Water-related Environmental Tracking

Environmental public health tracking is the collection of information on environmental hazards (for example, chemicals or microbes), exposures to those hazards (for example, through water or air), and related health effects. The goal of a tracking system is to provide information that can be used to prevent and control diseases related to the environment. Federal tracking systems and databases that collect data on water quality measures and contaminants are listed below.

Environmental Data Tracking Programs or Databases

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • National Environmental Public Health Tracking
    For decades, the United States has faced a gap in knowing how environmental contaminants affect people’s health. CDC is working to close this gap by improving surveillance through the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. The Tracking Network includes environment and health data from some national sources as well as 24 state and city tracking programs. Explore the Tracking Network’s community water content for information and data about the levels of several contaminants that can be found in drinking water.
  • Checking Water Quality at the Beach
    Learn how to get water quality information in your state and protect yourself and your family when swimming in oceans, lakes, and rivers.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Natural Waters (Lakes, Rivers, Ocean)
  • Watershed Assessment, Tracking and Environmental Results System (WATERS)external icon
    WATERS improves communication and efficiency between the EPA databases listed below.
  • Water Quality Portalexternal icon
    The Water Quality Portal integrates publicly available water quality data from several federal data systems. It is a cooperative service sponsored by the United States Geological Survey, EPA, and the National Water Quality Monitoring Council.
  • Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)external icon
    The Assessment, TMDL Tracking and Implementation System (ATTAINS) is an online system for accessing information about the conditions in the nation’s surface waters. The Clean Water Act requires states to monitor water pollution and report to EPA. This process is called assessment. Part of this process is deciding which waters do not meet water quality standards because they are too polluted. These degraded waters are called impaired (polluted enough to require action) and are placed on a state list for future actions to reduce pollution. This information reported to EPA by states is available in ATTAINS.
Drinking Water Systems
  • Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS)external icon
    SDWIS is the repository for information that EPA requires states to collect about public water systems and their violations of EPA’s drinking water regulations. These regulations, and their enabling statutes, establish maximum contaminant levels, treatment techniques, and monitoring and reporting requirements to ensure that water provided to customers is safe for human consumption.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

United States Geological Survey (USGS)

  • National Water Quality Network (NWQN)external icon
    The NWQN provides long-term, consistent information on streamflow and water-quality conditions from large inland and coastal river sites, as well as small streams that are indicative of urban, agricultural, and reference conditions.
  • National Water Information Systemexternal icon
    The National Water Information System provides access to water-resources data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Online access to these data is organized around surface water, ground water, and water quality.
  • National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA)external icon
    NAWQA provides long-term consistent and comparable information on streams, rivers, ground water, and aquatic systems in support of national, regional, state, and local information needs and decisions related to water-quality management and policy. USGS collects and interprets data about surface and groundwater chemistry, hydrology, land use, stream habitat, and aquatic life in parts or all of nearly all 50 states using a nationally consistent study design and uniform methods of sampling analysis.