FAQ: Monitoring and Collecting Data for EPD

There are more than 70,000 miles of streams, 425,000 acres of reservoirs and lakes, 400,000 acres of coastal marshlands, and 4.5 million acres of freshwater wetlands in Georgia.  To monitor all of these waters would require an army.  And an army is not what Georgia's Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has.  That's where you come in.

EPD has issued a Request for Data for Use in Georgia's 2014 305(b)/303(d) List of Waters.  EPD is required by the Clean Water Act to assemble a list of creeks, streams, rivers and lakes that do not meet water quality standards.  EPD also uses the list--which is created every two years--to target areas for restoration and to remove water bodies from the list (de-list) where water quality has improved.

If your watershed organization or group has an approved Sampling and Quality Assurance Plan (SQAP), please consider submitting your data to EPD.  If your organization or group does not have an SQAP, than EPD cannot accept any of your data (unless the data and collection meet all of the SQAP requirements).  For example, even if you have been trained by Adopt-A-Stream (AAS) and you know how to monitor and contribute data to AAS's database you data cannot be accepted.  However, AAS data is an incredibly valuable screening tool for EPD staff.  For example, EPD recently used AAS data to identify and add half-a-dozen sites to EPD's annual sampling.

Do not despair.  In fact, mobilize!  Your organization should consider establishing a SQAP, (particularly if you are involved with a 319 grant project).  Why?  Because demonstrating to EPD that your beloved creek, stream, river, cove or other water body does not meet water quality standards is the first step toward fixing any problem.  But get organized - the SQAP must be in place at least fifteen months prior to EPD's deadline: so monitoring must begin by spring 2014 to meet the summer 2015 deadline for data collection request for the 2016 List of Waters.

Questions? Email Chris Manganiello at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..