Effluent Charts Help
Effluent Charts allows you to create charts, tables, and data downloads of permitted effluent limits, releases, and violations over time for Clean Water Act (CWA) discharge permits issued under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Information about NPDES discharge measurement is available under "CWA/NPDES Compliance Status" in the ECHO Data Dictionary.
Here you can find help with the following topics:
There are two ways to arrive at a page of effluent charts:
- From facility search results. When you run an ICIS-NPDES query in ECHO and get a list of facilities, every icon and every non-zero number in the "Quarters in Noncompliance" column is a link to a page of effluent charts for its facility:
- From a Detailed Facility Report. In any Detailed Facility Report that includes a CWA permit, the "Three Year Compliance Status" section includes links to effluent charts for that permit: Each parameter name is a link to a page of effluent charts for that parameter in that permit. "Custom Output" links to a custom search form, prefilled with data about the parameters and discharge points for this permit, where you can choose which charts you want to see and then create them.
Below the list of search criteria is a table of information about the selected permit: Below that is the series of effluent charts, grouped by parameter. Each chart shows all of the effluent measures, permitted limits, and effluent violations for the given dates, for a single permit, discharge point, parameter, monitoring location, and sampling period. The charts show different violation data for ICIS-NPDES permits, reflecting the different information stored about violations in those systems.
ICIS-NPDES records violation data for each permitted limit: up to three concentrations (identified as concentrations 1, 2, and 3; typically specified in the permit as minimum, average, and maximum concentrations) and two quantities (quantities 1 and 2; typically average and maximum) for each outfall, parameter, monitoring location, and monitoring period. The charts for ICIS-NPDES permits show these violation data in separate quantity and concentration violation plots above the corresponding effluent plots:
- A Legend link leads to a popup legend that explains the meanings of the different lines and symbols.
- Hover your mouse pointer over any measurement symbol or limit line to see a text balloon containing the measurement or limit value.
- Click anywhere on the chart image, or on the View Detail link above it, to see a printable page showing the permit information, a larger chart, legend, and a table of the data used to create the chart.
- Click on the Download button at the top of the page to download a table of the data for all of the charts on that page, in either comma-delimited or Excel format.
- Click anywhere on a chart, or on the View detail link just above it, to see a printable "CWA Effluent Detail" report that includes a table of the data displayed in that chart: Measurements are shown in bold red when they exceed their permitted limits.
The Download button at the top of the Detail page will allow you to download the data from just that table.
The Data Dictionary describes the contents of effluent data tables and downloads.
The update form button is enabled when you enter a new, valid (9 letters and digits) NPDES permit ID. If you click on it, the form will be refilled with information associated with that permit.
Under "Select charts", the Charts with violations button selects only charts that include at least one effluent violation. All selects all of the charts for which there is some data available, whether or not they include violations.
Under Monitoring locations and Outfall types, the Effluents only checkboxes select only the monitoring locations or outfall types associated with effluent discharges. All selects all outfall types or monitoring locations, not just those associated with effluent discharges.
When you've made your selections, click on any Search button to create the page of charts.
From an Effluent Report page: Click on the "Report Error" button at the top of the page:
Each chart will now have a "Submit an Error" button above it:
Click on "Submit an Error" for the chart where you believe the error is, to open an error reporting form for that chart.
From an Effluent Detail page: Click on the "Report Error" button at the top of the page. An error reporting form will open for the chart and table on that page.
The error reporting form will ask for your contact information, in order to keep you informed of progress in addressing your report, and a description of the problem. Please include enough information to allow EPA to identify the data in question and to evaluate your comment.
Once you submit the report, it will be entered into EPA's Integrated Error Correction Process. You will receive an immediate acknowledgement, and status updates as EPA determines how to address the report (see Error Correction Performance Standards).
Under certain circumstances, Effluent Charts may appear to be missing effluent, limit, or violation data. There are several reasons for this apparent lack of information, which may be broken into the following cases:
Numeric limits are present without measurement data or violations. This can occur in some cases for non-major permits. Without this functionality, missing measurements will not result in violations.
Effluent measurements are present without corresponding numeric limits. This may reflect a condition where "monitoring only" is either optional or required.
No limit or measurement data are shown for a specific time period. Lack of limit or measurement data may be due to seasonal limits or optional monitoring. Lack of measurement data for required monitoring will generate violations, unless DMR non-receipt tracking is turned off.
This section describes the format and contents of effluent data downloads. For general information about CWA/NPDES discharge measurement, please see the ECHO Data Dictionary.
Effluent data downloads are returned as rows in text format, with the same set of fields in each row. The first row contains the field names. Field values are separated by commas, and enclosed in quotes if they should be treated as text. The rows are returned in a hierarchically sorted order, first by permit ID, then by pipe ID, parameter, monitoring location, period, and date.
Table 1 below lists the fields present in each row of a data download. Key fields, which identify each level of the data hierarchy, are shown in bold face. Other, non-key fields describe attributes that depend on the key value at each level of the hierarchy; for example, the name or description of a pipe or parameter. Key field values are repeated in each row of the download, while non-key values are returned only with the first occurrence of each key value, and left empty after that.
|PermitID||9-character code that uniquely identifies a permit. Begins with the two-letter abbreviation of the state in which the permit was issued.|
|DB||Names which of the two CWA compliance data systems is the source of data for this permit: ICIS-NPDES.|
|Name||Official or legal name of the permittee|
|Address||Facility location - street address|
|City||Facility location - city|
|State||Facility location - state (2-letter abbreviation)|
|Zip||Facility location - Zip code|
|Status||Whether the permit is currently in force. Permits currently in force will have a value of Effective or Administratively continued (ICIS-NPDES). Permits not in force will have other values such as Pending, Expired, Terminated, or Retired (ICIS-NPDES).|
|Designation||Class of discharger: either major or minor (non-major)|
|Ownership||Type of ownership, e.g. private, municipal, or other government|
|Pipe||3- or 4-character code that uniquely identifies a single permitted discharge point (also called a pipe or outfall)|
|Desc||Description of the pipe.|
|Paramtr||5-character code that uniquely identifies a permitted substance or quantity|
|Name||Name of the parameter|
|Monlocn||1-3-character code that identifies the monitoring location, i.e. the location at which sampling for the parameter is to occur|
|Name||Description of the monitoring location|
|Period||Number of months in the required reporting interval: 1 for monthly, 3 for quarterly, etc.|
|Date||End date of the required monitoring period, as YYYYMMDD|
|XX_VALQ*||Value qualifier: usually empty, but may be < or > to indicate that the reported value is really an upper or lower bound on the true value|
|XX_VALUE*||Reported value of the parameter|
|XX_UNIT*||Units of the reported value|
|XX_LSENSE*||Direction of the permitted limit for this parameter: < or <= indicates an upper limit, > or >= indicates a lower limit|
|XX_LVAL*||Value of the permitted limit for this parameter. XX_LSENSE indicates whether this is an upper or lower limit. Can be empty if only monitoring is required, without a permitted limit.|
|XX_LUNIT*||Units of the limit value|
|XX_LTYPE*||Statistical type of the permitted limit: one of 'min', 'avg', or 'max', to indicate that the smallest, average, or largest of the sample measurements taken within a reporting period are being limited and must be reported.|
|XX_VLEVEL*I||Severity of any alleged violation caused by the reported value:
|XX_VCODE*I||Code that describes the type of an alleged violation:
|XX_RNCCODE*I||Code that describes the type of RNC:
|XX_RNCRSLVD*I||Code that describes the resolution of RNC:
|VIOL_LEVELP||Severity of the worst alleged violation among the values in this row. See XX_VLEVEL for interpretation.|
|VIOL_CODEP||Code that describes the type of the worst alleged violation among the values in this row. See XX_VCODE for interpretation.|
|RNC_CODEP||Code that describes the type of RNC of the worst violation among the values in this row. See XX_RNCCODE for interpretation.|
|RNC_RESOLVEDP||Code that describes the resolution of RNC for the worst alleged violation among the values in this row. See XX_RNCRSLVD for interpretation.|
|*Repeating value: occurs once for each XX equal to C1, C2, C3, Q1, Q2. The repeated values describe the up to three concentration-based limits (C1, C2, C3) and two quantity- or mass-based limits (Q1, Q2) that can be established in a permit for each pipe, parameter, monitoring location, and period.|
|IOnly populated for permits from ICIS-NPDES|