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Data for volatile organic compounds in groundwater used for public supply across the United States, 2013-19, and data for associated quality-control samples

March 7, 2022

This data release includes tables and time-series plots of results for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) analyzed in samples of groundwater used for public supply that were collected by the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project and the California State Water Resources Control Board’s Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program Priority Basin Project (GAMA-PBP) during 2013-19; results for associated quality-control samples also are included. All samples were analyzed by the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL) using laboratory schedules 4436 and 4437. The table of groundwater data includes VOC results as reported by the laboratory, along with results that represent the application of censoring approaches described in the metadata file and associated journal article. The other seven tables included in this data release contain VOC results for the following types of quality-control samples: field blanks and replicates collected at field sites; laboratory blanks, reagent spikes, and matrix spikes prepared by the NWQL; and third-party blind blanks and blind spikes prepared by the USGS Quality Systems Branch. The tables of VOC results for matrix spikes and field replicates include the paired groundwater results. For convenience, plots are provided of reported VOC detections and concentrations in groundwater samples, field blanks, and laboratory blanks for individual compounds by analysis date. Plots also are provided of recoveries for laboratory reagent spikes, laboratory matrix spikes, and third-party blind spikes for individual VOCs by analysis date.

This data release includes 8 tables and 2 series of laboratory results plots:

Table1_GroundwaterData2013_2019.csv: VOC results for samples collected by NAWQA and GAMA-PBP of groundwater used for public supply, 2013-19. This table includes VOC results as reported by the laboratory, along with results that represent the application of censoring approaches described in the associated journal article. Results that were rejected or censored for data analysis for reasons described in the metadata document and in the associated journal article are identified using attribute values described in the process steps for this table.

Table2_FieldBlankData2013_2019.csv: VOC results for field blanks collected at applicable groundwater sites by NAWQA and GAMA-PBP, 2013-19. Results that were rejected for data analysis for reasons described in the metadata document and in the associated journal article are identified using attribute values described in the process steps for this table.

Table3_MatrixSpikeData2013_2019.csv: VOC results for samples collected for laboratory matrix spikes at applicable groundwater sites by NAWQA and GAMA-PBP, 2013-19. Results of paired groundwater samples are included. Results that were rejected for data analysis for reasons described in the metadata document and in the associated journal article are identified using attribute values described in the process steps for this table. Fields needed to calculate spike recovery as described in the data processing steps of the metadata file are included.

Table4_FieldRepData2013_2019.csv: VOC results for field replicates collected at groundwater sites by NAWQA and GAMA-PBP, 2013-19. Results of paired groundwater samples are included. Fields needed to calculate variability in detection and (or) concentration as described in the data processing steps of the metadata file are included.

Table5_LabBlankData2013_2019.csv: VOC results for laboratory blanks prepared by the National Water Quality Laboratory, 2013-19.

Table6_LabReagentSpikeData2013_2019.csv: VOC results for laboratory reagent spikes prepared by the National Water Quality Laboratory, 2013-19.

Table7_QSBBlindBlankData2016_2019.csv: VOC results for third-party blind blanks prepared by the Quality Systems Branch, 2016-19.

Table8_QSBBlindSpikeData2013_2019.csv: VOC results for third-party blind spikes prepared by the Quality Systems Branch, 2013-19. Results that were rejected for data analysis for reasons described in the metadata document are flagged.

PlotGroup1_GW_Blank_TimeSeries.pdf: Plots of laboratory-reported (uncensored) detections and concentrations in groundwater samples (Table 1), field blanks (Table 2), laboratory blanks (Table 5), and third-party blind blanks (Table 7) for individual VOCs by analysis date, showing the frequency, timing, and magnitude of detections among these sample types. Nondetections are plotted as open circles at the standard laboratory reporting limit in effect at the time of analysis (identified on each graph) or, if applicable, at the raised reporting limit specified for an individual sample.

PlotGroup2_SpikeTimeSeries.pdf: Plots of recoveries for laboratory reagent spikes (Table 6), laboratory matrix spikes (Table 3), and third-party blind spikes (Table 8) for individual VOCs by analysis date, illustrating the range of typical recoveries. Kernel regression smoothing curves are included to illustrate general changes in recovery through time. False-negative results from third-party blind samples also are shown.