Data Exchange Description
**IMPORTANT UPDATE April 13, 2020: Two new versions of the WQX data flow (v2.2 and v3.0) are now available and in production. EPA will continue to support existing versions of the WQX data flow.
WQX Version 2.2 is 100% backwards compatible with v2.1 and provides expanded data element lengths for various key description text type elements. See the schema change log v2.2 and Data Exchange Template v2.2 for more details.
Version 3.0 adopts new elements, some of which are not backwards compatible with version 2.1. See the schema change log v3.0 and Data Exchange Template v3.0 for more details.
WQX 3.0 addresses quality assurance by applying supported best practices and business rules. Good QA/QC ensures that your data can be reused by another user for analysis and safeguards against misuse. New version 3.0 supported QA/QC business rules are outlined via both the WQX 3.0 Flow Configuration Document and guidance documents at the WQX website (www.epa.gov/waterdata/water-quality-data-wqx):
- Best Practices for Sharing Nutrients Data.
- Best Practices for Sharing Metals Data.
- Best Practices for Sharing Macroinvertebrates Data.
The Water Quality Exchange (WQX) data flow allows Network Partners to share ambient water quality data with EPA. As the primary framework for sharing data at the national level and compiling data in the Water Quality Portal, WQX replaces the distributed STORET database. EPA stopped accepting submissions via the distributed STORET database in September 2009. For more information, visit WQX and STORET and review the WQX Success Story.
Version 1.0 of the WQX framework allowed Partners to share the following data types:
- Physical conditions at the time of a site visit;
- Chemical and bacteriological analyses of the water sampled; and
- Chemical analyses of fish tissue collected.
Versions 2.0 and 2.1 expanded the WQX framework to allow sharing of the following additional parameters:
- Taxon abundance data including population census, frequency class, group summaries, and individual results;
- Toxicity data;
- Habitat assessment scores and their related metrics; and
- Biological index scores and their related metrics.
Because many water monitoring programs use biological and habitat data as the basis for assessing water quality, WQX v2.0 and v2.1 enhance the richness of information available for data sharing, analysis, and improved decision making by watershed managers.
Version 2.1 of the WQX schema is backwards compatible with v2.0, and provides expanded data element lengths for various key description text type elements. See the schema change log and Data Exchange Template for more details. EPA accepts test and production submissions using WQX v1.0, v2.0, and v2.1.
The WQX data flow supports both node and node client submissions. It also provides a custom web-based client application called WQX Web. WQX Web allows users to submit flat file submissions such as text files or comma separated files (txt or csv files), that the tool then maps to the WQX schema for WQX XML file generation. WQX Web then acts as a web-client and submits the data through the WQX data flow. All users of WQX Web must access the tool in the CDX Web environment.
All data shared using the WQX framework can be accessed in the Water Quality Portal.
The Data Flow Implementation Guide provides a high-level overview of the data flow.
Partners sharing WQX data via a node or node client will need to acquire a Network Authentication Authorization Service (NAAS) Account as well as a WQX Organization ID. NAAS Accounts must be set up for both test and production environments. Please ask your organization’s Node Administrator to obtain a NAAS Account for test and production.
Once you have a NAAS Account, request a WQX Organization ID from the STORET Help Desk. The STORET Team will set up a WQX ORG ID that associates with your test or production NAAS Account. Contact the STORET Help Desk at storet [at] epa.gov or 800.424.9067. The STORET Help Desk will require the following:
- ORG ID (may be up to 30 characters long)
- Organization Name
- Contact Name
- Contact Email
- Date Needed
Partners submitting data through WQX will require a new WQX Organization ID that is unique from any previous STORET ORG IDs. This ensures that users do not duplicate data already within an Organization in the STORET Warehouse when submitting data through WQX.
Partners submitting data via WQX Web must sign up for a CDX Web account in order to access the tool. Note that a CDX Web account is different from a NAAS Account. Request a CDX Web account from the STORET Help Desk by email at storet [at] epa.gov or phone at 800.424.9067.
The WQX schema and supporting flow documentation have been approved for use on the Exchange Network.