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 

Inorganic Blind Sample Project. Blind samples being packed for submission to analytical laboratory

Inorganic Blind Sample Project. Inorganic, double-blind, performance assessment samples being packed for submission to the National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL). Sample submission is designed to make samples appear to originate from actual USGS field projects.

(Credit: Tedmund Struzeski, USGS. Public domain.)

https://qsb.usgs.gov/ibsp/

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

Laboratory Evaluation Project. A variety of blind sample types are used for assessing laboratory performance.

Laboratory Evaluation Project. A variety of blind sample types are used for assessing laboratory performance.

(Credit: Mark Woodworth, USGS. Public domain.)

https://qsb.usgs.gov/lep/   

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 

National Field Quality Assurance Project. Preparing a concentrated chemical solution to be used to make a blind sample

National Field Quality Assurance Project. Initial preparation of a concentrated chemical solution to produce very large volumes of blind performance assessment samples used for annual testing of field personnel in the measurement of water-quality parameters.

(Credit: Mark Woodworth, USGS. Public domain.)

https://qsb.usgs.gov/nfqa/  

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

Organic Blind Sample Project. Preparing a blind sample for submission to laboratory

Organic Blind Sample Project. Organic, blind, performance assessment samples being prepared for submission to the National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL).

(Credit: Mark Woodworth, USGS. Public domain.)

https://qsb.usgs.gov/obsp/

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

Sediment Laboratory Quality Assurance Project. Preparing a blind sample for submission to laboratory

Sediment Laboratory Quality Assurance Project. Sieving of specific particle sizes is crucial to the preparation of blind samples used in assessing the performance of analytical sediment laboratories.

(Credit: Mark Woodworth, USGS. Public domain.)

https://qsb.usgs.gov/slqa/

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

Standard Reference Sample Project. A standard reference sample for use in measuring laboratory performance

Standard Reference Sample Project. Natural matrix waters provide a completely unique source of samples used in the performance assessment of laboratories providing analyses of inorganic species in water.

(Credit: Mark Woodworth, USGS. Public domain.)

https://qsb.usgs.gov/srs/

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.