QSB Contact List



Key to QSB Projects:
  • LEP - Laboratory Evaluation Project
  • NFQA - National Field Quality Assurance Project
  • OBSP - Organic Blind Sample Project
  • IBSP - Inorganic Blind Sample Project
  • SLQA - Sediment Laboratory Quality Assurance Project
  • SRS - Standard Reference Sample Project
Laboratory Evaluation Project
Analytical laboratories that provide chemical, radiochemical, and biological analyses to the U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Discipline (WRD) must be evaluated relative to the objectives of a project requiring analyses and approved for use for that specific project. Analysis of performance samples will provide the basis for the initial laboratory approval and the approved laboratory must continue to provide acceptable performance sample results during the life of the project.
National Field Quality Assurance Project
The National Field Quality Assurance Program (NFQA) was created in 1979 to provide quality-assurance reference samples to field personnel who make water quality field measurements. The program monitors the proficiency of alkalinity, pH, and specific conductance measurements determined by water quality field analysts.
Organic Blind Sample Project
The Organic Blind Sample Project (OBSP) of the Quality Systems Branch (QSB) assesses the operational performance of organic analytical methods used for determining water-quality parameters for the USGS - National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL) by means of blind submissions of Quality Assurance (QA) samples. The assessments identify not only the baseline performance capabilities of the methods in the Organic Chemistry Program, but also identify strengths and weaknesses in the current system of bench-level quality and process control. The information provided by the OBSP assists the NWQL in detecting and correcting problems in the analytical processes. The information also can aid the NWQL data user in interpreting their environmental data over time.
Inorganic Blind Sample Project
Since 1981, the USGS has operated an independent, external, quality-assurance project called the Inorganic Blind Sample Project (IBSP). The purpose of the IBSP is to monitor and evaluate the National Water Quality Laboratory's (NWQL) analytical performance through the use of double-blind Quality-Assessment (QA) samples. Blind sample submissions include both natural water matrix reference materials (blind samples) and unspiked, ASTM Type I water (blind blanks). The information provided by the IBSP assists the laboratory in detecting and correcting problems in the analytical procedures. The information also can aid NWQL data-users in estimating the extent to which laboratory bias and variability affect environmental sample data.
Sediment Laboratory Quality Assurance Project
To improve and assess data quality produced by the USGS and to enable comparison among laboratories, participation in the SLQA Project by USGS sediment laboratories and by laboratories contracted by the USGS is required. Results from the SLQA studies may be used to assess variability in environmental data and to improve laboratory performance.
Standard Reference Sample Project
Semiannually, QSB conducts an inter-laboratory comparison of inorganic analytes in water. This program provides a variety of Standard Reference Samples (SRSs) for laboratory quality assurance testing and are available to purchase for internal quality control. The majority of samples are prepared with water from Colorado streams.
Blind Blank Project
The Blind Blank Project (BBP) submits double-blind blank samples to the National Water Quality Laboratory to monitor analytical performance near or below the detection level for inorganic and organic methods. This project is administered under the Inorganic and Organic Blind Sample Projects.




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  National Atmospheric Deposition Program National Trends Network National Water Quality Laboratory Office of Water Quality
   

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