A Guide to the Ministry of Health
Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand. Written by ESR.
http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/water/guide-moh-drinking-water-standardsnz-jun08/guide-moh-drinking-water-standards-nz-jun08.pdf

Robinson, G (1997), Water quality – Triton reference tables, document no:
32013, issue 1, NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation Centre for
Natural Resources, Sydney, retrieved 14 June 2011,
http://waterinfo.nsw.gov.au/stop/stop/stop/pdf/32013.pdf

Sinclair Knight Merz (2008), The need for improved water data and water data
sharing, National Water Commission, Canberra, retrieved 14 June 2011,
http://www.nwc.gov.au/resources/documents/improved-water-data-bodywaterlines-0108.pdf

US Environmental Protection Agency (2010), Environmental sampling, analysis
and results (ESAR) data standard, Environmental Protection Agency,
Environmental Data Standards Council, Washington DC.
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http://ofmpub.epa.gov/sor_internet/registry/datastds/findadatastandard/epaappr
oved/esaroverview/

1.4
US Environmental Protection Agency (2002), EPA/260R-02-008 : Guidelines for
ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity, of
information disseminated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of
Environmental Information, Washington DC, retrieved 14 June 2011,
http://www.epa.gov/quality/informationguidelines/documents/EPA_InfoQualityG
uidelines.pdf
Definitions
1.4.1 metadata
data about data
[Source ISO 19115—2003]
1.4.2 metadata element
discrete unit of metadata
[Source ISO 19115—2003]
1.4.3 metadata entity
set of metadata elements describing the same aspect of data
[Source ISO 19115—2003]
1.4.4 determinand
A constituent or property of the water that is determined, or measured, in a sample.
Sometimes called analyte, parameter, test, species, element, property, etc.
[Source NZ Ministry of Health, 2008]
2 Requirements
2.1
Metadata for describing water quality monitoring
Metadata requirements are grouped into data entities, each with a defined set of data
elements. The entities reflect the entire data lifecycle from collection to analysis and
reporting.
Metadata requirements are grouped into the following four entities:

Sample
o
Sample – general, and surface water and groundwater specific. Includes
elements relevant to site and organisation entities.
o
Sample technical reference
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o
Sample set and sample set member requirements

Result

Determinand

o
Determinand – general
o
Determinand group
o
Determinand group member
Technical references
o
Technical references – general
o
Technical reference source.
Associations exist between elements contained within the different entities. For
example, a result is an estimate of the value of a determinand, and several
determinands may be assessed for a given sample.
Elements within the various entities are linked by means of entity level identifiers.
These ID elements are listed within other entities
Several data elements are listed in more than one entity. This is necessary when
elements are required to link information contained in different entities. Wherever this
occurs, the row in the requirements table is shaded to identify the element that links the
related entities.
2.2
Obligations
An obligation is a descriptor indicting whether a metadata element shall always be
documented in the metadata or sometimes be documented. This descriptor may have
the following values: M (mandatory), C (conditional) or O (optional). The following
definitions for these values have been sourced from B.1.5 Obligation/Condition (Annex
B, AS/NZS ISO 19115:2003).
A mandatory (M) obligation means the metadata entity or metadata element shall be
documented.
A conditional (C) obligation specifies a condition. If the answer to the condition is
positive, then the metadata entity or the metadata element is mandatory.
An optional (O) obligation means that the metadata entity or the metadata element
may be documented or may not be documented. Optional metadata entities and
optional metadata elements have been defined to provide a guide to those looking to
fully document their data.
2.3
Sample requirements
The sample entity includes data elements that describe surface water and groundwater
samples used in both lab-based and field-based analysis. Only samples which have
corresponding results and have followed recognised collection / processing methods
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are to be included. Quality control, test replicates and other samples of this nature
require additional metadata not included in this guideline.
There are general characteristics that apply to all samples and specific characteristics
associated with groundwater and surface water sampling. Each has their own set of
data elements that are identified in sections 2.3.1, 2.3.2 and 2.3.3.
There are also data elements for sampling associated with technical references and
sample sets and sample set members. These are listed in sections 2.3.4 and 2.3.5.
2.3.1 Sample – general requirements
Data elements in this entity are common to surface water and groundwater samples
used in both lab-based and field-based analysis.
Table 2.1 – General requirements for sample
Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for:
general requirements for sample
Organisation
Sample ID
M
An identifier, usually created by
the monitoring organisation for a
sample collected from the site at a
specific time, which is unique
within the organisation.
(aka Sample ID, Analysis ID,
Analysis Number, Accession
Number)
It is required to provide a clear chain of
custody and is an integral element that
links sampling information to related
details documented by the organisation.
It is also the key to tracking the sample in
the organisation’s information systems
and is critical for validation, duplicate
prevention or error correction processes.
In some organisations, a sample ID may
only be unique within the project (not
across the whole organisation). In such
cases, a unique sample reference shall
be generated.
Data Owner
Organisation ID
C1
The unique organisation ID
assigned by the Bureau to any
organisation that is listed in the
Water Regulations.
(aka Data Owner)
This identifier should be provided by the
Bureau to each organisation for inclusion
with supplied data. The data owner may
or may not be the organisation which
supplies the data to the Bureau as
captured in data element: Data Provider
Organisation ID.
Data Provider
Organisation ID
C2
The unique organisation ID
assigned by the Bureau to any
organisation that provides water
information to the Bureau.
Data provider is an organisation
that provides data and metadata
to the Bureau.
(aka Data Provider)
This identifier should be provided by the
Bureau to each organisation for inclusion
with supplied data. The data provider
may differ from the data owner.
1
Data Owner Organisation ID: mandatory if data are being provided to the Bureau under the Water
Regulations 2008
2 Data Provider Organisation ID: mandatory if data are being provided to the Bureau under the Water
Regulations 2008
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Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for:
general requirements for sample
Site ID
M
The unique identifier of the site
where observations are
conducted.
The site ID must be unique for this
site within the monitoring
organisation..
(aka Site/Station Number,
Gauging Station, Bore
Registration Number)
A site is a place where observations of
the environment are made; typically a
physical location where sensors are used
to measure the properties of one or more
features of the environment (e.g. depth of
a river and temperature of the
atmosphere).
While each organisation may use their
own site identifiers, the Site ID must be
unique within the organisation and
suitable for use in naming supplied files
as required by the Bureau’s data delivery
file naming conventions and guidelines.
Measurements or samples may be taken
at one or more measuring points within a
site and the details of such points may or
may not differ from the site details and as
such these are also captured using the
Measuring Point data elements.
The Site ID is required to provide a clear
chain of custody and also for monitoring
trends which involve repeated
measurements of the same determinands
at the same location over time.
Site Name
M
The name of the site (as used by
the monitoring organisation)
where the observations are
conducted or the samples are
collected.
(aka Station Name, Sampling
Site)
It assists with site description,
identification and reporting.
Site Lat Dec
M
The angular distance along a
meridian north or south of the
equator for the site, supplied as
decimal degrees in the specified
geodetic datum.
This provides greater specificity and
consistency than other descriptions of
locations and is useful for differentiating
closely spaced sites or correlating sites.
Such geodetic attributes also allow the
data to be more readily used in spatial
applications or merged with other spatial
data sets.
Latitude shall include a negative sign to
indicate positions south of the equator
and be captured to the highest number of
decimal places possible as supported by
measurement accuracy.
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Notes for:
general requirements for sample
Metadata
element name
Obligation
Site Long Dec
M
The angular distance along a
meridian east or west of the prime
meridian for the site, supplied as
decimal degrees in the specified
geodetic datum.
This provides greater specificity and
consistency than other descriptions of
locations and is useful for differentiating
closely spaced sites or correlating sites.
Such geodetic attributes also allow the
data to be more readily used in spatial
applications or merged with other spatial
data sets.
Longitude shall be captured to the
highest number of decimal places as
supported by measurement accuracy.
Site Lat Long
Datum
M
The reference datum used to
describe the spatial position
(coordinates) where the sampling
site is located.
While current standards specify GDA94
as the preferred form in which to supply
positional value, they may also be
supplied in WGS84. To avoid
misinterpreting supplied positional
information, the datum used must always
accompany the supplied values.
Site Elevation
M
The surface level elevation of the
site position relative to a standard
height datum (as specified in Site
Elevation Datum) in metres.
Site Elevation is required to assist in
interpretation of certain measurements
and in applications requiring position in
multi-dimensions.
Site Elevation
Datum
M
The reference datum used to
describe the elevation where the
site is located.
To avoid misinterpreting positional
information, the datum used shall always
accompany the supplied elevation
values.
Site Elevation
Method
M
The method used to determine
elevation at the site.
Different methods may be used to
determine the elevation for a site and
each of these may provide different levels
of accuracy and confidence in the
supplied measurement. This information
is therefore useful in the interpretation
and use of elevation values.
Description
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Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for:
general requirements for sample
Measuring Point
ID
M
The identifier of the measuring
point where observations are
conducted or
samples are taken within a site
(as used by the organisation).
The combination of Site ID and
Measuring Point ID shall be
unique within an organisation. The
monitoring organisation is the
authority for the persistence of the
Measuring Point ID.
(aka Measuring Point, Location
ID)
Measurements or samples may be taken
at one or more measuring points within a
site. Depending on the nature of the site
and the sampling required, this may
involve the taking of measurements or
samples from several upstream or
downstream points or different depths
below water surface etc. In order to
accurately reflect such approaches, each
point at the site at which measurements
were taken is defined. There must be at
least one measuring point defined within
each site and the measure point
attributes may or may not differ from
those recorded for the site attributes.
It is required to provide an extra level of
granularity when using and interpreting
measurements.
Measuring Point
Name
M
The name of the measuring point
(as used by the organisation)
where observations are conducted
or samples are collected.
It assists with measuring point description
and identification.
Measuring Point
Lat Dec
M
The angular distance along a
meridian north or south of the
equator for the measuring point,
supplied as decimal degrees in
the specified geodetic datum.
This provides greater specificity and
consistency than other descriptions of
locations and is useful for differentiating
closely spaced measuring points or
correlating measuring points. Such
geodetic attributes also allow the data to
be more readily used in spatial
applications or merged with other spatial
data sets.
Latitude shall include a negative sign to
indicate positions south of the equator
and be captured to the highest number of
decimal places possible as supported by
measurement accuracy.
Measuring Point
Long Dec
M
The angular distance along a
meridian east or west of the prime
meridian for the measuring point,
supplied as decimal degrees in
the specified geodetic datum.
This provides greater specificity and
consistency than other descriptions of
locations and is useful for differentiating
closely spaced measuring points or
correlating measuring points. Such
geodetic attributes also allow the data to
be more readily used in spatial
applications or merged with other spatial
data sets.
Longitude shall be captured to the
highest number of decimal places as
supported by measurement accuracy.
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Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for:
general requirements for sample
Measuring Point
Lat Long Datum
M
The reference datum used to
describe the spatial position
(coordinates) where the
measuring point is located.
While current standards specify GDA94
as the preferred form in which to supply
positional value, they may also be
supplied in WGS84. To avoid
misinterpreting supplied positional
information, the datum used must always
accompany the supplied values.
Measuring Point
Elevation
M
The surface level elevation of the
measuring point relative to a
standard height datum (as
specified in Measurement Point
Elevation Datum) in metres.
Elevation is required to assist in
interpretation of certain measurements
and in applications requiring positions in
multi-dimensions.
Measuring Point
Elevation Datum
M
The reference datum used to
describe the elevation where the
measuring point is located.
To avoid misinterpreting supplied
positional information, the datum used
must always accompany the supplied
elevation values.
Measuring Point
Elevation
Method
M
The method used to determine
elevation at the measuring point.
Different methods may be used to
determine the elevation for a measuring
point and each of these may provide
different levels of accuracy and
confidence in the supplied measurement.
This information is therefore useful in the
interpretation and use of elevation
values.
M
The name of the basin /
catchment within the site is
located as determined by the
organisation.
Sub Basin or
Sub Catchment
M
The name of the sub basin/ sub
catchment within the site is
located as determined by the
organisation.
This assists in site description,
identification and reporting.
This may be the name as identified by
the Australian Hydrological Geospatial
Fabric (AHGF) or as identified in the
Gazetteer of Australia from Geoscience
Australia or the local name as deemed to
be the most accurate name by the
supplying organisation.
Date Time
Sampled
M
The date, time and time zone
when the sample was collected.
(aka Sample Collection Date,
Sample Date Time)
Basin or
Catchment
In order to ensure supplied date and time
information is captured correctly when
supplying organisations operate in a
number of different time zones, date/time
values shall comply with the W3C date
/time type: YYYY-MMDDTHH:MM:SS(.s+)?(Z|[+-]HH:MM)
which uses 24 hour time and specified
time zones.
This is essential for combining data sets
from specified time periods, relating
information to other data and events
(climatic changes), assessing temporal
trends and chain of custody records.
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Metadata
element name
Obligation
Date Time
Sampled
Qualifier
O
Sample Type
Description
Notes for:
general requirements for sample
A descriptor indicating method
used and confidence in capture of
Date Time Sampled.
(aka Date Time Qualifier)
The different approaches or
circumstances of the supplying
organisations may mean that the Date
Time Sampled may be captured with
varying degrees of accuracy. In some
cases, only date and not time may be
available or parts of the Date Time
Sampled may have been estimated
rather than recorded from actual values.
To provide clarity for such cases and to
assist in the use of Date Time Sampled
values, the qualifier code is used to
indicate the level of accuracy applicable
to a particular Date Time Sampled value.
M
The type of the water sample. e.g.
Surface water or groundwater,
This is used to classify samples and
indicate requirement for inclusion of
surface water or groundwater specific
data elements.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used if
one exists. Alternatively, a controlled list
should be used which is consistent within
the monitoring organisation.
Sample Source
M
A code that describes the water
source from which the sample
originated. e.g. Groundwater –
Bore; Surface water - Stream;
Lake, Tidal – Estuary; Wetland Permanent – Ephemeral; Water
impoundment.
This is used to describe and classify
samples.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used if
one exists. Alternatively, a controlled list
should be used which is consistent within
the monitoring organisation.
Program ID
M
An identifier which is unique within
the organisation, used to
represent the program or project
under which the sample was
collected.
It provides context and reason for
sampling and a means of identifying
samples collected under the same
program etc. While samples may be
related to a number of programs, the
primary program which generated the
sample is recorded here. Other
programs, subprograms and other
groupings for a sample such as event
sets, transect groups etc. may be
captured for the sample in Sample Sets.
This may also be used as a point of
reference with monitoring organisations
to facilitate further enquiries by users of
the data.
Program Name
M
The name of the program or
project under which the sample
was collected.
This assists in project description and
identification.
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Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for:
general requirements for sample
Collection
Method
M
The technique used to collect the
sample.
(aka Sample Method)
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used if
one exists. Alternatively, a controlled list
should be used which is consistent within
the monitoring organisation.
Sample Quality
Code
M
A code to rate the level of quality
of sample collection and handling.
(aka Measurement Quality, BoM
Quality Code)
It is used to determine comparability of
data and assist with correct usage.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used.
The Bureau of Meteorology has adopted
a set of 5 quality codes with defined
descriptions as follows:
Quality
Code
Description
Quality-A
The record set is the best
available given the
technologies, techniques
and monitoring objectives
at the time of
classification.
Quality-B
The record set is
compromised in its ability
to truly represent the
parameter.
Quality-C
The record set is an
estimate.
Quality-E
The record set's ability to
truly represent the
monitored parameter is
not known.
Quality-F
The record set is not of
release quality or contains
missing data.
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2.3.2 Sample – requirements specific to surface water
Data elements in this entity are unique to surface water characteristics and apply only
to samples or measurements taken from open waterways. Surface water samples and
measurements can be taken using a variety of methods. The sampling or
measurement method used will determine the relevance of the metadata elements
included in table 2.2. The list of metadata elements is not exhaustive, and additional
elements describing other surface water attributes may need to be captured depending
on the sampling methods used.
Table 2,2 – Requirements for surface water sample
Metadata
element name
Watercourse
Name
SW Gauge
Height
Obligation
M
3
C
Description
Notes for: requirements specific to
surface water
The name of the watercourse
upon which the site is located as
determined by the organisation.
This assists in site description,
identification and reporting.
This may be the name as identified by
the Australian Hydrological Geospatial
Fabric (AHGF) or as identified in the
Gazetteer of Australia from Geoscience
Australia or the local name as deemed to
be the most accurate name by the
supplying organisation.
The vertical distance of the water
surface above the gauge datum
(zero point) in metres.
This is relevant only to surface water
sites at gauging sites (i.e. not
miscellaneous sites) and is important in
understanding sampling conditions which
may assist in using and interpreting
measurements obtained.
SW AMTD
O
Adopted middle thread distance is
the distance from the mouth or
confluence of the stream (i.e. at
the ocean or where it joins
another stream) to the sampling
site in kilometres.
This assists in defining the exact location
along the waterway where the sampling
site is located so that potential influences
from other water bodies such as the
ocean tides or other flooding tributaries
can be taken into consideration when
using the data.
SW Stream
Surface Width
O
The width of the surface of the
water at which the sample was
taken in metres.
This provides additional insight into the
sampling conditions which may need to
be considered depending on intended
use for measurements obtained.
SW Sample
Depth
C4
The measure of distance below
the water surface at which the
sample was taken in metres.
Surface water quality changes with
vertical location as some water bodies
will be stratified. The specific location of
sample collection is critical to relate
results to other environmental features
and monitoring activities.
3
4
Mandatory if gauge height is available
Mandatory if these values are not stipulated in the organisations technical reference for sampling
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Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for: requirements specific to
surface water
SW Sample
Distance
C5
The measure of distance from the
left bank of the water edge at
which the sample was taken in
metres.
(aka Distance from Edge)
This information contributes additional
context to the exact location where
measurements were taken to provide a
better understanding of the results
produced particularly around the
possibility of edge effects to homogeneity
and representativeness of the water
being sampled.
SW Flow Status
C6
A code that describes the flow
rate of the water being sampled
e.g. Baseflow – wet season;
Baseflow – dry season; Rising
stage; Peak flood; Falling stage;
Tidal cycle; No flow.
(aka Water Regime)
This is important to sample collection but
particularly to the subsequent analysis
and interpretation of data.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used if
one exists. Alternatively, a controlled list
should be used which is consistent within
the monitoring organisation.
2.3.3 Sample – requirements specific to groundwater
Data elements in this entity are unique to groundwater characteristics and apply only to
samples or measurements taken in groundwater systems. Depending on the purging
and sampling methods used the data elements can vary greatly. Values of significance
may also vary considerably. Commonly referenced attributes for groundwater samples
are included in table 2.3.
Table 2.3 – Requirements for groundwater sample
Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
GW Aquifer
Sampled
O
The name of the aquifer/s from
which the water sample or
measurement is taken.
GW Pump Intake
Depth
O
The depth below natural surface
of pump intake in metres.
GW Pump
Duration
O
The time that elapsed between
commencing pumping and taking
the sample (or pumping finished if
the sample was taken after
pumping finished) in minutes.
GW Pump Rate
O
The rate that the bore was
pumped in L/s.
5
6
Notes for: requirements specific to
groundwater
Water quality results may vary
substantially depending on the amount of
time the bore was pumped prior to taking
the measurements or collecting the
sample. Capturing the pumping time
along with the other variables indicated
can provide a better understanding of the
results for users of this water quality data.
(e.g. identifying specific aquifers as the
source of the water and their condition)
Mandatory if these values are not stipulated in the organisations technical reference for sampling
Mandatory if there is no gauge height data that will describe flow height status at sampling point
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Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for: requirements specific to
groundwater
GW Volume
Pumped
O
The volume of water
pumped/purged from the bore
prior to sampling in Litres.
GW Level
M
The height of the water level in the
bore at the time of sampling.
GW
Measurement
Point WL
O
The point in the water column
where the sample was taken. .
GW Pump Start
Date Time
O
The date and time that
pumping/purging commenced
relating to the sample.
In order to ensure supplied date and time
information is captured correctly when
supplying organisations operate in a
number of different time zones, supplied
date/time values shall comply with the
W3C date /time type: YYYY-MMDDTHH:MM:SS(.s+)?(Z|[+-]HH:MM)
which uses 24 hour time and specified
time zones.
Bore
construction
O
Description of bore construction
data (including material types,
location of screens or slots, casing
diameters etc.)
This may be referenced to the bore
drilling log.
2.3.4 Sample - technical reference requirements
Standard methods, as documented in technical references, are commonly employed in
the collection, preservation, transport and storage of a sample. These technical
references may relate to specific collection and handling procedures or quality
assurance measures. Identification details of the standards are recorded in metadata
elements within the technical reference entity (refer to section 2.6). .
One or more technical references may be relevant to a given sample.
The technical references relevant to each sample shall be clearly referenced. The list
of all applicable technical references, identified using the Tech Ref ID(s), shall be
linked to the sample identified using the Organisation Sample ID.
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Table 2.4 – Requirements for sample technical references
Metadata
element name
Obligation
Organisation
Sample ID
M
Tech Ref ID
M
Description
An identifier, usually created by
the monitoring organisation for a
sample collected from the site at a
specific time, which is unique
within the organisation.
(aka Sample ID, Analysis ID,
Analysis Number, Accession
Number)
An identifier which is unique within
the organisation used to represent
the technical reference.
- (aka Method Code, Standard
Method ID, Analytical Protocol,
Analytical Method Number)
Notes for: requirements for sample
technical references
It is required to provide a clear chain of
custody and is an integral element that
links sampling information to related
details documented by the organisation.
It is also the key to tracking the sample in
the organisation’s information systems
and is critical for validation, duplicate
prevention or error correction processes.
In some organisations, a sample ID may
only be unique within the project (not
across the whole organisation). In such
cases, a unique sample reference shall
be generated.
Technical references identified in this
entity will relate to methods or standards
governing the collection and
management of the sample.
For further details of this data element
and other data elements which describe
Technical References, refer to section
2.6.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used if
one exists. Alternatively, a controlled list
should be used which is consistent within
the monitoring organisation.
2.3.5 Sample set and sample set member requirements
Data elements in these entities identify samples that are grouped into sample sets.
Sample sets may be used to provide a better understanding of the context in which the
sample was collected. Examples of sample sets include groups of samples collected in
relation to particular projects, events or operational groupings such as depth profiles
and transect groupings. Knowledge of these memberships provides insight into the
background circumstances of the sample and assists in identifying related samples or
possible future samples which could be anticipated from ongoing monitoring
operations.
2.3.5.1 Sample set requirements
Each sample set shall be uniquely identified and described in a consistent fashion by
recording the metadata elements in table 2.5.
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Table 2.5 – Requirements for sample set
Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for: requirements for sample set
Organisation
Sample Set ID
M
An identifier which is unique within
the monitoring organisation used
to represent the sample set.
This identifier shall be unique within the
organisations. It may be generated in
combination with the Program ID.
This identifier should be used as the key
to tracking the sample set in the
organisation’s information systems.
Organisation
Sample Set
Name
M
The name for the sample set used
by the monitoring organisation.
This assists in describing and identifying
the sample set.
Sample Set Type
M
The type of sample set.
(aka Reason for Sampling,
Sample Purpose)
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used if
one exists. Alternatively, a controlled list
should be used which is consistent within
the monitoring organisation.
Sample Set
Description
O
This is a description of the sample
set as used by the organisation.
2.3.5.2 Sample set member requirements
The member samples within each sample set shall be clearly referenced. Each sample,
identified using the Organisation Sample ID, shall be linked to the sample set of which
it is a member, identified using the Organisation Sample Set ID. Each membership for
the sample may be further described through the Member Set Position data element
which signifies whether the sample holds a particular position of significance within the
set (see table 2.6 below).
Samples may belong to a number of sets, in which case each membership shall be
recorded.
Table 2.6– Requirements for sample set member
Metadata
element name
Organisation
Sample ID
Obligation
M
Description
An identifier, usually created by
the monitoring organisation for a
sample collected from the site at a
specific time, which is unique
within the organisation.
(aka Sample ID, Analysis ID,
Analysis Number, Accession
Number)
Notes for: requirements for sample set
member
It is required to provide a clear chain of
custody and is an integral element that
links sampling information to related
details documented by the organisation.
It is also the key to tracking the sample in
the organisation’s information systems
and is critical for validation, duplicate
prevention or error correction processes.
In some organisations, a sample ID may
only be unique within the project (not
across the whole organisation). In such
cases, a unique sample reference shall
be generated.
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Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for: requirements for sample set
member
Organisation
Sample Set ID
M
An identifier which is unique within
the monitoring organisation used
to represent the sample set.
This identify shall be unique within the
organisations. It may be generated in
combination with the Program ID.
This identifier should be used as the key
to tracking the sample set in the
organisation’s information systems.
Member Set
Position
O
The ordinal position of the sample
within the sample set.
Depending on the nature of the sample
set, the position of the sample within the
set may have significance for how the
sample may be used and how it may be
related to other samples in the set.
2.4
Result requirements
Data elements in this entity relate to the actual reportable result of the water quality
observation. These elements record information about results determined through both
lab-based and field-based (including continuous data monitoring) activities.
Each result, identified using the Organisation Result Number, shall be linked to the
relevant determinand and related technical references, identified using the
Determinand Code and the Tech Ref ID respectively. Results determined for water
quality observations of a sample shall also be clearly linked to the sample, using the
Organisation Sample ID.
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Table 2.7 – Requirements for result
Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for: result requirements
Organisation
Result Number
M
An identifier which is unique within
an organisation, used to represent
the result.
This is used to represent the individual
result produced from a sample and is
combined with the Organisation Sample
ID to be the key to tracking the results.
Depending on the nature of the
processes applied to a sample, a number
of results for various determinands may
be produced. For a given sample this
may involve continuous field
measurements, testing conducted at one
or more labs or the application of a
variety of analytical processes. The
scope of some of these processes may
overlap such that they produce some of
the same determinands and in some
cases the date and time when the results
were achieved may be the same
(particularly where the date has been
estimated or no time is recorded). Under
such circumstance, it is difficult to
determine a clear set of result attributes
that may be guaranteed to be unique
across the different types of processes
and the different organisations supplying
data and therefore a Result Number is
assigned to each result within a sample
to achieve this.
Organisation
Sample ID
M
An identifier, usually created by
the monitoring organisation for a
sample collected from the site at a
specific time, which is unique
within the organisation.
(aka Sample ID, Analysis ID,
Analysis Number, Accession
Number)
It is required to provide a clear chain of
custody and is an integral element that
links sampling information to related
details documented by the organisation.
It is also the key to tracking the sample in
the organisation’s information systems
and is critical for validation, duplicate
prevention or error correction processes.
In some organisations, a sample ID may
only be unique within the project (not
across the whole organisation). In such
cases, a unique sample reference shall
be generated.
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Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for: result requirements
Determinand
Code
M
A code representing the
measurement or determinand.
This code is combined with the Tech Ref
ID to uniquely identify the determinand
being represented and the analytical
method used.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used if
one exists. Alternatively, a controlled list
should be used which is consistent within
the monitoring organisation.
Variable or analyte IDs used by individual
organisations shall be translated to valid
determinand codes.
For further details of this data element
and other data elements which describe
Determinands, refer to section 2.5.
Tech Ref ID
M
An identifier which is unique within
the organisation used to represent
the technical reference.
- (aka Method Code, Standard
Method ID, Analytical Protocol,
Analytical Method Number)
Technical references identified in this
entity will relate to methods or standards
governing the production of values for the
determinand.
The combination of Tech Ref ID and
Determinand Code form the unique
identifier for determinand.
For further details of this data element
and other data elements which describe
Technical References, refer to section
2.6.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used if
one exists. Alternatively, a controlled list
should be used which is consistent within
the monitoring organisation.
Date Time
Result
M
The date, time and time zone
when the result was produced.
For in situ measurements, this
value may be the same as the
Date Time Sampled. For other
field-based and lab-based
measurements, these dates may
differ slightly or substantially.
In order to ensure supplied date and time
information is captured correctly when
supplying organisations operate in a
number of different time zones, date/time
values shall comply with the W3C date
/time type: YYYY-MMDDTHH:MM:SS(.s+)?(Z|[+-]HH:MM)
which uses 24 hour time and specified
time zones.
This is essential for combining data sets
from specified time periods, relating
information to other data and events
(climatic changes), assessing temporal
trends and chain of custody records.
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Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for: result requirements
Date Time
Result Qualifier
O
A descriptor indicating the method
used and confidence in capture of
Date Time Result.
The different approaches or
circumstances of the supplying
organisations may mean that the Date
Time Result may be captured with
varying degrees of accuracy. In some
cases, only date and not time may be
available or the Date Time Result may
have been estimated rather than
recorded from actual values. To provide
clarity for such cases and to assist in the
use of Date Time Result values, the
qualifier code is used to indicate the level
of accuracy applicable to a particular
Date Time Result value.
Result Qualifier
O
A descriptor which qualifies the
reportable result for the
determinand or characteristic
measured. It indicates or explains
an aspect of the result (such as
below or above a stated value).
(aka Qualifier, Flag)
This is important in describing results, in
particular null results which may occur in
cases where values are below the
detection limit of the equipment used to
produce the result.
e.g.
< – Less Than
> – Greater Than
ND – Not Detected
TN – Too Numerous
TR – Trace
PQL Min
M
Minimum Practical Quantitation
Limit is the lowest numerical value
(detection limit) that a laboratory
can report reliably for a test result.
(aka Limit of Reporting, Detection
Limit, Limit of Quantitation)
Improvements in sampling and analytical
equipment and methods over time will
cause this to change. Hence, it is stored
here with the value to ensure correct
interpretation in the future.
This is a critical element contributing to
the confidence associated with the data,
and therefore, to the data interpretability.
PQL Max
M
Maximum Practical Quantitation
Limit is the highest numerical
value (detection limit) that a
laboratory can report reliably for a
test result.
This is a critical element contributing to
the confidence associated with the data,
and therefore, to the data interpretability
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Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for: result requirements
Uncertainty
M
A measure of confidence in a test
value as performed by a particular
laboratory.
Measurement uncertainty gives a
quantitative indication of the quality of the
result by providing an estimate of a range
of values that could reasonably be
attributed to an analytical result. It is
needed to permit assessments of data
reliability, comparability and fitness.
Further descriptions of these concepts
may be found in NATA Technical Notes
including #17 and #33.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent approach to determining and
recording result uncertainty should be
adopted if one exists. Alternatively, an
approach should be documented and
used which is consistent within the
monitoring organisation.
Unit
M
The standard of measurement for
a physical quantity as defined by
convention.
(aka Units of Measure,
Measurement Units)
The unit shall be prescribed in the
technical references and in the details
cited for the nominated determinand and
should comply with SI units.. To provide
accuracy and ease of reference and to
ensure correct interpretation in the future,
the unit of measure is also stored here
with the result.
This information assists with data
interoperability and is an essential
element to avoid misinterpretation of
results as ‘conventional’ units of measure
may vary between testing processes and
authorities.
Laboratory ID
C7
The unique identifier of the
laboratory from which the result
was produced.
This information is applicable to labbased results only and allows for
traceability of results.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent laboratory ID list should be
used if one exists. Alternatively, a
controlled list should be used which is
consistent within the monitoring
organisation.
7
Laboratory ID: mandatory if the result is attained from laboratory analysis.
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Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for: result requirements
Preservative
Method
C8
The name and description of the
preservative used for a sample
from which the result was
produced.
Most samples handled in a laboratory
require preservation in some way to
ensure accurate analysis. The results
produced from a sample may vary
depending on the processes used to
handle the sample, so capturing
preservation details provides insight into
the handling of the sample which may
assist users of the results.
The preservation requirements should be
prescribed in the technical references
cited for the sample and the nominated
determinand, however, the expected
approach may differ from the actual
execution depending on the
circumstances for a given sample or
result, so the actual preservation details
should be noted with the result for
accuracy and ease of reference.
Where more than one preservation
method is applied, details of each method
shall be recorded.
This information is applicable to labbased results only.
Result Quality
Code
M
A code to rate the quality of the
result.
- (aka Measurement Quality, BoM
Quality Code)
It is used to determine comparability of
data and assist with correct usage.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used.
The Bureau of Meteorology has adopted
a set of 5 quality codes with defined
descriptions as follows:
Quality
Code
Quality-A
Quality-B
Quality-C
Quality-E
Quality-F
Description
The record set is the best
available given the
technologies, techniques and
monitoring objectives at the
time of classification.
The record set is
compromised in its ability to
truly represent the parameter.
The record set is an estimate.
The record set's ability to
truly represent the monitored
parameter is not known.
The record set is not of
release quality or contains
missing data.
8
Preservative method: mandatory if the result is attained from laboratory analysis and one or more
preservation methods were applied to the sample.
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2.5
Determinand requirements
The determinand entity includes data elements that identify and describe the water
quality determinands which are being measured. Determinands are alternately known
as parameters, variable or analytes.
There are general characteristics that apply to all determinands and others that are
associated with determinand groups and determinand group members. Each has their
own set of metadata elements that are identified in sections 2.5.1 and 2.5.2.
2.5.1 Determinand – general requirements
Methods or standards governing the production of values for a determinand are
commonly described in technical references. Each determinand, identified using the
Determinand Code, shall be linked to the relevant technical reference, identified using
the Tech Ref ID,
Table 2.8 – General requirements for determinand
Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for: requirements for
determinand
Determinand
Code
M
A code representing the
measurement or determinand.
This code is combined with the Tech Ref
ID to fully clarify the specific determinand
being represented and methodology
behind it.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used if
one exists. Alternatively, a controlled list
should be used which is consistent within
the monitoring organisation.
Variable or analyte IDs used by individual
organisations shall be translated to valid
determinand codes.
Tech Ref ID
M
An identifier which is unique within
the organisation used to represent
the technical reference.
- (aka Method Code, Standard
Method ID, Analytical Protocol,
Analytical Method Number)
Technical references identified in this
entity will relate to methods or standards
governing the production of values for the
determinand.
The combination of Tech Ref ID and
Determinand Code form the unique
identifier for determinand.
For further details of this data element
and other data elements which describe
Technical References, refer to section
2.6.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used if
one exists. Alternatively, a controlled list
should be used which is consistent within
the monitoring organisation.
Page 31 of 40
National Industry Guidelines for hydrometric monitoring
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Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Notes for: requirements for
determinand
Determinand
Name
M
The name of the determinand.
This is a brief description or label using
standardised terminology to clearly
identify the measurement or determinand
with additional clarification specific to the
determinand being represented.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used if
one exists. Alternatively, a controlled list
should be used which is consistent within
the monitoring organisation.
Determinand
Comments
O
Comments or notes on the nature
and use of the determinand.
This is used to provide relevant notations
on the determinand for users of
determinand information.
2.5.2 Determinand group and determinand group member requirements
Data elements in these entities identify determinands that are arranged within
determinand groups. Determinand groups may be used to categorise and summarise
determinand definitions, and to describe different classification schemes and
approaches. Some schemes involve a hierarchical structure where multiple levels (or
groups of groups) are specified.
For example:
• Parent Determinand Group (eg Nutrients)
• Determinand Group (eg Nitrogen, Phosphorus)
• Determinand Group member (e.g. TN, TP)
2.5.2.1 Determinand group requirements
Table 2.9 –Requirements for determinand group
Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Determinand
Group ID
M
An identifier which is unique within
an organisation, used to
representing a group of
determinands.
Determinand
Group Name
M
The name of the determinand
group
Notes for: requirements for
determinand group
A determinand group which is part of a
determinand group hierarchy can be
specified by linking the group to its parent
in the hierarchy. In this way multi-level
determinand groups can be described
allowing users of this information to query
Page 32 of 40
National Industry Guidelines for hydrometric monitoring
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Metadata
element name
Parent
Determinand
Group ID
Obligation
M
Description
Notes for: requirements for
determinand group
The unique identifier for the
determinand group which is the
parent of this group in a group
hierarchy.
and explore the various levels.
Parent Determinand Group IDs shall be
validated from the list of unique
Determinand Group IDs used by the
organisation.
2.5.2.2 Determinand Group member requirements
The member determinands within each determinand group shall be clearly referenced.
This applies to all single level groups or groups on the bottom level of a hierarchy.
Each determinand, identified using the Determinand Code and related Tech Ref ID,
shall be linked to the determinand group of which it is a member, identified using the
Determinand Group ID.
Table 2.10 –Requirements for determinand group member
Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Determinand
Group ID
M
An identifier which is unique within
an organisation, used to
representing a group of
determinands.
Determinand
Code
M
A code representing the
measurement or determinand.
Notes for: requirements for
determinand group member
This code is combined with the Tech Ref
ID to fully clarify the specific determinand
being represented and methodology
behind it.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used if
one exists. Alternatively, a controlled list
should be used which is consistent within
the monitoring organisation.
Variable or analyte IDs used by individual
organisations shall be translated to valid
determinand codes.
For further details of this data element
and other data elements which describe
determinands, refer to section 2.5.1.
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National Industry Guidelines for hydrometric monitoring
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Metadata
element name
Tech Ref ID
2.6
Obligation
M
Description
An identifier which is unique within
the organisation used to represent
the technical reference.
- (aka Method Code, Standard
Method ID, Analytical Protocol,
Analytical Method Number)
Notes for: requirements for
determinand group member
Technical references identified in this
entity will relate to methods or standards
governing the production of values for the
determinand.
The combination of Tech Ref ID and
Determinand Code form the unique
identifier for determinand.
For further details of this data element
and other data elements which describe
Technical References, refer to section
2.6.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used if
one exists. Alternatively, a controlled list
should be used which is consistent within
the monitoring organisation.
Technical reference requirements
The technical reference entity includes data elements that describe methods and
standards which govern the collection and management of samples or the production
of results for a determinand.
2.6.1 Technical references – general requirements
Table 2.11 – General requirements for technical references
Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Tech Ref ID
M
An identifier which is unique within
the organisation, used to
represent the technical reference.
- (aka Method Code, Standard
Method ID, Analytical Protocol,
Analytical Method Number)
Tech Ref Name
M
The name or title of the technical
reference.
(aka Technical Reference Name,
Method Name)
Notes for: requirements for technical
references
This is the key used to identify all
technical references applicable to either
sample or determinand details.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used if
one exists. Alternatively, a controlled list
should be used which is consistent within
the monitoring organisation.
Page 34 of 40
National Industry Guidelines for hydrometric monitoring
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Metadata
element name
Obligation
Tech Ref Type
M
The type of technical reference
e.g. ANLAB Analysis - Lab,
SMCOL - Sample Collection.
(aka Method Type)
This information assists in classifying
technical references and identifying the
areas to which they are applicable.
To ensure data quality a nationally
consistent controlled list should be used if
one exists. Alternatively, a controlled list
should be used which is consistent within
the monitoring organisation.
Publishing
Source
M
The organisation which produced
the technical reference for
publication and use.
This information assists in describing the
technical reference.
Abbrev Tech Ref
Code
O
A code used to represent the
technical reference in
documentation or reports.
This contains abbreviated details of the
technical reference following standard
naming conventions.
Version
C9
A number or label indicating a
particular version or edition of the
technical reference.
(aka Technical Reference
Version)
Sampling approaches, analytical
techniques and the equipment used
change over time and the technical
references describing them need to be
revised and updated to reflect these
changes. As a result, a technical
reference may have a number of versions
and these may be in use by various
organisations at various times. Therefore
it is important to note the version for each
technical reference so that the exact
reference required can be identified and
cited correctly.
Version Date
M
The date the technical reference
(or version) was published or
released for use.
(aka Technical Reference Version
Date)
Accreditation
Type
O
The type or level of accreditation
given to the technical reference
from a recognised organisation.
This may be used as an indicator of the
level of review or scrutiny to which the
technical reference has been subjected
allowing better assessment by users of
the suitability of the technical reference
for use.
Document
Location
O
The URL or document location
where the technical reference is
held and from which the technical
reference may be obtained for
perusal.
This assists in locating the technical
reference in order to obtain more details
of its contents and use.
Description
Notes for: requirements for technical
references
9
Mandatory if there is more than one version of the technical reference used by the organisation over
the period of data collection.
Page 35 of 40
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Metadata
element name
Digitised
Document
Obligation
O
Description
A stored copy of the technical
reference in digital form.
Notes for: requirements for technical
references
Quick and easy access to listed technical
references is useful to users of this
information. In addition, references to
locations or links to documents held
elsewhere can be lost or difficult to locate
over time. These issues can be handled
by holding a copy of each technical
reference in a digital format as part of this
listing.
2.6.2 Technical Reference Source requirements
Methods or standards identified as technical references may be based on or sourced
from other methods or standards which are also identified as technical references. In
these cases the technical reference, identified using the Tech Ref ID, shall be linked to
the source technical reference, identified using the Source Tech Ref ID.
Technical references may be based on more than one source, in which case each
source technical reference shall be recorded.
Table 2.12 –Requirements for technical reference source
Metadata
element name
Obligation
Description
Tech Ref ID
M
An identifier which is unique within
the organisation, used to
represent the technical reference.
- (aka Method Code, Standard
Method ID, Analytical Protocol,
Analytical Method Number)
Source Tech Ref
ID
M
A unique identifier for the
technical reference underpinning
the reference which was used as
a source for the above specified
technical reference.
(aka Source Method ID, Related
Method ID)
Notes for: requirements for technical
reference source
This is the key used to identify all
technical references applicable to either
sample or determinand details. This may
take the form of a system-generated
sequence number.
Page 36 of 40
National Industry Guidelines for hydrometric monitoring
Initial Draft, March 2014
Appendix A
Appendix A Examples of Controlled Lists
Examples of Controlled Lists
A number of data elements in the data entities are based on coded values that are
needed to correctly classify the supplied water quality data and provide sample and
program context. Such data elements are noted as organisational controlled lists.
To assist in defining lists of these coded values for each organisation, some possible
values are listed below.
Table A1:
Possible controlled lists for water monitoring organisation
List Name
Description
Possible Values
Sample Types
The types of water sample.
Sample Sources
The types of water sources from
which sample may be collected.
Collection Methods
The methods used to collect samples.
SW – Surface water
GW – Groundwater
GB – Groundwater – Bore
GD – Groundwater Drainage (experimental)
GR – Groundwater Remote (tank, drain, above
ground storage)
GS – Groundwater Stream/Spring
LP – Water Treatment Plant
LR – Reticulation System – Public Water Supply
LS – Sewerage Treatment Plant
LT – Rain Water Tank
LW – Service Reservoir (treated water)
PR – Precipitation – Rain
SB – Surface water – Billabong
SC – Surface water – Channel
SD – Surface water – Off Stream Storage
SE – Surface water – Contour Bay
SS – Surface water – Stream
SL – Surface water – Lake
SN – Surface water – Bed Mud (stationary)
SO – Surface water – Bed Sediment Load
SP – Surface water – Bounded Plot
ST – Surface water – Storage (dam/weir)
SW – Surface water – Wetland
TE – Tidal – Estuary
TB – Tidal – Bay
TS – Tidal – Stream
AI – Airlifting
AM – Auto Sampler – Multiplexing
AN – Auto Sampler – Integrated Multiplexing
AO – Auto Sampler – Integrated
AS – Auto Sampler
BA – Bailer Other
BT – Bailer Teflon
DL – Datalogger
MA – Hand
MX – Composite
PA – Pump Amazon
PB – Pump Bladder
PF – Pump Air Forced
PG – Pump – Grundfos
PH – Pump Hurricane
PP – Pump Peristaltic
PU – Pump Other/Flowing Bore
Page 37 of 40
National Industry Guidelines for hydrometric monitoring
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List Name
Description
Date Time Qualifiers
Qualifiers used to describe date time
values.
Lat Long Datum
The types of datum in which lat long
location values are supplied or stored.
The types of datum in which elevation
values are supplied or stored.
Elevation Datum
Elevation Methods
The methods used to determine
elevations.
GW Meas Points
The types of measuring points which
may be used in measuring water level
in a bore.
BoM Quality Codes
The codes in the Bureau quality
scheme for rating of level of quality of
data.
Determinand Code
A code using standardised naming
convention to represent the
measurement or determinand.
SW Flow Statuses
The flow conditions that may apply at
surface water location at time of
sampling.
Sample Set Types
The types of sets to which a sample
can belong.
Appendix A Examples of Controlled Lists
Possible Values
PW – Pump Waterra
SD – Van Dorn Bottle
SH – Helley Smith Bed Load Sampler
SI – D49 Integrated Sediment Sampler
SM – DH48 Integrated Sediment Sampler
SR – Rising Stage Sampler
SS – P61 Suspended Sediment Sampler
ST – Sampling Tube (integrated)
SU – Integrated Sampler
SV – Van Veen Sampler
ACTTH – Actual Date Time accurate to the hour
ACTTM – Actual Date Time accurate to the minute
ACTTS – Actual Date Time accurate to the
second
ACTD – Actual Date
ESTDT – Estimated or Derived Date Time
ESTD – Estimated or Derived Date
GDA94
WGS84
AHD – Australian Height Datum – Mainland
AHDTasmania – Australian Height Datum –
Tasmania
BAR – Aneroid Barometer
GPS – GPS – Non-differential
EST – Estimate using contours
DPS – GPS – Differential
SVY – Surveyed
N – Natural Surface
TC – Top of Casing
TCP – Top of Casing Protector
H – Headworks
R – Defined Reference Point – Other
quality-A
quality-B
quality-C
quality-E
quality-F
EC25
TSS
TURB
TN
TNP
NOx–N
NH4–N
TP
pH
TEMP
BFW – Baseflow – Wet Season
BFD – Baseflow – Dry Season
RS – Rising Stage
PF – Peak Flood
FS – Falling Stage
TC – Tidal Cycle
NF – No Flow
PROJSUBGRP – Project Subgrouping
SFEVENT – Storm/Flow Event
OEVENT – Other Event
TRANSECT – Transect
Page 38 of 40
National Industry Guidelines for hydrometric monitoring
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List Name
Description
Result Value Qualifiers
Qualifiers used to describe or explain
result values.
Labs
The labs which process samples and
provide results to supplying
organisations.
Preservation Methods
The method used to preserve
samples for storage or in preparation
for testing in a lab.
Units
The unit of measure for result values.
Tech Ref Types
The type of technical references cited
with sample or determinand details.
Accreditation Types
The types of accreditation for
technical references.
The sources of technical reference
publications.
Tech Ref Publishing
Sources
Appendix A Examples of Controlled Lists
Possible Values
OTHGRP – Other Grouping
RES – Research
INVCOM – Investigation/Compliance
PSINCDENT – Pollution/Spillage Incident
OTHINCDENT – Other Incident
< – Less Than
> – Greater Than
ND – Not Detected
TN – Too Numerous
TR – Trace
QHFSS – QLD Health Forensic and Scientific
Services
ERSCC – Environment and Resource Sciences
(DERM ESP)
AA – Ascorbic Acid
AH – Hydrochloric Acid
AN – Nitric Acid
AO – Orthophosphoric Acid
AS – Sulphuric Acid
AT – Aluminium Sulphate
CC – Calcium Chloride
CD – Calcium Hydroxide
CH – Chilled – 4 degrees
CN – Cadmium Nitrate
CS – Copper Sulphate
DA – Kept in Darkness
FR – Frozen
EA – Excluded Air
LU – Lugol
MC – Magnesium Carbonate
ME – Methanol
MI – Mercuric Iodide
NC – Sodium Chloride
NH – Sodium Hydroxide
NL – Nil
NU – None Used But Req
PD – Potassium Dichromide
SE – Solvent Extraction
mg/L – milligrams per Litre
Cel – Degrees Celsius
% – Percentage
[pH] – pH
{Count} – Count
Deg – Degrees Decimal
uS/cm – MicroSiemens /cm
…..+ others
ANLAB – Analysis – Laboratory
ANFLD – Analysis – Field
SMCOL – Sample Collection
NATA – National Association of Testing
Authorities
APHA – American Public Health Association
AS/NZS – Australian/New Zealand Standard
ISO – International Organization for
Standardization
ASTM – American Society for Testing and
Materials
USEPA – US Environmental Protection Agency
Page 39 of 40
National Industry Guidelines for hydrometric monitoring
Initial Draft, March 2014
Appendix A Examples of Controlled Lists
Page 40 of 40
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