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GEMS data on the Web
Contact information
For questions about landfill environmental monitoring, contact:
Mike Solomon
608-266-0867

Landfill environmental monitoring FAQ

Where do I mail landfill environmental monitoring data for upload to GEMS?

For United States Postal Service, mail to:

GEMS Data Submittal Contact – WA/5
Bureau of Waste and Materials Management
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921

For FedEx, UPS, hand deliveries, etc. send to:

GEMS Data Submittal Contact – WA/5
Bureau of Waste and Materials Management
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
101 South Webster St.
Madison, WI 53702

Do not send a duplicate copy to the site hydrogeologist or engineer unless specifically requested to do so. In some cases the hydrogeologist or engineer may request that some data be sent directly to them and not submitted to GEMS at all.

Please do not include a hard copy of the electronic data with your submission unless specifically requested.

What do I include with GEMS data submittals to the DNR?

Materials to include (and not to include) with GEMS data submittals may be found on pages 2 and 3 of Procedures for Preparing and Submitting Landfill Environmental Monitoring Data to the DNR Bureau of Waste and Materials Management [PDF].

Can GEMS data files be submitted on CDs as well as diskettes?

Yes. CDs have the advantage of being less prone to damage during mailing than diskettes.

Can landfill environmental monitoring data be entered directly into GEMS through the Web and/or could the files be emailed to the DNR?

Unfortunately, neither of these is an option at this time. GEMS data must be sent to the DNR by regular mail. Under special circumstances, e.g. if there are problems uploading data, data submitters may be asked to send corrected files by email. The development of the software needed for direct electronic submission is included in our planning but due to budget constraints has yet to be implemented. We cannot accept routine submissions by email because our email applications do not have the storage capacity necessary to hold so many large files and it would be difficult to manage the large number of emails.

Where can I find guidance on all aspects of landfill environmental data submission and preparation for upload to the GEMS database?

Comprehensive information on landfill environmental data submission and preparation for upload to the GEMS database may be found in Procedures for Preparing and Submitting Landfill Environmental Monitoring Data to the WDNR-Bureau of Waste and Materials Management [PDF].

Where do I find a list of parameter codes available for submitting data to the Waste and Materials Management Program?

Lists of parameter codes may be found in Appendix III of Procedures for Preparing and Submitting Landfill Environmental Monitoring Data to the WDNR-Bureau of Waste and Materials Management [PDF].

We are required to do assessment monitoring, but our laboratory can't analyze all the substances on the Appendix 2 list in NR 507. What do we do?

There are a few substances on the Appendix 2 list, such as famphur, ketone and hexachlorophene, that most Wisconsin analytical laboratories cannot detect at this time. Even though these substances can be analyzed by a few labs, we will provide exemptions to allow these substances to not be analyzed. Even if a lab can analyze for these compounds, the results are not as reliable as others because the acceptance limits for quality control indicators for these compounds are quite broad. In general, the Wisconsin-certified laboratories need to run several different analytical methods to analyze for all of the remaining substances in Appendix 2.

We are required to analyze for PAHs in groundwater samples. Can EPA method 8270 be used for this purpose?

EPA Method 8270, when performed in the "selective ion monitoring" (SIM) mode may yield detection limits equal to those achievable by Method 8310 (the method the department has directed labs to use in the past) employing ultraviolet and fluorescence detection. Laboratories that can demonstrate they can achieve the required sensitivity to meet the preventive action limits of PAHs in groundwater using Method 8270 can use the method to report results to the department. If labs cannot make this demonstration, they should use Method 8310.

The GEMS program specialist told us there are no sampling points in GEMS for the data we collected and submitted. How can we get the points put into GEMS so the data can be entered?

The DNR hydrogeologist assigned to a site is responsible for making certain that all sampling point information, especially for monitoring wells and private wells, is accurate and up to date. If the sampling point in question is a gas or leachate monitoring device, the hydrogeologist may work with the DNR engineer assigned to the site to maintain the information. Let the DNR hydrogeologist or engineer know if there is a problem. If you are unsure of which hydrogeologist or engineer is assigned to your facility, contact the environmental program associate for the county where the landfill is located.

Are GEMS data reports available to the public?

Yes. You can make requests for the data using the contact information at the bottom of the page.

To obtain all the data at a given landfill, go to the DNR's GEMS on the Web and follow the instructions. Data output is limited to:

  1. A complete "dump" of all the data, for all points, for a given site.
  2. A complete "dump" of all data for a selected point at a given site.
  3. All results for a single point on a given date.
  4. All results for a given parameter code for a single point across all dates.

Unfortunately, the search mechanism cannot narrow the search for a complete site data dump or a single point within a site for a user defined date range. As the budget allows, the department would like to add these features in the future.

How do I get a Wisconsin unique well number for several new monitoring wells recently installed at my facility?

Well drillers have lists of Wisconsin unique well numbers (WUWNs) they are supposed to assign to each monitoring well they install. Check with the well driller or consultant to see if a WUWN has been assigned. If the well driller has not assigned a WUWN, you may obtain one for a given monitoring well by contacting the DNR hydrogeologist assigned to your site.

If a monitoring point is replaced, should I continue to use the same GEMS ID for the new point that I used for the old point when submitting the data?

No, if a monitoring point such as a groundwater well or a gas extraction well is replaced, then the replacement well should use the same name as the well being replaced with a 'R' at the end of the name (e.g. MW-103R) to designate that it is a replacement well. The new well should have its own Wisconsin unique well number (WUWN) and a new GEMS ID number. To get a new GEMS ID number (such as 101), please contact the DNR hydrogeologist assigned to the site.

Last revised: Wednesday September 10 2014