Data Guidance

Getting Started

All Water Action Volunteers data is entered into the DNR’s Surface Water Integrated Monitoring System (SWIMS) database. The SWIMS database is used by DNR staff to enter and search for water monitoring information for management decision-making. The database is linked directly to the Surface Water Data Viewer online mapping tools and the DNR website.

To access the SWIMS database, volunteers need a Wisconsin Web Access Management System (WAMS) ID. It is recommended that all volunteers obtain a WAMS ID even if data entry will be done only by certain team members. Once you have a WAMS ID, contact your local or statewide WAV coordinator for the next steps.

SWIMS Tip Sheet

Get WAMS ID 

Enter the SWIMS Database

Understanding SWIMS

In the SWIMS database, your monitoring location is represented by a Station ID. This six to eight digit number is tied to a specific GPS location. Before entering data in the SWIMS database, volunteers need to determine whether or not their monitoring location has a Station ID, or if a station request needs to be sent to a WAV local or statewide coordinator. This can be done using both the SWIMS database and the Surface Water Data Viewer

Determining Station IDs

Enter the Surface Water Data Viewer

Entering and Editing Your Data

WAV Baseline Monitors will enter all of their monitoring data each month into SWIMS. Some volunteers participating in Special Projects monitoring will not need to do this. Access printable directions for entering and editing data in SWIMS.

Entering Data

View and Editing Data

Accessing Data

The SWIMS database is linked to other DNR webpages. Monitoring data can be viewed from several different locations. There are also additional tools you can use to understand Wisconsin water quality. It is also possible to use the SWIMS database to generate printable reports and graphs for each monitoring site.

DNR Wisconsin Water Search

Welcome to the SWDV

How to create reports

How to generate graphs