Water Quality Monitoring & Assessment
Water quality and assessment consists of 4 program components:
- Environmental Monitoring Program (EMP)
- Municipal Water Quality Program (MWQP)
- Bryte Chemical Laboratory (Bryte Lab)
- Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) Program
Routine water quality monitoring efforts are conducted by EMP and MWQP, primarily in the Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta (Delta). Bryte Lab analyzes water quality samples for routine monitoring, research, and special studies. The QA/QC Program works to ensure that all environmental data generated and utilized by the department are of known and verifiable quality, technically valid, and appropriate for their intended purpose.
With the exception of MWQP, these programs are funded by the State Water Project. MWQP is funded through a special funding agreement between the State Water Project Contractor’s Authority, participating state water contractors, and us. Discrete and continuous water quality data is available on the Water Data Library and California Data Exchange Center (CDEC), respectively.
Bryte Chemical Laboratory is accredited through the SWRCB’s Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP). The laboratory supports our mission by providing accurate, accessible data that is crucial for data-driven decision making. Our knowledgeable staff is experienced in the latest analytical techniques and state-of-the-art instrumentation. Laboratory testing is performed in compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) approved methodologies and required quality control procedures to ensure the highest analytical data quality. In addition, our lab constantly evaluates new methodologies and instrumentation in anticipation of our evolving needs.
Analytical services include:
- Support of various research efforts
- Drinking and environmental monitoring programs
- Compliance monitoring programs
- Research studies
- Emergency response efforts
- Analysis of different water types
- Surface water
- Drinking water
- Trace level constituent testing
Discrete and continuous water quality monitoring detects changes in conditions throughout the Delta, Suisun Bay, and San Pablo Bay. Monitoring estuarine processes ensures compliance with State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Decision 1641, which mandates a comprehensive water quality monitoring program. The ecological water quality data is also used to inform State, federal, and local agencies and the public. The EMP is part of the Interagency Ecological Program.
Environmental water quality monitoring parameters include:
- Dissolved oxygen
Our municipal water quality monitoring program studies the effect the Delta has on quality, treatability, and reliability of source waters for municipal use. Discrete water quality samples are collected monthly and biweekly throughout the Delta. The Real Time Data and Forecasting-Comprehensive Program (RTDF-CP) collects continuous data at 5 key locations in the Delta, State Water Project and Central Valley Project, coalesces the data into graphs, and provides model-based water quality forecasts. Together, these resources are essential tools for drinking water purveyors in efficiently managing water treatment operations.
Municipal water quality monitoring parameters include:
- Organic carbon
- Total dissolved solids
The QA/QC Program implements our QA/QC Policy through Water Resources Engineering Memo . (PDF)WREM) 60(WREM 60 establishes our policies and procedures to assure that quality assurance is used in our chemical and physical measurements, data collection, and data measurement and management activities. Our QA/QC Program ensures that all water-related data is collected in a way that is scientifically sound, legally defensible, comparable and compatible with State and federal agencies, and is properly documented. All of our divisions, districts, contractors, and agency cooperators performing measurement activities are subject to the provisions of WREM 60.
QA/QC protocols include:
- Standard operating procedures
- Quality assurance templates
- Quality control standards
- Quality assurance assessments
- Department-wide quality assurance guidance documents