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MassWateR can be used anywhere with a few caveats. MassWateR was developed specifically for organizations in Massachusetts to support the data submission process to Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP). However, the structure, logic, and approach to analyzing data are universal and could be used by any organization. Here is a list of the MassWateR elements that are specific to Massachusetts:

  1. Parameter thresholds - Standard thresholds have been included for some parameters so that a threshold line can be easily added to the analysis graphs. Some of these thresholds have been defined by Mass DEP or MassBays, while others are EPA standards. There are two ways to handle this if the thresholds are not relevant. You can simply turn the thresholds off in the graphing functions with the thresh = "none" argument, or you can manually add your own as described in the modifying plots vignette.
  2. Mapping water bodies - In the mapping function anlzMWRmap(), there is an option to add a waterbody layer (addwater = "high"/"medium"/"low"). This waterbody layer only includes watersheds that have portions in Massachusetts. If you are outside of Massachusetts, you can still use the base maps available with the maptype argument or you can add your own waterbody layer following the instructions in the modifying plots vignette.
  3. QC Report format - The QC Report Word document that is created with the qcMWRreview() function has been designed jointly with Mass DEP based on their requirements. Mass DEP has approved this format for data submissions from Massachusetts organizations. This document may not meet the requirements of other state organizations. However, the structure and logic of the document are theoretically universal. We believe that it should meet the QC needs of any state. Also, it can be easily customized since it is a Word document.
  4. Time-zone - The WQX output file that is created with the tabMWRwqx() function is hard-coded to fill in the WQX Activity Start Time Zone field with "EDT". If this is not the correct time zone for your organization, you can manually change the time zone in your WQX upload file prior to uploading to WQX.
  5. Sample Collection Method - In the WQX output file, if you do not define your own Sample Collection Method and Context, MassWateR will default the Method ID "Grab-MassWateR" and the Method Context "MassWateR". Even though these names include the prefix “Mass”, there is nothing specific to Massachusetts about this sampling method. Further, the recommended solution is to define your own method and context in WQX.

In future updates we may expand the scope beyond Massachusetts, but for now you are welcome to use the package with the considerations mentioned above.