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Aquatic Sensor Workgroup Guidance Documents

The Aquatic Sensor Workgroup is a public-private partnership of water-quality monitoring agencies, industry, and   academia whose mission is to ensure that water-quality data collected by sensors are of known and documented quality.  They have published several guidance documents that benefit anyone using or preparing to use water quality monitoring sensors for surface water or groundwater monitoring applications.

The Field Deployment Guide is intended to be used as a checklist of considerations to guide both new and experienced users in the deployment of water-quality monitoring systems using sensors. The Guide is organized in four sections: System Selection guides users through the decision process for the type of monitoring system that will be needed; Site Selection covers the factors to consider in order to choose the best sampling location within your project constraints; Installations provides information on platform design, safety considerations, maintenance, and requirements for power and telemetry; and Documentation covers recommendations for written and photographic documentation of the site and the installation.

The Sensor QA (ACRR) Matrix is, essentially, a list of actions you can do to Affect, Check, Record, and Report the quality of your Sensors’ measurements. A number of data quality aspects are addressed. The Matrix reflects the Sensors QA Workgroup’s consensus on recommendations for a minimal list of actions which will still ensure delivery of data of known and documented quality. These actions are packaged in a series of spreadsheets (tabs), each containing a dedicated Matrix, for temperature, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen (DO), pH, turbidity, depth, and oxidation-reduction potential (ORP).  There is also a generic Matrix with ACRR actions which pertain to all sensors.  Monitoring Tips are added, linked to specific actions, as part of each Matrix; the same tips are also compiled on a separate tab. Please keep in mind that the Matrix is meant to be used by field operators in conjunction with the User’s Manual (for instrument-specific instructions) and with the Program’s SOP.

The ASW also released a Turbidity Addendum which explains the basics of turbidity measurement technologies and how different turbidimeter technologies may report different results.

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