FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials

Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |   ...   | 10 |

«Guidelines for Quality Assurance and Quality Control in Surface Water Quality Programs in Alberta Guidelines for Quality Assurance and Quality ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

Guidelines for Quality Assurance and

Quality Control in Surface Water

Quality Programs in Alberta

Guidelines for Quality Assurance and Quality

Control in Surface Water Quality Programs

in Alberta

Prepared by:

Patricia Mitchell, M.Sc., P.Biol.

Patricia Mitchell Environmental Consulting


Alberta Environment

July 2006


Pub. No: T/884

ISBN: 0-7785-5081-8 (Printed Edition)

ISBN: 0-7785-5082-6 (On-line Edition)

Web Site: http://www3.gov.ab.ca/env/info/infocentre/publist.cfm Any comments, questions or suggestions regarding the content of this document may be

directed to:

Environmental Monitoring and Evaluation Branch Environmental Assurance Division Alberta Environment 12 th Floor, Oxbridge Place 9820 – 106 Street Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J6 Fax: (780) 422-8606

Additional copies of this document may be obtained by contacting:

Information Centre Alberta Environment Main Floor, Oxbridge Place 9820 – 106 Street Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J6 Phone: (780) 427-2700 Fax: (780) 422-4086 Email: env.infocent@gov.ab.ca PREFACE Over the years, quality assurance for the acquisition of water quality data has become increasingly important. Development in Alberta is increasing at a rapid pace, but at the same time the people of Alberta are demanding that developers and the government protect the environment. Predevelopment studies and monitoring and assessment of impacts during and after development must be based on sound science. Sound science demands a good quality assurance program, so that government staff can demonstrate that the data collected are accurate and precise, ensuring that environmental decisions are valid.

The following document responds to the need to standardize quality assurance programs for all surface water quality studies conducted by and for the Alberta government.

Although the document focuses on surface water and sediments, the principles would be similar for monitoring of groundwater, drinking water and other environmental studies.

Very few similar documents are available in Canada. In the United States, the U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency has extensive and detailed documents on quality assurance, mainly because any studies using federal funding are legally bound to follow quality assurance procedures.

Much of this guideline document is based on several literature sources. It should be remembered that in the field of quality assurance, very little is set in stone, and quite often one literature source contradicts another. Therefore, Alberta Environment decided to draft its own QA/QC guidelines, which professional staff agreed upon. This document should be reviewed and updated periodically as new information becomes available.

It is the intention of Alberta Environment to establish measurement quality objectives for variables of concern, to be based on recent data for all sampling programs. These will be published in a separate document.

–  –  –








Measurement Quality Objectives and Data Quality Objectives

Quality Control Indicators



Other Estimates of Quality Assurance

Quality Control Samples


Reference Samples



True Splits

Data Management


Steps in Program Design

1. State the Problem

2. Identify the Information Needs

3. Define the Boundaries of the Study

4. Develop a Testable Hypothesis for Assessment Studies

5. Set Data Quality Objectives and Measurement Quality Objectives................. 13

6. Finalize the Study Design

Quality Control Samples

Examples of Study Design


Quality Control Sample Results




Non-Detect Data




–  –  –

Table 2. False acceptance and false rejection decisions.

Table 3. Preliminary MQOs for phosphorus and chlorophyll a in lake water.

.... 15 Table 4. Example of measurement quality objectives for a hypothetical stream study in the State of Washington.

Table 5. General guidelines for types of quality control samples and their frequency of collection.

Table 6. Guidelines for Recommended Parameters for Different Coefficient of Variations and Censoring

–  –  –

Appendix B. Alberta Environment Project Plan

Appendix C. Detection Limits

Appendix D. Alberta Environment Data Validation Process

–  –  –

Technical review was provided by Anne-Marie Anderson, Doreen LeClair, and Darcy McDonald, of the Environmental Assurance Division (EAD). Final report formatting and preparation was done by Mary Raven (EAD).

–  –  –

Alberta Environment has sampled water and sediment quality in rivers, lakes and streams since the 1960s. The data collected are used to assess present conditions, compare data with water quality guidelines, investigate specific water quality issues, or determine longterm trends. Monitoring programs also assess whether regulatory processes are effective in protecting water bodies from excessive nutrients, metals, pesticides and toxic substances.

Another purpose in monitoring surface waters is in support of the Water for Life strategy of the Alberta government. Water for Life is a commitment to using scientific knowledge in decision-making to sustain water supplies, protect drinking water and ensure healthy aquatic ecosystems. Partnerships are a key direction in this initiative. The Surface Water Monitoring Subcommittee of the Water Quality Task Group has identified several key principles to ensure that good scientific information, which cannot be compromised, is

collected. These include the following steps (Anderson et al. 2005):

Step 1: Scoping and Design Competent program design requires a clear scientific understanding of the issues, the study objectives, appropriate methods and the natural dynamics of rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands and reservoirs.

Step 2: Sample Collection Sample collection requires expertise and skill, including adherence to well-defined methods, good data management standards and health and safety considerations.

Step 3: Sample Analysis Chemical, biological and physical analyses must be performed by competent laboratories and results must meet scientific criteria for the acceptability of results.

Step 4: Data Validation High quality, reliable data must be ensured before they are stored electronically. This is done by confirming field and lab methods, checking results and QC data and ensuring proper coding.

Step 5: Data Storage Information and data must be reliably stored over the long-term, and be easily accessible to all parties. It is undesirable to have many independent databases with separate validation procedures.

Step 6: Reporting Competent parties should convert the data to accurate, reliable and scientifically defensible information in a timely manner.

Guidelines for Quality Assurance and Quality Control in Surface Water Quality Programs in Alberta All of the sampling programs conducted by Alberta Environment (AENV) depend on reliable and accurate data. The consequences of using poor quality data include faulty decisions, higher risk to the environment or human health, wasted resources, loss of credibility and sometimes, legal liability (Lombard and Kirchmer 2004). Data quality, however, fundamentally depends on the intended use of the data. To be meaningful, the data quality must meet the desired level of confidence for the purpose of the sampling program. As well, the sampling design and data quality should be able to perform over a wide range of possible outcomes.

As a general policy, surface water and sediment sampling programs conducted by AENV use accredited laboratories, although new and emerging substances may not be accredited yet. Laboratory accreditation, however, does not guarantee good data. Many other factors can influence data quality.

To ensure that good data are collected, all sampling programs should include a quality assurance plan. Quality assurance (QA) is a system of activities designed to make sure that the data meet defined standards of quality. It pertains to the overall management of the sampling program, and includes planning, documentation, training, consistency in collecting and handling samples, analyses, validation and reporting. An important part of QA is quality control (QC). Quality control refers to the technical activities used to reduce errors throughout the sampling program. These activities measure the performance of a process against defined standards to verify that the data meet the expected quality. Errors can occur in the field, laboratory or while handling the data. QC should include both internal and external measures. Internal QC is a set of measures undertaken by the project’s own samplers and analysts. External QC involves people and laboratories outside of the project (USEPA 1996).

Table 1 shows how QA and QC differ.

–  –  –

Table 1. Comparison of quality assurance and quality control.

From Statistics Canada: http://www.statcan.ca/english/edu/power/ch3/quality/quality.htm The purpose of this document is to recommend QA/QC guidelines for all water and sediment sampling programs conducted by aquatic scientists in the Alberta government.

To make sure that all data generated on various projects are reliable, quality assurance Guidelines for Quality Assurance and Quality Control in Surface Water Quality Programs in Alberta and quality control must be included in sampling designs for all water quality monitoring projects; quality control data should be interpreted in project reports. This document is intended primarily for the staff of the Alberta government and their partners and consulting firms conducting studies for AENV. It would also be useful for anyone doing water quality studies.

Although several jurisdictions in North America have quality assurance guideline documents for surface water sampling, they vary considerably in methods and requirements. The information herein may differ somewhat from literature sources, but the guidelines were agreed upon by Alberta Environment staff and should be applied to Alberta government sampling programs.

These guidelines are intended for sampling of surface water and sediments only, including chemistry and a few biological variables, mainly fecal coliform bacteria and chlorophyll a. Other biological variables require different QA techniques, and likely different guidelines. This document does not address compliance monitoring for regulatory purposes, nor for groundwater monitoring, although the principles would be the same. A field sampling procedures manual, which includes field QC, is available (Alberta Environment 2006), and therefore specific field techniques to ensure quality data are not reported here, nor are those for certified analytical laboratories, which have their own QA/QC procedures. Appendix A provides information on the current state of quality assurance in Alberta Environment.

Guidelines for Quality Assurance and Quality Control in Surface Water Quality Programs in Alberta

2. BASIC CONCEPTS OF QA/QC Quality assurance is the overall management of a sampling program so that reliable and accurate data are produced. Variability occurs naturally in streams, lakes and rivers, but is also introduced during the collection and analysis of samples from these waters. For analytical results to be meaningful the total error contributed by all stages of sampling and analysis should be substantially less than the natural variability of the water or sediments being sampled. All of the following would apply to sediments as well as water.

Field quality assurance includes basic precautions that must be followed if variability (errors) in the data is to be minimized. The Alberta Environment field-sampling manual (Alberta Environment 2006) gives specific instructions to maintain consistency and ensure the staff are diligent while collecting, filtering, preserving and shipping samples.

Quality control (QC) samples are used to evaluate whether the sampling and processing system is functioning properly, and whether measurement quality objectives have been met. Analytical labs have their own quality control procedures, but QC samples submitted from the field will provide an estimation of the total study error. If necessary, QC samples can be used to pinpoint sources of error, especially those from contamination. New sampling programs should incorporate rigorous QC measures until an acceptable level of data quality has been demonstrated. This is particularly important if the program objectives are to assess trends or investigate an impact on aquatic life or human health.

Measurement Quality Objectives and Data Quality Objectives A practical distinction between error and uncertainty is that we can do something about error, but we have to live with uncertainty. Error has to do with the quality of measurements, while uncertainty has to do with what they represent. In practice we can identify sources of both, and both can be diminished. The level of effort depends on the amount of error we can tolerate. Error is how far out a particular measurement could be from the “truth” – it can be specified as a percentage of the true value, such as +/- 10% (Katznelson 1998). These are often referred to as Measurement Quality Objectives (MQOs). MQOs are specific units of measure, such as percent recovery (accuracy) and percent relative standard deviation (precision). They are usually listed in the same units as the real sample data, so they can be compared directly to QC sample results. They should be specified before a sampling program begins, and the QC data should be analyzed during the sampling program, so that problems that may arise can be corrected.

Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |   ...   | 10 |

Similar works:

«Leveraging the Upcoming Internet of Services through an Open User-Service Front-end Framework David Lizcano, Miguel Jimenez, Javier Soriano, Jose M. Cantera. Marcos Reyes, J u a n J. Hierro, Francisco Garijo, and Nikolaos Tsouroulas Universidad Politecnica de Madrid 28660 Boadilla del Monte, Madrid, SPAIN Telefonica I+D 28043 Emilio Vargas 6, Madrid, SPAIN A b s t r a c t. The Internet of the Future is expected to be composed of a mesh of interoperable Web Services accessed from all...»

«-1 Copyright by Thelma Chedgzsey Smith-McKeever -1 The Dissertation Committee for Thelma Chedgzsey Smith-McKeever Certifies that this is the approved version of the following dissertation: African American Adoptions: An Exploratory Study of Post-Adoption Outcomes Among African American Adoptive Families Who Have Adopted Children From African American Adoption Agencies -2 AFRICAN AMERICAN ADOPTIONS: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF POST-ADOPTION OUTCOMES AMONG AFRICAN AMERICAN ADOPTIVE FAMILIES WHO HAVE...»

«Fukushima and New Zealand v. France Nuclear Tests: Can Japan be Brought to the International Court of Justice for Damages Caused by the Fukushima Plants? Harold S. Yun* On March 11, 2011, an earthquake caused a tsunami that damaged the cooling system of the nuclear reactors in Fukushima and ultimately caused an explosion that released and spread radioactive materials.' Judging from the contamination of the nearby area and the release of the contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean, it is...»

«BULLETIN (New Series) OF THE AMERICAN MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY Volume 43, Number 3, July 2006, Pages 305–364 S 0273-0979(06)01108-6 Article electronically published on May 3, 2006 NONLINEAR DYNAMICS OF NETWORKS: THE GROUPOID FORMALISM MARTIN GOLUBITSKY AND IAN STEWART Abstract. A formal theory of symmetries of networks of coupled dynamical systems, stated in terms of the group of permutations of the nodes that preserve the network topology, has existed for some time. Global network symmetries...»

«REGENT UNIVERSITY The relationships between servant leadership, trust, team commitment and demographic variables Servant Leadership Research Roundtable – August 2006 Zani Dannhauser University of Stellenbosch Adré B Boshoff University of Stellenbosch The need for empirical research on the relationship of servant leadership to organizational and demographic variables is seen in the literature. Servant leadership, trust, team commitment, and demographic variables were measured among 417 sales...»

«elephant tree Chapman University Volume 4 Spring 2009 Editors Laurel Baltic ˆ ˆ ´ Nidzara Pecenkovic Courtney Wadman Ryan Wirick Faculty Advisor Dr. Logan Esdale We would like to thank the Department of English, as well as the Office of Publications and Creative Services for their help in creating this project. Elephant Tree appears annually, and is open to submissions from any Chapman student. All rights revert to author upon publication. Cover drawing by Lara Odell Dear reader, you are...»

«Johann Albrecht Bengel: A Prominent Post-Reformation Voice Engaging a Rising Tide of Biblical Criticism1 Albin Huss, Jr.* * Dr. Albin Huss is Professor and Chair of New Testament at Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary, Lansdale, Pennsylvania. This paper was originally given at the Evangelical Theological Society Regional Meeting of the Northeast, on March 26, 2010. Introduction In considering “voices from the edge of the Reformation,” it seems fitting that the prominent voice of...»

«Personal Care Procedure 1. Purpose To provide guidance to staff on intimate care including bathing and showers.2. Introduction Intimate care encompasses areas of personal care which most people usually carry out for themselves, but some are unable to do so because of impairment or disability. Intimate care is described as: Care tasks associated with bodily functions, body products and personal hygiene that demand direct or indirect contact with or exposure of the sexual parts of the body...»

«Case 4:00-cr-01046-DCB-LAB Document 119 Filed 12/06/05 Page 1 of 15 WO IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA United States of America, ) ) Respondent, ) No. CV 04-353 TUC JMR ) CR 00-1046 TUC JMRT vs. ) ) ORDER Deyanira O. Mancha, ) ) Petitioner. ) ) Pending before this Court is Petitioner Deyanira O. Mancha's Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody. In that motion, Petitioner raises a number of claims...»

«14 years ago. David Askew woke up with what he thought was the flu. A few days later, he didn’t recognize his own children. How do you live in a world where every moment is disconnected from the last? On Friday, July 9, 1993, David Askew woke up feeling nauseous with a fever and a headache. A forty-one-year old computer whiz and manager of information services for a Mississauga-based importing company, he had been installing new computer systems and putting in eighty-hour weeks. This was...»

«THE RISE OF NEMAUSUS FROM AUGUSTUS TO ANTONINUS PIUS: A PROSOPOGRAPHICAL STUDY OF NEMAUSIAN SENATORS AND EQUESTRIANS by Hugo Thomas Dupuis Whitfield A thesis submitted to the Department of Classics In conformity with the requirements for the Degree of Masters of Arts Queen’s University Kingston, Ontario, Canada (April, 2012) Copyright © Hugo Thomas Dupuis Whitfield, 2012 Abstract Prosopography seeks to learn about social patterns and establish relationships within a welldefined group of...»

«Are Skeptical Theists Really Skeptics? Sometimes Yes and Sometimes No Justin P. McBrayer Forthcoming in IJPR abstract: Skeptical theism is the view that God exists but, given our cognitive limitations, the fact that we cannot see a compensating good for some instance of evil is not a reason to think that there is no such good. Hence, we are not justified in concluding that any actual instance of evil is gratuitous, thus undercutting the evidential argument from evil for atheism. This paper...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.