Water Quality Data Elements

​​The EPA maintains a water quality database which is used to store and analyse water quality data submitted to the EPA. Data sources include data submitted in accordance with regulatory requirements, data collected as part of baseline ambient monitoring and other specific environmental monitoring programs.

In order to be compatible with the database, data providers need to ensure submitted data includes the necessary elements and is in an approved format.

There are 4 key elements within the EPA database data model:

  • Program – Program under which data is collected.
  • Sites – Sites sampled under a specific Program.
  • Monitoring Schedule – Sampling frequency for Sites and indicators for the Program.
  • Sample event information – Data collected at each S​ite during a site visit.


The program includes information that describes the purpose of the program, who is providing the data to the EPA, which section of the EPA is the data custodian and which individual within the EPA is the responsible officer. For each Program a unique Program identifier (Program Name ID) is generated.


Typical site information includes the site code, site name, location, if a discharge point or not, spatial information (eg: Easting/Northing or Lat/Long), projection (eg: GDA94:55), elevation and Program Name ID. A map showing the location of sites should be provided with the site information.

Monitori​​​ng Schedule

The monitoring schedule sets out what information is to be collected at each site during a sample event. The monitoring schedule includes details on frequency of sampling events (eg: monthly, quarterly or annually) on a site by site basis, which indicators (including indicator ID) are to be collected and from which depth or depths.

A submission form template with examples is available for download for the above information.

 Program and Site Metadata Template (XLSX 1Mb)

Indicator Register

The EPA uses an Indicator Register (XLSX 31Kb)​ to link parameters across monitoring programs. The EPA Indicator Register is based on Chemical Abstracts Service CAS numbers (Chemical Abstracts Service numbers). Please refer to the Indicator Register to ensure the correct Indicator ID is provided with your data submission. Where a particular parameter is not listed on the Indicator Register, please contact the EPA Water Section to enable an indicator ID to be assigned.

​Sample ev​​ent information

Sample event information provides details of what data was collected at a monitoring site during a site visit. Water quality data is imported into the water quality database in a specific data file format. Details of necessary data elements required to enable the inclusion of data are provided in the template below.

 Water Quality Data Format Template (XLSX 65Kb)

For detailed information on water data terminology and file format specifications from external databases refer to the following document​.

 Water Data Format from External Databases (PDF 405Kb)