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Case Study 2

Geochemical Information Management System (GIMS)

Client: Westinghouse Savannah River Company

Client Problem
The client needed an environmental data management and reporting system that would track, report, and archive the numerous activities of the Savannah River Site (SRS) groundwater monitoring program.

ExR Solution
We developed and operated GIMS for the SRS groundwater monitoring program. GIMS, modeled on ExR's Environmental Data Access System, was used from 1992 until 2001 to manage the enormous amount of current and historic data related to the sampling and analysis of approximately 5,000 groundwater monitoring wells on SRS. GIMS facilitated and tracked the following processes:

Sample Scheduling
We scheduled groundwater monitoring wells for sampling and analysis and produced a sampling schedule posted to the SRS intranet.

Chains-of-Custody (COC) Generation
We generated COCs to track sample custody, provide instructions and other information to the samplers and analytical laboratories, and serve as the written records of sampling requests.

Data Acquisition, Entry, and Management
We designed and produced logbooks that the samplers used to record field data. We entered the field data into computer files and uploaded the field data files into GIMS, where they were associated with the appropriate analytical data.

We designed the data formats for analytical data delivery from laboratories, which captured information necessary for data review, data interpretation, quality assurance, and data reporting. SRS has used our formats since 1984.

We designed and operated a means of collecting shipping information that was used to track samples, determine due dates of data deliveries from the analytical laboratories, and other activities.

We developed a reliable, quantitative process for checking laboratory invoices for groundwater and soils analyses.

Data Verification and Validation
Our data review process includes the following:
    • Reviewing sample documentation, maintenance of chain of custody, and analytical instrument calibration
    • Verifying sample holding times
    • Verifying analyte identification and quantitation and clarifying anomalies with the analytical laboratories
    • Examining field-generated and laboratory-generated blanks
    • Reviewing percent recoveries for quality assurance/quality control samples and calculating relative percent differences for duplicate sample analyses
    • Detailing laboratory performance evaluations
    • Validating organic, inorganic, and radiochemical analyses using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criteria for quality