Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) Procedure


The Florida Aquatic Preserves (AP) historic water quality data undergoes a two-step (primary and secondary) Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) process as outlined in the NERRS CDMO Data Management Manual((http://cdmo.baruch.sc.edu/request-manuals/)).  


Primary QA/QC

The primary QA/QC process is performed by the CDMO and involves inserting flag columns into the data files for each water quality parameter, creating a flag record column, and creating an automated process that applied standardized flags to data if the values are outside sensor specifications as determined by YSI, the instrument manufacturer. Yearly data files that completed the primary QA/QC process were returned to Aquatic Preserve staff for evaluation and a secondary QA/QC procedure is performed on the data.


Secondary QA/QC

Data are evaluated, and standardized flags and codes are applied to individual data points by insertion into the flag columns using tools provided by the CDMO (Microsoft Excel macro) to provide further documentation of the data.


Tertiary QA/QC

Data that have undergone Secondary QA/QC along with annual metadata files are reviewed annually by the RCP Data Manager. After any flagging and coding updates are agreed upon by the Data Manager and the AP staff, the data is considered authenticated.


QC Flags

QC flags applied during the primary QA/QC process are replaced with either rejected flags if anomalies are attributed to sensor malfunctions or failed post-deployment data checks; or suspect for all other anomalous data. All rejected, suspect, and missing data are retained with in the dataset and flagged appropriately. Each parameter in the data portal's exported data file contains a flag column. Below is a list of available QC flags and their descriptions.

QC Codes

QC codes are used in conjunction with the QC flags to provide additional documentation of the data. General error codes are used to document general problems with the deployment or data sonde; sensor error codes are used to document sensor errors; comment codes are used to further document conditions or problems with the data; and select comment codes are applied to the entire record using the flag record column. Only one flag and general or sensor error and one comment code are applied to a data point when applicable. Below is a list of available QC codes and their descriptions.

General Errors


Corrected Depth/Level Data Codes


Sensor Errors




*Indicates comments that can be applied to an entire record in the F_Record column.

To learn more about the Florida Aquatic Preserves water quality program, visit the About Data explanation page at https://www.floridaapdata.org/about_data.php or to learn more about Florida’s Statewide Ecosystem Assessment of Coastal and Aquatic Resources (SEACAR) project visit, https://floridadep.gov/fco/fcmp/content/statewide-ecosystem-assessment-coastal-and-aquatic-resources-seacar

Please contact Cheryl.P.Clark@floridadep.gov or the Aquatic Preserve staff listed in the metadata files if you have questions regarding the data or the QA/QC process.