VPDES permit holders can now submit their monthly Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) online as an alternative to paper form submission. Please read the frequently asked questions below for more information about this program. To begin using the e-DMR system in your facility, please download the participation package (MS Word document).
Why Electronic DMRs?
Most VPDES permit holders are required to submit to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) a monthly Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) that summarizes effluent quality. An electronic DMR (e-DMR) provides an alternative to a paper DMR for facilities to submit. Using an electronic process for submitting reports can represent significant labor savings while increasing the timeliness, accuracy, and overall reliability of this information.
What is the Electronic Environmental Reporting System?
The DEQ has chosen Electronic Environmental Reporting System as the wastewater electronic reporting application for e-DMR file data submissions. This new web application includes advance features such as the use of Extensible Markup Language (XML). This newer format is a universal file format that is being increasingly used for transmitting information across the Internet. The system also takes advantage of this technology to provide quick and easy to use forms for online data entry. Many of these features make it be easier than ever to report electronically!
What are some of the benefits of e-DMRs?
Saves VPDES facilities compliance costs with a streamlined reporting method with readily available computer tools:
- Saves program costs by reducing resources required for managing paper-based DMR reports;
- Improves accuracy of compliance data by eliminating potential errors that might otherwise be introduced through manual data entry in the database; and
- Improves the DEQ water program's overall effectiveness with faster and more accurate response to data analysis, compliance assessment, and decision-making.
What are the system requirements to submit an e-DMR?
The only system requirement for a wastewater facility to gain access to the e-DMR system is a PC with internet access and MS Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher.
What methods does the software allow for submitting e-DMRs?
The software provides the following three methods for submitting e-DMRs:
- Online manual data entry in web forms;
- Copy and paste data from a spreadsheet into an online web form; and
- Submittal of preformatted XML files that meet the DEQ’s e- DMR Transmission Protocol.
The wastewater facilities may opt to develop software in-house to generate compatible data files, or purchase commercial software or services to generate these files. It is the wastewater facility’s responsibility to ensure that the e-DMR data complies with the DEQ’s e-DMR Transmission Protocol.
What approach can be used to incorporate an e-DMR file creating routine in my existing wastewater facility database?
If Method 1 or Method 2 is chosen, there are no additional system requirements since you will be able to enter data online, including the ability to save information on a following day. The software includes an integrated process for completing, signing, and submitting the information that was entered online.
If Method 3 is chosen, the wastewater facilities will need to have the ability to generate e-DMR files in a format that is compatible with the DEQ’s e-DMR transmission protocol specifications. The wastewater facilities may opt to develop software in-house to generate compatible data files, or purchase commercial software or services to generate these files. It is the wastewater facility’s responsibility to ensure that the e-DMR data complies with the DEQ’s e-DMR Transmission Protocol. Many wastewater facilities have database systems that are used to generate printed DMR forms and data. In many cases, these systems also help with the calculation of annual, monthly or other average values that may need to be reported. In most cases, it will be relatively easy to modify these existing data systems to automatically generate the text files that makeup the e-DMR. DEQ’s e-DMR transmission Protocol will be available as we progress with the e-DMR project from the DEQ web site.
How does the software satisfy VPDES signatory requirements?
Signature requirements are satisfied using unique Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) that are issued to e-DMR certifiers as part of the registration process. In order to obtain a PIN, users will have to be the permittee or an authorized representative of a wastewater facility. In addition, the PIN holder must sign a notarized agreement with the DEQ that protects the use and confidentiality of the person’s PIN. This PIN must be entered through the secure internet connection when submitting each e-DMR file.
Can a PIN be reissued?
Yes, the software provides the flexibility to allow DEQ to change PINs. Potential reasons for changing PIN numbers are:
- The facility’s authorized representative(s) has changed;
- The facility has a reason to believe that the PIN security has been compromised; and
- DEQ has a reason to believe that the PIN security has been compromised.
Can an e-DMR be revised?
Yes, the system accepts both original submissions and revisions to those submissions. The software automatically identifies subsequent submissions and flags these as revisions. DEQ is notified via email when a revised e-DMR is submitted.
When can I begin submitting e-DMR’s for my facility?
Individual VPDES permit holders interested in participating in the e-DMR program should complete the facility participation package that is available at our website or from one of DEQ’s 7 regional offices. The completed forms are mailed to the regional e-DMR Administrator. Mailing addresses for the 7 regional offices can be found at this link or in the VPDES permit.
The system will automatically notify you via email when your facility has been accepted as an e-DMR facility. When accepted, the website login name, password and PIN will be sent via email. DEQ will initially issue you a password after creating your account. The first time you login, you will be prompted to enter your issued password and a new password. The new password should be something that will be easily remembered, and must be at least 8 characters in length. A combination of letters and numbers is suggested for additional security. After left clicking to save changes, you will be prompted to login again, using your new password. When your account is set up, you will be able to access the e-DMR system and prepare submittals. The facility user guide is available for download (3.5MB PDF).
Can I change my password?
Yes. At the e-DMR home page, left click on the "Forgot Your Password" link in the help box. A new box will open asking for your user name and email address. You will be emailed notification of this change.
What if I forgot my password?
You may contact DEQ’s regional e-DMR Administrator to request a new password or, you may click “Forgot Password” on the e-DMR system login page and provide your username and email address. You will receive a new password via email.
Who can (or must) submit DMR data electronically?
Participation in electronic reporting for wastewater DMRs is voluntary at this time. Any individual VPDES permit holder is eligible to participate in the e-DMR program. Formal approval from DEQ is required before you can submit an e-DMR. Initially VPDES general permit holders will not be eligible for e-DMR.
Can I submit supporting documentation with the e-DMR?
Yes, the software allows for the attachment of daily logs, letters of explanation and other supporting documentation. Most file types are supported (e.g., .xls, .wpd and .doc). The file size is limited to 1.5 MB.
How do I submit an attachment?
You have the option of submitting supplemental files to the DMR report online or by mail. Through the report wizard, you can browse for and upload electronic files to the DMR server. Each attachment cannot be any larger than 1.5 MB. If you do not have an electronic copy of the attachment to submit, or if the file is too large, you can send in the attachments via mail. Provide a description of the attachments that will be mailed under Submit Attachment by Mail so the DEQ will know the nature of the attachments that will be expected via mail in the general comments section. You may print a copy of the Submission Receipt and include it with all attachments you submit by mail.
How can I view information about a facility that I am associated with?
After logging into the system, on the left hand side, there are icons for each functional area of the e-DMR System. Left click on Facility Association under My Account and you will see a list of facilities that you are currently associated with. To see detailed information about a particular facility, left click on the "View Facility" button. To view additional permit requirements about a particular facility, left click on "View Compliance" button.
What do the user roles of "Certifier", "Preparer" and "Viewer" mean?
Viewers can only “view” DMRs and supporting documentation but do not have necessary permissions to enter data or submit an e-DMR to DEQ. Preparers can create e-DMRs, make comments and attach supporting documentation but cannot certify and submit an e-DMR to DEQ. Preparers can also view e-DMRs the same as viewers. Certifiers have the highest level of permissions of the 3 roles. Certifiers can perform any function that a viewer or preparer can in addition to submitting the e-DMR to DEQ.
How do I preview or print my reporting requirement for a particular permit?
Left click on the Create a New Report icon. Search the reporting requirements for a particular facility by selecting the facility from the drop-downs and selecting a specific monitoring period or reporting due date range that you wish to preview the reporting requirement for. Different report types may be present for the same facility, such as monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual, depending on the permit requirements for the facility. To preview the reporting requirement, left click on the View Form icon. To print, right click on the form and select print.
Can I edit the information that is displayed through the Preview Requirements window?
No. The Preview Requirements browser window is for displaying information only. In order to do any editing of information, left click on the Online Entry icon.
How do I fill out a web form?
Left click on the Create a New Report icon to the left under Report Management. Search the reporting requirements for your facility (it is possible to be associated with more than one facility), and left click on the icon in the Online Entry column that corresponds to the month you would like to create an e-DMR for. It will bring you to the Start a Report page. Select Online Entry Form option and left click on Continue. This will open a new browser window. At the top of the web form, some of the information has been filled in for you, depending on the information that has been supplied by the DEQ. Other fields have text boxes, radio buttons and drop-downs for you to select and fill in. The “reported” fields (text boxes) in the loading and concentration columns will accept only the following pre-defined values:
- "NR": Not required
- "X": No sample results
- "<QL": Below quantification level
- ">": Greater than value
- "<": Less than value
At any point, you may left click the Save button and close the browser. To continue to work on the open report, click on the Edit an Open Report under Report Management. By entering the appropriate search criteria, the report that needs to be edited can be found. The data that you had previously filled in should be there. The facility selected may have multiple outfalls associated with it. To navigate to another outfall, either select the outfall from the drop-down at the top left corner of the web form, or scroll down to the bottom of the web form and left click on Save and Continue.
Once you have finished filling out the entire web form, and you, as a certifier, are ready to submit the file, click on Continue. You will be prompted through a wizard-like process that will lead to the Report Submission window. Read the certification statement, left click the checkbox indicating that you have read and understand the certification statement, enter in the PIN, and left click the Submit button to submit the report. The status of your submission will be displayed on the screen and also sent to you via email. You will be prompted to print out a submission receipt, if desired, for future reference.
What do I do if there is no discharge during the monitoring period?
At the top of the online entry form, right click the “No Discharge” checkbox. All the required fields will be filled in with five asterisks (*****). Continue to fill in other fields and complete and submit the report as discussed above.
Can I include any comments in the DMR report?
Yes. You may enter the parameter specific comments under Specific Comments and Explanation section located at the bottom of each outfall’s summary web form. Reference each comment or explanation by specific row (parameter) and column (quantity, quality, or frequency of analysis) selected from the dropdown list. Then click the Add Comment button to confirm. You may delete a specific comment by selecting the parameter and column combination from the dropdowns and left click the Remove Comment button. The page will automatically refresh and the specific comment selected will be gone.
After left clicking Continue, you may also enter comments under the General Report Comments and Explanation section. General report comments may include an explanation for submitting the report late, extenuating circumstances, etc. If there is more than one outfall for a facility, reference your comments by outfall number if they are outfall-specific. Explanation may be submitted as a separate attachment. You may indicate whether an attachment is submitted online, by mail or other methods under this section. You may change the comments by left clicking within the text box and editing as needed.
Am I required to submit the operator information?
If your facility is required to have a licensed wastewater works operator by the VPDES permit, you must provide the name, operator certification number, and the telephone number of the operator in responsible charge of your facility under this section.
How do I download an Excel template with my facility’s reporting requirements?
Left click on the Create a New Report icon to the left under Report Management. Search the reporting requirements for a particular facility and download a blank Excel file by left clicking on the icon in the Excel column that corresponds to the month you would like to create an e-DMR for. This will begin a series of message boxes. If you wish to download the template DMR Excel file, left click Save. You will be prompted to respond with the location you wish to save the file in. The file is a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file that can be read by Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet programs. You can then use this spreadsheet to enter in the DMR results while being disconnected from the Internet. You may edit the spreadsheet to make it more readable, but the order of the columns should not be modified. This is because the data will be copied from the Excel file and pasted into the e-DMR system web form in the same order that it was downloaded.
How do I submit an e-DMR using the Copy-and-Paste from Excel feature?
Complete the Excel spreadsheet, return to the e-DMR System and go to the Create a New Report screen. Left click on the Online Entry icon for the corresponding month and it will take you to the Start a Report page. Choose the Copy and Paste a Report option and left click on Continue. This will bring you to the bottom of the web form that displays a text box for copy and paste.
Next, open the spreadsheet software that stores the DMR data you have filled out. Verify the parameters listed are the same as those on the web form, and that the order matches exactly. Then select the data fields only and copy the selected cells using CRTL-C, by right clicking and selecting Copy. Make sure that the parameters, column headers, or extra columns to the right are not selected and copied.
Back in the e-DMR System, inside of the text box beneath the Copy and Paste box, right click and select Paste. Left click the Convert button and the copy and paste data will be populated in the DMR web form. Continue to fill in other fields such as bypasses and overflows, and comments. Save and submit the completed web form as discussed above.
How do I download a template XML file?
If you are using the XML file upload submission option, you may download a template XML file by left clicking on the Create a New Report icon to the left under Report Management. Search the reporting requirements for a particular facility and click on the icon in the XML column that corresponds to the month you would like to download. You will be prompted for the location to save the template file. The template file contains all of the information that is displayed when using the View Form function. It can be thought of as a blank DMR form. The parameter and facility information has been filled in for you. Using a separate utility that may be provided by your facility, you may use this template to create your submission file, by populating the data elements in the XML file.
How do I submit an XML file?
On the menu to the left, select Upload XML Report under Report Management. The first step asks you to locate the file from your local machine, and select it using the Browse button. Read the certification statement, left click the checkbox indicating that you have read and understand the certification statement, enter in the PIN issued by DEQ, and left click the Submit button to submit the report. The status of your submission will be displayed on the screen, and also will be sent to you via email. Next you will be prompted to print out a submission receipt for future reference.
How can I view or print an e-DMR that has been previously submitted?
On the menu to the left, select Submittals/Revisions under Report Management. Select the facility and time range that you are interested in, and left click Search. Below the search criteria a list of reports will be displayed along with some other file details, such as submission date, report due date, etc. Select a report by left clicking on the icon to the far left, in the Detail column. The Report Summary screen will open in a new browser window. Left click on the View Report to see the completed report. Right click and select Print and the selected DMR will print.
How do I make a revision to the past submissions?
On the menu to the left, select Submittals/Revisions under Report Management. Search for the submitted report that you want to make a revision to. Click on the Revision tab of the Report Summary screen. You will be prompted to enter in a reason for making the revision. If the DMR form spans multiple outfalls, you must specify in the comments the outfall(s) that are being modified. Then click on Revision to continue. The revision must be submitted using the same submittal method that was used for the original.
How can I find out more?
Updates will periodically be made on DEQ’s web site. In addition, a toll free number (800-332-6542) is available to obtain information about e-DMR. Messages will also be posted on the e-DMR homepage for permittees participating in the program.