Monitoring Year 2013
2013 Water Quality Monitoring Plan (PDF) 2013 Water Quality Monitoring Plan (XLSX)
Every year the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Water Division makes available to the public its annual monitoring plan (MonPlan). The MonPlan summarizes the water quality monitoring activities conducted during each calendar year, from 1 January to 31 December. The MonPlan is developed for the purpose of implementing the goals and objectives of DEQ’s 2007 Water Quality Monitoring Strategy[i]. (Copies of the strategy are available from Roger E. Stewart 804-698-4449, Roger.Stewart@deq.virginia.gov.) This water quality information is presented in compliance with the Virginia Water Quality Monitoring, Information, and Restoration Act (§ 62.1-44.19:5.) to help ensure public awareness of water quality issues and conditions.
The MonPlan contains detailed information on DEQ’s monitoring activities including the station locations, specific conditions, frequency of monitoring and costs. A station list by county identifies the specific sample site of each station including important data helpful when using U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps or state watershed boundary maps.
These planning summaries are utilized by the DEQ central office staff to calculate estimates for laboratory analysis costs for the coming year and to evaluate the standardization of statewide monitoring efforts (site selection, parameter selection, frequency of sampling, etc.). They also provide a convenient source from which to extract descriptive summaries of specific regional, intra-regional and statewide programs on the basis of station locations, parameters sampled, frequencies sampled and the total laboratory costs associated with each.
Page 1 of the MonPlan provides a point of contact who is knowledgeable in detailed aspects of the various components of DEQ’s water monitoring program and will assist in answering questions.
Pages 2 and 3 summarize the number of stations and the associated analytical cost by monitoring program. The analytical costs are divided between those covered by interagency fund transfers to the Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services and other funds available to DEQ for services by either DCLS or other contract labs.
Pages 4 through 67 provide a reference list of all stations by county including geographic meta data.
Pages 68 through 332 contain the individual program sample projects by DEQ regional office and station.
Pages 333 and 335 summarize individual special studies associated with specific monitoring activities. Special Study numbers 00001 and 00002 are used for routine ambient monitoring. Copies of Special Study Quality Assurance Project Plans are available by request, Roger E. Stewart 804-698-4449, Roger.Stewart@deq.virginia.gov.
Pages 336 through 346 identify the parameter group codes, the individual target analysis and associated STORET (Storage and Retrieval) Parameter codes that are to be collected by DEQ over the course of the monitoring year. These codes are used to identify the specific parameters collected in each of the monitoring programs.
Pages 347 to 353 provide a cross reference to the station meta data by identifying the Level 1 through Level 5 codes used to categorize the type of station.
A description of the individual program codes follows:
WATERSHED AW - The ambient watershed (AW) network of stations represents the largest single section of the monitoring program. AW stations are those that are sampled within a major river basin every other month for two years and then rotated to a new set of stations in another basin the following two years, thus completing a statewide cycle in six years. Detailed information on the purpose and objectives of these stations and their selection can be found in Section III.B. of the strategy.
Bay Non Tidal Program BN - The Chesapeake Bay Non Tidal (BN) network is identified in section III.E.1. of the strategy. The design of this program is through the U.S. EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office and encompasses a multi-state water quality characterization effort. These stations were added several years ago to expand water monitoring in the Chesapeake Bay tributaries beyond just the tidal sections, and are important for characterizing headwater areas and tracking progress toward nutrient and sediment load reductions under the Chesapeake Bay cleanup program.
Coastal Probabilistic Program C2 - Coastal 2000 (C2) is the federal and state jointly funded tidal probabilistic program designed by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and sampled by Virginia DEQ staff.
CHESAPEAKE BAY CB - The Chesapeake Bay (CB) Program is identified in section III.E.1. of the strategy. The design of this program is through the U.S. EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office and encompasses a multi-state water quality characterization effort, covering the extensive tidal portions of Virginia’s Bay’s tributaries, mainstem, small creeks and embayments.
CITIZEN MONITORING CM - Citizen monitoring (CM) are those stations in segments identified through public participation as targeted for specific monitoring. Public notification for requests from citizens to DEQ to include water quality monitoring is usually a result of problems identified by the public. Notification occurs in the fourth quarter of the calendar year with sampling scheduled to begin in the next monitoring year.
Dominion Metals DM – This is a sampling special study in southwest Virginia, sampling waters for mercury near the Dominion Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center.
FACILITY INSPECTION FI - Facility inspections (FI) are not specifically identified in the water quality monitoring strategy but are integral to determining compliance with discharge limits. Specific sample locations are not included in the monitoring plan. Only estimated numbers of samples for the purpose of calculating annual budgets are included. For more information on this program, please contact Roger Stewart.
FRESHWATER PROBABILISTIC FP - The freshwater probabilistic (FP) monitoring program covers the nontidal free flowing waters of the state. The program is designed to answer the question of what is the overall water quality of the Commonwealth’s free-flowing streams.
FISH TISSUE FT – The recently re-started fish tissue program is focused on collecting data needed for development of PCB and mercury TMDLs, then to monitor remediation progress once an Implementation Plan is in place. Data is also required for assessing fish consumption designated uses in Integrated Assessment Report. Program has been scaled back and is now TMDL-focused, but fish advisory information will be developed as funding permits.
GROUNDWATER GW – Ambient groundwater (GW) characterization program.
MERCURY HG - The mercury (HG) special study program is a result of a settlement between the Commonwealth and the responsible parties contributing to mercury contamination associated with the Waynesboro Dupont Plant. The settlement set forth a 100 year study to determine the fate, transport and effects of mercury contamination in the Shenandoah River, the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, the South River, the North River, and associated tributaries.
IMPLEMENTATION MONITORING IM - Post TMDL implementation monitoring (IM) to track the progress of TMDL efforts following installation of best management practices and other controls on pollution sources.
INCIDENT RESPONSE IR - Incident response (IR) samples are the same as pollution complaints, and are collected when a pollution event involves pollutants other than petroleum or petroleum products.
LAFAYETTE BACTERIA LB - Lafayette River bacteriological (LB) sampling program.
OBSERVED EFFECTS OE - The observed effects program identifies those waters which have been classified in the Integrated Assessment Report as not having enough information to make a determination of water quality, 3C.
PROBABILISTIC AMBIENT PA – The PA program is an extension of the Freshwater Probabilistic where monthly sampling of routine AW parameters will be measured for one year at FP stations or within the stream reach.
POLLUTION COMPLAINTS PC - Pollution complaints (PC) are special samples collected generally as a result of a petroleum spill.
POTOMAC EMBAYMENT PE – The Potomac Embayment (PE) study is targeted at the shallow waters of Pohick Creek (Pohick Bay & Gunston Cove) tidal embayments, Occoquan River (Belmont Bay), Dogue Creek, Neabsco Creek, Chopawamsic Creek, Quanitco Creek, Aquia Creek, and Potomac Creek using continuous monitoring.
PFIESTERIA MONITORING PF - The Virginia Department of Health has requested that DEQ re-initiate monitoring for the existence of Pfiesteria in tidal portions of the state. VDH is funding a portion of DEQ analytical costs to determine the extent and amount of Pfiesteria.
QUALITY CONTROL QA - The quality assurance (QA) program is a component of each of the individual programs and varies in the number and types of quality control samples produced. Generally between two and ten percent of the samples collected in the field have associated quality control samples. These include field replicate samples, field blanks and standard reference material.
REGIONAL BIOLOGICAL RB - The biological monitoring program targets stations to determine the health of the benthic macroinvertebrate community as a tool to detect water quality conditions. The methodology follows the U.S. EPA Rapid Bioassessment Protocol II and is described in section III.E.4. of the strategy.
RESERVOIR MONITORING RL - The reservoir monitoring program targets Virginia’s largest lakes and others by prioritizing the significance based on several criteria. Generally the largest lakes are sampled every year, and the others are sampled based on a rotating schedule. For this monitoring cycle 114 reservoirs will be sampled.
FISH DISEASE TASK FORCE SH - The Shenandoah River Fish Disease Task force has identified sampling efforts related to the intensive ongoing investigations into the cause, extent, and severity of the fish disease that is occurring in the Shenandoah Basin. For more information please contact Don Kain in DEQ’s Valley Regional Office.
SPECIAL STUDIES SS - Special studies are identified by individual project plans and are generally specialized, intensively targeted monitoring efforts designed to answer specific hypothesis related to water quality conditions.
TMDL TM - Total maximum daily load monitoring stations are associated with the development of a TMDL implementation plan for segments listed on the 303(d) list of impaired waters (not meeting water quality standards for designated uses), which indicate the segments that need a cleanup plan.
TREND TR - Trend stations are those long-term stations sited for permanent monitoring for the purpose of detecting short-, medium- and long-term water quality trends for a wide variety of environmentally important water quality parameters.
THREATENED WATERS TW - Stations where there is insufficient data to fully characterize the water quality via the Integrated Assessment process.
The detailed monitoring plans are available by directing your request to R.E. Stewart at 804-698-4449, email@example.com.
 The final revised 2007 edition of DEQ's Water Quality Monitoring Strategy, which has been accepted by EPA, can be accessed at this weblink:
DEQs Water Quality Monitoring Strategy.aspx.
2013 Matrix of Parametric Coverage (XLSX)
Monitoring Information Available on the Web
Information on detailed station descriptions, special studies, parametric descriptions and the raw data are stored in the Comprehensive Environmental Data System Water Quality Monitoring (CEDS WQM) database application used by the DEQ to store and retrieve water quality information. Much of the data in CEDS WQM can be accessed at DEQ's Water Quality Monitoring Page.
Real-time water discharge measurements (flow and gauge height) at DEQ and U.S. Geological Survey gauging stations can be obtained at:
The detailed monitoring plans are available by directing your request to Roger E. Stewart at 804-698-4449, Roger.Stewart@deq.virginia.gov.
i Millennium 2000 Water Quality Monitoring Strategy, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, October 2000.