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Using STORET as a Database Design Model


Prior to 2003, how would one obtain NHDES monitoring data? Pick through overflowing file cabinets. Pick through disks and databases of various formats. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Using STORET as a Database Design Model

Using STORET as a Database Design Model
  • Deb Soule
  • Watershed Management Bureau
  • New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

  • Background on NHDES monitoring data
  • Development of our own database based on STORET
  • Web access to database
  • Electronic data submittal process

Prior to 2003, how would one obtain NHDES
monitoring data?
Pick through overflowing file cabinets.
Pick through disks and databases of various
Know someone who knew where the data was.
Realizing this wasnt a solid approach to
environmental data management, we did the
following about 4 years ago
  • Reviewed commercial databases to see if they
    would work for us. (Expensive option.)
  • Asked other states if they would share their
    database with us. (Cheap option but not very
  • Reviewed STORET as a possible database since it
    met reporting requirements. (Later deemed it
    didnt fit all of our needs.)
  • Formed a department wide committee to develop a
    database. (Initially a no-go since developing
    consensus was difficult and painful.)
  • Began development of own database within
    Watershed Management Bureau based on STORET.

Development Process
  • Bureau met every 2 weeks for several months to
    determine what they collectively wanted to see in
    a database. (Providing home cooked food always
    brings them in.)
  • STORET structure and requirements were used as
  • Program needs were incorporated
  • Included program specific columns
  • Complaints module
  • ADB linkability
  • Integration of inspection data with monitoring

Everything went smoothly
Everyone was in complete agreement.
The process was approached with full disclosure
and openness. Change was welcomed.
Database Development
  • Took approximately 4 months for one developer to
    build core Oracle database (called the
    Environmental Monitoring Database (EMD)) in-house
  • Testing was done as soon as each section of the
    database was completed.
  • Old bureau data was seamlessly and effortlessly
    imported into the new database

The Environmental Monitoring Database (EMD)
  • Went live March 2003.
  • Accepts air water, soil, product etc. field and
    lab data.
  • Handles physical/chemical now biological later.
  • Handles QA/QC samples.
  • Has automatic nightly imports from state and
    limnology labs.
  • Soon will have ability to capture data logger
  • Fulfills beach reporting requirements.

The Environmental Monitoring Database (EMD)
  • Integrates shellfish, beach, and complaints
    inspection data with monitoring data.
  • As of 10/2004 had 84 projects, 8100 stations,
    300,000 activities.
  • Creates SIM compatible export files for upload to
  • Linkable to Assessment Database (ADB) and will be
    developing ability this next year to create
    automatic assessments based on EMD data.

How about the rest of NHDES?
  • Once they saw we had a functioning database with
    dedicated resources, they wanted to join in.
  • Developed department wide database committee to
    collectively create changes to the database.
  • Other bureau data being incorporated as time and
    staff resources permit. Now besides Watershed
    data, have Superfund, Site Remediation, and
    Geological Survey data streaming in. Public
    drinking water data next on the horizon.
  • Database becomes data warehouse for departments

Beyond NHDES
  • Goal is to make the database a warehouse for all
    NH environmental monitoring data.
  • Now have Great Bay Coast Watch, Green Mountain
    Conservation Group, and Upper Merrimack
    Monitoring Group data in database.
  • Data from UNH, EPA, and White Mountain National
    Forest to follow soon.
  • Outside agencies more willing to share data with
    us since we will export it to STORET for them and
    make it available on the web.

EMD Data on the Web
  • Went live June 2004.
  • Only final data is available via flat file
    created each night.
  • Can query by
  • Organization Project Name Station ID
  • Station Type Town County
  • State Waterbody Name River Name
  • Designated River HUC 12 Name Analyte
  • Medium Beach Name
  • Data returned via email in zipped/unzipped,
    Excel/pipe delimited format complete with your
    query parameters.
  • Excel has column and row limitations separate
    worksheets for project station data vs result
  • http//

Electronic Data Submittal Process
  • Needed a way to receive monitoring data
    electronically from consultants, outside labs,
    volunteers, cooperating agencies etc.
  • Developed Excel spreadsheets to import station
    and activity data separately (with XML planned
    for the future).
  • Developed web registration and submittal forms
    with data checker.

Electronic Data Submittal Process (continued)
  • Developed interim table to capture what was being
    submitted, by who, when etc. for data integrity
  • Piloted process with select WMD consultants and
    labs during summer/fall 2004.
  • Currently incorporating Drinking Water Program
    elements into template to create one NHDES wide
    data submittal template.

Our next steps?
  • Continue mining state lab database for data to
    import into EMD.
  • Continue bringing in more bureaus and outside
    agencies into EMD.
  • Enhance EMD web site including a GIS component.
  • Put electronic data submittal templates into
  • Add a biological component to EMD.
  • Incorporate surface and drinking water standards.

  • Contact Information
  • Deb Soule
  • Watershed Management Bureau
  • New Hampshire Department of Environmental
  • (603) 271-8863