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Water Quality Glossary

Watershed: An area of land that drains all the streams and rainfall to a common outlet such as the outflow of a reservoir, mouth of a bay, or any point along a stream channel.

Ambient monitoring (also Routine monitoring): A fixed network of sites are visited on a pre-determined schedule to monitor water quality at that location during all types of environmental conditions. 

Source identification monitoring (also source ID, source tracking, storm sampling): Monitoring locations are specifically selected in order to target locations where high bacterial counts were recently observed. Also used to refer to monitoring that is conducted during specific events, such as storms. 

Preliminary data: Water quality sample results from the laboratory that are not yet finalized. Access to preliminary data is provided to accelerate the identification and correction of potential pollution sources.

Sample Type: 

  1. Ambient (or Long-Term ambient)- See definition above

  2. Short-Term ambient- Focus area sampling. fixed network of sites on regular schedule. Different than Long-term Ambient in that the focus area is designed to increase the sampling efforts in a small geographic area for a limited duration (6 month- multiple years)

  3. Source ID. See definition above

  4. Storm Event. Specific Source ID that targets a storm event or first flush

  5. Compliance. Private data.