EQuIS Implementation for State of MN

- By:

Courtesy of EarthSoft, Inc


  • Vision
  • Contributors
  • Installation Environment
  • Content
  • Usage
  • Team
  • Origins
  • Challenges and Solutions
  • Questions

Vision: Monitoring is Monitoring

  • Data and process models prove to be similar among monitoring programs.
  • EQuIS offers common ground.
    • Standardize reference values, identifiers, and representations.
    • Consolidate existing systems and loose datasets.
    • Manage sampling work flow from end to end.
    • Share data across disparate programs, agencies, and media.
    • Analyze and visualize using a common set of built-in tools and extensions.
    • Build additional custom tools within EQuIS or against related data systems.


  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
    • Ambient Monitoring
      • Surface Water
      • Groundwater
    • Remediation
      • Closed Landfills
      • Petroleum
      • Superfund
    • Solid Waste
  • Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Beaches
    • MPCA Special Studies
    • PFCs
    • PPCPs
    • Wild Rice / Sulfate
  • Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA)
    • Pesticide Monitoring
    • Incident Response
    • Private Wells
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR)
    • County Well Atlas
  • Future diversification in biology/habitat, sediment, gas, air

Installation Environment

  • Oracle 11 with test and production instances
  • EQuIS 6.3
    • Enterprise
    • Professional
    • Sample Planning Module (SPM)
    • EDGE
    • DQM (new)
    • ArcGIS extension
    • WQX schema module
    • Custom import formats
  • Windows Authentication
  • Application-Level Security (ALS)

Content and Usage |Counts

  • 194 users activated in Enterprise
  • 75 Professional or SPM client application users
  • 482 facilities
    • 5 hold statewide ambient monitoring data (not truly facilities) collected by 980 projects
  • 37,911 distinct locations
  • 17.4 million results


    • Held ASW, MDA, AGW, and Solid Waste data
    • While building a local database replacement in 2009 with an EPA IPT, recommended buying EQuIS instead
    • Purchased EQuIS in 2010 after 2009 EPA STORET retirement
    • EPA submittal replaced by WQX (NEIEN) flow
    • Influence of WQX
    • Schema and dt_test alternate key
    • Reference values
    • Migrated all but Solid Waste data, which came later
  • EDMS
    • Closed Landfill Program
    • Very good system but program saw EQuIS benefits
  • Data sources for other programs
    • Contractors, sometimes at additional cost
    • Microsoft Access databases
    • Spreadsheets
    • Text files
    • PDF or paper reports

Challenges and Solutions

  • Difference sin program data cultures
  • Wrote many conversion tools
  • Oracle
    • Case-sensitivity
    • Sorting
    • Second to SQL Server at EarthSoft. Tested less.
    • Regardless, MPCA DBA says EarthSoft is among the best vendors for Oracle knowledge
  • Customizations generally
    • Some customizations prevent usage of continued EarthSoft development (e.g. reports)
    • Benefit to remaining close to standard
  • Custom maintenance and error checks
    • EQuIS schema constraints and import formats control data quality.
    • Errors and inconsistencies can still occur via manual editing in Professional or due to inconsistencies between formats.
    • Wrote custom maintenance and error checking scripts
  • Data review
    • All results stored as preliminary
    • Up to project managers tore view and approve
    • Only final, reportable data used for most outputs
  • WQX origin
    • Schema module complicates usage of standard formats due to non-standard dt_test alternate key.
    • Lab_MNand EDGE_MN formats put into production more recently. Based closely on standard formats with primarily WQX-related changes
  • Large surface water facility
    • Need for custom reports for facility with ~20,000 locations
    • Solution was progressive filtering. For example, choose a watershed, then related counties, then relevant location types, and finally list only locations meeting those criteria.
    • EQuIS 6.3 has simplified writing and customizing reports without .NET programming.

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