An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Water Quality Portal Data Discovery Tool

What are the capabilities of the tool?

The Water Quality Portal (WQP) Data Discovery tool is a desktop application that provides an easy to use interface allowing users to search, QC, process, and display data from the WQP. The tool uses open source R, a statistical programming language and several add-on packages, to visualize the data selected from the portal and to assist users in data analysis.

What data are available?

The Data Discovery Tool, developed by the EPA and powered by the Water Quality Portal Exit services, allows you to access publicly available water-quality data from the EPA Storage and Retrieval Data Warehouse (STORET), USGS National Water Information System (NWIS), and USDA ARS Sustaining the Earth's Watersheds, Agricultural Research Data System (STEWARDS).

How can I get the tool and get started using it?

There are two versions to choose from, either the Windows or Mac compatible versions. Follow the instructions below to download and launch the tool, and refer to the Quick Start Guide for troubleshooting. (Note, the zip file is large and will take a few minutes to download and extract from the zip file.)

WQP Data Discovery Desktop Tool Installation Package (Windows compatible).
The Windows version contains everything you need to run the tool.

  1. Download the  WQP Data Discovery Tool (1 pg, 194 MB)   file to your computer,
  2. unzip the file to a local file directory
  3. To launch the tool:
    -click on the DiscoveryTool.bat file

WQP Data Discovery Tool Installation Package (Mac compatible). 
To run the Mac compatible version, you must have the at least version 3.3.1 of R on your computer, which can be downloaded from the Comprehensive R Archive Network Exit

  1. Download the
  2. Unzip the file to a local file directory and make note of this location
  3. To launch the tool:
    - Open R, select File → Change dir… and navigate to the unzipped file location, select the tool folder, and click OK
    - Select File → Source R Code… and select Launch_visualization.R and click Open