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USGS Water-Quality Data for Kansas

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*** The Kansas Water Science Center has transitioned to a new data management software package. While you may not have noticed this transition, some sites may have problems or delays in being updated. We are actively monitoring these conditions and are resolving them as quickly as possible. See the Dec 8 news entry for more information at: https://help.waterdata.usgs.gov/news
Historic (pre-2007) gage-height data may contain erroneous values, such as pressure sensors encased in ice, even if they are flagged as approved. These data are made available to the public, but data users are cautioned to carefully screen the data and contact the USGS Kansas Water Science Center if they have questions or concerns about specific values.

** During winter months the realtime streamflow displayed may not reflect the true discharge for periods when ice forms in the stream. When ice forms, the river cross-section is constricted and produces a higher river stage for any given amount of discharge that exists during ice-free periods. This condition is known as backwater. Although accurate themselves, the river stages can no longer be used to accurately and directly compute discharge from the rating curve (which relates stage to discharge) because the amount of backwater varies with time, temperature, and other factors. More complex procedures that require the use of meteorological and hydrological data from other stations in the area must be used to determine discharge at the affected stations. Unfortunately, these more complex procedures cannot yet be applied in real time. Additional, ice forming in the channel can result in erroneous readings as the instrumentation in the stream is adversely affected by the ice generally resulting in an erroneously higher stage reading. While every attempt is made to screen erroneous data from the realtime display, this data is considered provisional and should be used with caution.


(21 sites)

Current conditions at selected sites based on the most recent data from on-site automated recording equipment. Measurements are commonly recorded at a fixed interval of 15- to 60-minutes and transmitted to the USGS every hour. Values may include "Approved" (quality-assured data that may be published) and/or more recent "Provisional" data (of unverified accuracy and subject to revision). Most current data are provisional.

(21 sites)

The same data accessed by the Current Conditions link above but including both active and discontinued sites with data for any part of the period October 1, 2007, through the present. Values may include "Approved" (quality-assured data that may be published) and/or more recent "Provisional" data (of unverified accuracy and subject to revision).

(114 sites)

Summary of all data for each day for the period of record and may represent the daily mean, median, maximum, minimum, and/or other derived value. Values may include "Approved" (quality-assured data that may be published) and/or more recent "Provisional" data (of unverified accuracy and subject to revision). Example.

Statistics
(112 sites)

Statistics are computed from approved daily mean data at each site. These links provide summaries of approved historical daily values for daily, monthly, and annual (water year or calendar year) time periods.

(12,951 sites)

Data from field and/or laboratory analyses of water samples, biological tissue, sediments, or other environmental samples. Data include approved, quality-assured data that may be published, and more recent provisional data, whose accuracy has not been verified.

Introduction

The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Water Information System (NWIS) is a comprehensive and distributed application that supports the acquisition, processing, and long-term storage of water data. Water Data for the Nation serves as the publicly available portal to a geographically seamless set of much of the water data maintained within NWIS (additional background).

The USGS collects and analyzes chemical, physical, and biological properties of water, sediment and tissue samples from across the Nation. The Water Data for the Nation discrete sample data base is a compilation of over 4.4 million historical water quality analyses in the USGS district data bases through September 2005. The discrete sample data is a large and complex set of data that has been collected by a variety of projects ranging from national programs to studies in small watersheds. Users should review the help notes and particularly the data retrieval precautions before beginning any retrieval or analysis of data from this data set. Additions of more current data, modifications to ancillary information, and enhanced retrieval options to help users find and appropriately use the data they need are planned for a future release of Water Data for the Nation.

At selected surface-water and groundwater sites, the USGS maintains instruments that continuously record physical and chemical characteristics of the water including pH, specific conductance, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and percent dissolved-oxygen saturation. Supporting data such as air temperature and barometric pressure are also available at some sites. At sites where this information is transmitted automatically, data are available from the current data system.

Once a complete day of readings are received from a site, daily summary data are generated and made available online. USGS finalizes data at individual sites on a continuous basis as environmental conditions and hydrologic characteristics permit.

You may find additional water-quality data of interest in EPA STORET.

Tutorials explaining how to perform water quality retrievals and understand the results of current data and discrete water-quality measurements.