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  • Notice - The USGS Water Resources Mission Area's priority is to maintain the safety and well-being of our communities, including providing critical situational awareness in times of flooding in all 50 U.S. states and additional territories. Our hydrologic monitoring stations continue to send data in near real-time to NWISWeb, and we are continuing critical water monitoring activities to protect life and property on a case-by-case basis. The health and safety of the public and our employees are our highest priorities, and we continue to follow guidance from the White House, the CDC, and state and local authorities.

USGS Parameter Group Data Types Start Date End Date
Biological Water-quality 1974-10-22 2019-08-06
Information Water-quality 1958-11-04 2020-06-16
Inorganics, Major, Metals Water-quality 1958-11-04 2020-04-22
Inorganics, Major, Non-metals Water-quality 1958-11-04 2020-06-16
Inorganics, Minor, Non-metals Water-quality 1965-10-25 2020-04-22
Inorganics, Minor, metals Water-quality 1965-10-25 2020-04-22
Microbiological Water-quality 1974-10-22 2009-09-16
Nutrient Water-quality 1958-11-04 2020-06-16
Organics, PCBs Water-quality 1977-11-16 1997-08-14
Organics, other Water-quality 1974-12-20 2020-06-16
Organics, pesticide Water-quality 1975-03-07 1997-08-14
Physical Daily Values, Unit Values, Water-quality 1910-09-01 2020-08-03
Population/Community Water-quality 1974-10-22 1981-09-23
Radiochemistry Water-quality 1981-01-21 1997-08-14
Sediment Water-quality 1974-10-22 2019-08-06
n/a Peak Measurements 1894-06-01 2017-06-02
n/a Site Visits 1910-08-18 2020-06-16
n/a USGS Annual Water Data Reports Site 2006-01-01 2019-01-01
Classic Water Data for the Nation Inventory

Metadata Element Location Metadata Metadata Code

The agency that is reporting the data.

Site identification number

Each site in the USGS data base has a unique 8- to 15-digit identification number.

Site name

This is the official name of the site in the database. For well information this can be a district-assigned local number.

Site type

A list of primary and secondary site types that can be associated with data collection sites. A site type is a generalized location in the hydrologic cycle, or a man-made feature thought to affect the hydrologic conditions measured at a site. All sites are associated with a primary site type, and may additionally be associated with a secondary site type that further describes the location. The exception to this rule is the Facility primary site type, which must always be associated with a secondary site type. The site type code incorporates these hierarchial distinctions.

DMS latitude n/a
DMS longitude n/a
Decimal latitude n/a
Decimal longitude n/a
Latitude-longitude method

Indicates the method used to determine latitude longitude values.

Latitude-longitude accuracy

Indicates the accuracy of the latitude longitude values.

Latitude-longitude datum

Latitude/longitude (horizontal) coordinate datum.

Decimal Latitude-longitude datum NAD83

The Water Science Centers (WSCs) across the United States use the FIPS state code as the district code. In some case, sites and samples may be managed by a water science center that is adjacent to the state in which the site actually resides.


The name of the state or territory in which the site is located.


The name of the county or county equivalent (parish, borough, etc.) in which the site is located.

Country n/a
Land net location description n/a
Name of location map n/a
Scale of location map n/a
Altitude of Gage/land surface n/a
Method altitude determined L
Altitude accuracy n/a
Altitude datum

Altitude of the site referenced to the specified Vertical Datum.

Subbasin hydrologic unit

Hydrologic units are geographic areas representing part or all of a surface drainage basin or distinct hydrologic feature and are delineated on the State Hydrologic Unit Maps.

Drainage basin

The Basin Code or "drainage basin code" is a two-digit code that further subdivides the 8-digit hydrologic-unit code.

Topographic setting

Refers to the geomorphic features in the vicinity of the site.

Flags for instruments at site n/a
Date of first construction

Date the well was completed

Date site established or inventoried n/a
Drainage area

The area enclosed by a topographic divide from which direct surface runoff from precipitation normally drains by gravity into the stream above that point.

Contributing drainage area n/a
Time Zone abbreviation n/a
Site honors Daylight Savings Time

Y for yes or an N for no to indicate whether the site is in an area that switches to Local Standard Time (Daylight Savings Time) for a part of the year.

Data reliability

Data reliability code is mandatory for spring, groundwater, and aggregate groundwater sites.

Data-other GW files n/a
National aquifer n/a
Local aquifer n/a
Local aquifer type

Describes the type of aquifer(s) encountered by a site type of well (groundwater).

Well depth n/a
Hole depth

The total depth to which the hole is drilled, in feet below land surface datum.

Source of depth data n/a
Project number n/a
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