City of Tacoma
Project: Environmental Data Management - Tacoma
Location: Tacoma, Washington
The Tacoma Landfill, a federal Superfund site, is now under closure. The
landfill has collected groundwater samples from an extensive network of
monitoring wells for several decades. These chemical monitoring results
have been stored in a database that was developed in the mid 1990s. Unfortunately,
the landfill’s original database interface was unintuitive, making
navigation awkward, report generation difficult, and data importing laborious
and error-prone. Furthermore, data integrity was poor: The database contained
many duplicate and “orphaned” records because it lacked relationships
and keys. Many errors could be traced to a failure to check data after
Over the years, many programmers had worked on the database, building
on its original weak structure. Because the problems were rooted within
the data tables, all changes needed to be cascaded throughout queries,
forms, and code.
To improve the accuracy and usability of the database, we normalized its
structure, transferred all records, removed duplicate records, and rejoined
orphans and parents. Using SpeedFerret, a third-party search-and-replace
tool, we updated database objects quickly and efficiently after changing
the tables. Most importantly, we developed a new data importing wizard
to make the import procedure faster and less error-prone.
Tacoma landfill currently uses the database for all its reporting requirements.
Our streamlined importing procedure has saved users considerable time.
Waster Compliance / Tacoma Landfill - Hydrogeologic Characterization,
Contaminant Modeling, & Remedial Investigations