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Public Utility Improves Process to Increase Data Quality, Better Monitor Untreated Water Quality

Tacoma, WA, USA

At a Glance

The City of Tacoma manages untreated water that flows from streets to lakes, streams, rivers & Puget Sound. Identifying relationships between flow, water quality & rainfall help to prevent pollution & restore sites affected by industry & urbanization, especially as regional jobs & economy continue to increase.

Problem Addressed

The City needed to more effectively manage data from flow metering, water quality sampling, and rainfall over time in order to identify relationships. To examine correlations from water sampling events, it desired to present and report on analytical chemistry data stored in a separate laboratory information management system (LIMS) without providing access to that software. The City also had an additional need for complementary information from external websites to be imported into the City's data management system and made available for analyses and calculation.

The City of Tacoma used/is using Water Information System to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

A competitive bid process resulted in the selection of WISKI as the preferred solution. The City utilizes the software to manage a wide array of time series water data including sanitary and storm sewer flow metering, rain gages, continuous conductivity measurements captured by probes and discrete sample aliquot collection times. It has also configured custom protocols for data validation, editing, and summary delivery various types of environmental data to a variety of end-users.


  1. Increased workforce capacity for data analyses, visualization and reporting of correlated data from an array of sources, including federal agencies
  2. Higher confidence in the diversity of environmental data the city collects and produces (reports) for various internal and external data consumers.
  3. Time savings as reporting automation enables users to select stored report templates, expediting the preparation and submission of routine reports

Something Unique

The port city's cargo operations are among the largest in the U.S. Flow and water quality are uniquely influenced by tides. Tacoma staff apply WISKI's analytical tools to tidal information from NOAA as well as data the City collects on building energy use fuel and vehicle idle time.

Who Should Consider?

Medium-sized cities that prefer a phased approach to implementing a master environmental data repository for collection, storage & reporting of environmental resources data (e.g. stormwater, groundwater, soil)

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