Quality Systems Branch (QSB)
Science Center Objects
The USGS Quality Systems Branch (QSB) represents the Water Mission Area’s commitment to generating environmental data of known quality. QSB produces water and sediment performance-assessment samples and data to provide the USGS laboratory users, USGS laboratories, and field personnel with quantitative performance information to assess data quality.
Inorganic Blind Sample Project
The Inorganic Blind Sample Project (IBSP) submits natural-matrix standard reference water samples to monitor and evaluate the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory’s (NWQL) inorganic analytical performance. These independently generated samples and data are crucial in defining random and systematic errors in NWQL analyses that are also present in the analyses of environmental samples.
Laboratory Evaluation Project
The Laboratory Evaluation Project (LEP) provides technical assistance in support of the USGS Water Mission Area’s (WMA) Laboratory Evaluation Policy (OWQ Technical Memorandum 2014.01). This policy requires WMA projects and programs to obtain and review appropriate laboratory-performance data and other laboratory information to assess and document the quality of laboratory-sample results.
National Field Quality Assurance Project
The National Field Quality Assurance project (NFQA) provides annual performance-assessment samples (pH, specific conductance, alkalinity) to USGS and cooperator personnel that measure water-quality field parameters. This unique, field-oriented project demonstrates the Water Mission Area’s commitment to assessing all components affecting the quality of water data within USGS.
Organic Blind Sample Project
The Organic Blind Sample Project (OBSP) generates samples to independently monitor and assess the performance of National Water Quality Laboratory’s organic analyses. Statistical, graphical, and data output that summarize the performance-assessment data are available and quantitively define random and systematic errors associated with these analyses for both USGS and non-USGS customers.
Sediment Laboratory Quality Assurance Project
The Sediment Laboratory Quality Assurance Project (SLQA) biannually prepares sediment-water samples to assess the performance of laboratories that analyze sediment mass, particle size, and concentration for Water Mission Area projects. USGS and non-UGSG labs participate in SLQA and provide critical performance data regarding long-term comparability and consistency among sediment laboratories.
Standard Reference Sample Project
The Standard Reference Sample Project (SRS) conducts biannual laboratory performance-assessment studies for inorganic analytes in water. Six different sample types are prepared with native water collected from Colorado streams. Laboratories supplying Water Mission Area projects with inorganic analytical data are required to participate.