In this section you can Get Tools like our Water Quality Index Calculator for Surface Waters that you can use to monitor and determine the quality of surface waters such as wetlands, ponds, creeks, streams, rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans. Also included are guides to Monitoring Steams, Lakes, and Pond Water to aid the scientist, citizen scientist, student, community, and local professional. We have included resources for students from grade school to college undergraduates and provide tools, resources, and information that the professional may find helpful. As we grow, we hope to add more tools. If you have something interesting to add to the tool box, we would be happy to review it.
This calculator is based on the original WQI Calculator that was developed through a consensus method in the 1970s by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). We have updated the process of data entry and calculation of the "Q" Value and the Water Quality Index and we have geocoded the historic data and hope to expand the tool. At present, it appears that this tool has been used by groups, individuals, agencies, and entities in over 50 different countries. We have modified the equation to calculate weighted values if all the data are not entered and we hope to add additional features and develop other correlations.
We have reworked the old 1970s National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) WQI Calculator to make it more user friendly, but it is important that the data be entered into the WQI tool properly and that the user understand what is being asked. For this process to work, we strongly suggest reviewing this information sheet regarding the data requirements and how the process assumes you are entering the data. After you enter the data, it is used to calculate a “Q” value for each parameter. The “Q value” for each parameter you enter is then multiplied by a weighting factor to attempt to account for the role or influence of the individual parameters. We have modified the equation to calculate weighted values if all the data are not entered.
Originally, we thought we would create some online calculators to make this really easy to calculate values and convert data, but then it is way better to teach a person to fish then it is to give them fish. So we provide a resource to see step-by-step examples and a summary table of conversation factors that are most commonly used in earth and the biological sciences.
Staying on the topic of teaching a person to fish, this section provides an introduction related to common water quality units, terms, how to convert from mg/L to ppb, mg/L to meq/L, conduct anion/cation balances, express results in other forms such as mg CaCO3/L as mg Ca/L, etc, and how to convert from mg P/L to mg PO4/L and mg N/L to mg NO3/L.