guideline for implementing a monitoring program. It is meant to organize the ideas that are
discussed in this technical note, and not as a "recipe" for designing and installing automated
Figure 1. Flow diagram for water quality automated monitor system design
The first step in implementing any monitoring program is to determine its goal. Potential
questions may include the following:
! Why are the data needed?
! Who will need access to the data?
! Are the data needed real-time or at some other level of frequency?
! What type of sampling interval will be required?
! What is the time frame from data collection to data reporting?
The objective at this stage is to determine what will be expected of the monitoring program.
The answers to these questions influence subsequent decisions regarding equipment and location,
and are necessary to prevent the implementation of what has been characterized as a "data-rich
but information-poor" monitoring program (Ward, Loftis, and McBride 1986).
Water Quality Technical Note AM-02 (January 1998)