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  • Water quality monitoring program design

    A guideline for field sampling for surface water quality monitoring programs

    Looking after al l our water needs

    Department of Water

    January 2009

  • Department of Water 168 St Georges Terrace Perth Western Australia 6000 Telephone +61 8 6364 7600 Facsimile +61 8 6364 7601 http://www.water.wa.gov.au

    © Government of Western Australia 2009

    January 2009

    This work is copyright. You may download, display, print and reproduce this material in unaltered form only (retaining this notice) for your personal, non- commercial use or use within your organisation. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, all other rights are reserved. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Department of Water.

    ISBN 978-1-921468-22-3 (pdf)

    Standards

    The preparation and control of this document is based on Australian Standards.

    Disclaimers

    Limitation to the user

    This document has been written by the Department of Water in good faith, exercising all due care and attention. No representation or warranty, be it expressed or implied, is made as to the relevance, accuracy, completeness or fitness for purposes of this document in respect of any particular user's circumstances. Users of this document should satisfy themselves concerning its application to their situation, and where necessary seek expert advice or clarification.

    Acknowledgements

    This project is funded by the Australian and Western Australian Government's investment in the Natural Heritage Trust administered by the Swan Catchment Council in the Swan region.

    For more information about this report, contact:

    Dominic Heald, Water Science Branch, Water Resource Management Division dominic.heald@water.wa.gov.au

  • Water quality monitoring program design

    Department of Water iii

    Contents 1 Introduction..............................................................................................................1 2 Designing a monitoring program — an overview....................................................3 3 The land use diagrams............................................................................................6

    3.1 Industrial land uses: ...................................................................................................... . . 7 3.2 Rural land uses: ...............................................................................................................7 3.3 Urban land use:............................................................................................................. . . 7

    4 Why monitor? ........................................................................................................12 5 What to monitor? ...................................................................................................13 6 Where to monitor?.................................................................................................14 7 When to monitor? ..................................................................................................15 8 How to monitor? ....................................................................................................16 9 Data management.................................................................................................17

    9.1 The process of data management .................................................................................18 9.2 Data verification and validation ......................................................................................19

    10 Quality assurance and quality control in measuring water quality ........................20 10.1 Quality control ................................................................................................................20 10.2 Quality assurance .......................................................................................................... 20

    11 Collection of quality control samples ....................................................................21 11.1 Blank samples................................................................................................................ 21

    Field blanks (FB) ...................................................................................................................................21 Trip blanks (TB) .....................................................................................................................................22 Container blanks (CB) ...........................................................................................................................22 Rinseate blank (RB)...............................................................................................................................22

    11.2 Other quality control samples......................................................................................... 22 Replicate samples (RS) .........................................................................................................................22 Field duplicates (FD)..............................................................................................................................22

    11.3 Recording of quality control samples on the chain of custody form................................23 11.4 Frequency of quality control sample collection...............................................................23

    12 Sampling and analysis plans ...............................................................................24 13 Reporting and data use .......................................................................................26 14 Useful contacts ....................................................................................................28 15 Glossary ..............................................................................................................29 16 References ..........................................................................................................30

  • Water quality monitoring program design

    Department of Water iv

    Figures

    Figure 1 Overview of monitoring design ..................................................................... 7 Figure 2 Identify industrial land uses that may be impacting on your river and/or

    catchment.............................................................................................................. 13 Figure 3 Identify rural land uses that may be impacting on your river and/or

    catchment.............................................................................................................. 14 Figure 4 Identify urban land uses that may be impacting on your river and/or

    catchment.............................................................................................................. 15

  • Water quality monitoring program design

    Department of Water 1

    1 Introduction Water quality monitoring is important for environmental protection, managing waterways and their catchments, identifying pollution events and community education.

    Monitoring consists of making observations and taking measurements that are analysed and reported to provide information and knowledge about catchments and waterways.

    Identifying a clear purpose for monitoring is the first and most critical step for an effective monitoring program and should be based on an analysis of issues affecting the catchment and/or water body.

    As awareness of land-use changes and their impact on water quality has grown, there has been a corresponding growth in community participation in water quality monitoring and local action to protect local environments. Where the purpose of monitoring is to provide data for local action planning or catchment-wide decision making, it is important that the monitoring provides data of a known quality. It is essential that we know how good the data are if we are going to make good catchment management decisions or develop meaningful resource condition targets.

    With the development of the monitoring and evaluation framework for the National Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality co-funded regional strategies, there was an outstanding opportunity to integrate many existing, and proposed, future monitoring programs. This helps optimise the information gathered from monitoring expenditure. The eventual goal is to develop an overall monitoring and evaluation framework that:

    • recognises the considerable overlap in objectives and information needs of the existing and future monitoring programs;

    • supports access to monitoring data and information through the use of consistent data management protocols, such as the storage of data in a single, publicly accessible database; the Water INformation (WIN) database has been specifically constructed for this purpose;

    • enables comparison of results between similar monitoring programs by establishing consistent sampling and analysis methods; this monitoring and evaluation guideline document is designed to help achieve that goal;

    • ensures monitoring and reporting is compatible with a wide range of management and reporting outcomes – locally, regionally and nationall

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