ESdat Electronic Lab Data Format 4:

ELDF 4 extends ELDF 2e in order to accomodate additional QA information. To produce ELDF 4 Laboratories that are currently providing ELDF 2e can make the changes described at Converting ELDF 2e to ELDF 4. Once those modifications are made, the file should conform with the below specifications.

The ELDF files contain laboratory report, sample and result information, including comprehensive quality assurance data. The ELDF consists of three files:

  • Header File
  • Sample File
  • Chemistry File (which contains the results).

The file names are of the format: Project Name as provided by the users; a full stop; a laboratory file identifier; a full stop; the text "Header", "Sample4" or "Chemistry4" as appropriate and the file extension (".xml"or ".csv" as appropriate). An example of a file set would be

  • Project1.LabFile01.Header.xml
  • Project1.LabFile01.Sample4.csv
  • Project1.LabFile01.Chemistry4.csv
  • COC and COA in PDF Format as well as other files usually provided by the laboratory.

Header File:

The Header File xml specifications are fully described here

Sample File:

Within the csv export files Line 1 lists the data fields, line 2 and onwards contains the data for those fields:

One record for each field and laboratory sample.

Primary Key

Field

Description

Req'd

Data Type

*

SampleCode

Unique Identifier for each sample *

Y

Text(40)

Sampled_Date_Time

From COC

Date with optional time

Field_ID

From COC (Normal samples only)

Text(40)

Blank1

Empty**

Depth

From COC

Number or Number - (dash) Number

Blank2

Empty

Matrix_Type

Y

List of Soil, Water, Gas, SoilGas, Other or as provided on the COC

Sample_Type

Description of sample as from the field or a lab QC sample.

Y

List of :
Normal,
MS, (Matrix Spike)
MS_D, (Matrix Spike Duplicate)
Trip_B, (Trip Blank)
MB, (Method Blank)
SB, (Storage Blank)
LCS, (Lab Control Sample)
LCS_D, (LCS Duplicate)
SRM, (Standard Reference Material)
CRM, (Certified Reference Material)
LAB_D (Duplicate)
LAB_T (Triplicate)
NCP (Non-Client Parent - for duplicates or spikes from another client in the same sample analysis batch)

Parent_Sample

For Laboratory Duplicates, or Matrix Spike Duplicates give the SampleCode of the parent sample.
For Matrix Spikes give the SampleCode of the applicable non-spiked sample.

Text(40)

Blank3

Empty

N

SDG

Sample Delivery Group, Use the COC Number from the COC or if not available use "Lab Name Date Received".

Lab QA Samples should be given the same SDG as the field Samples, or the value should be left blank.

Y

Text(20)

Lab_Name

Y

Text(20)

Lab_SampleID

Laboratory Sample ID

Y

Text(20)

Lab_Comments

Lab Comments specific to a sample.

N

Text(255)

Lab_Report_Number

Y

Text(20)

*The SampleCode should be constructed using the following syntax. [Lab_Report_Number]_[LabSampleID]. Other methods may also be used so long as each Sample (even Samples reported in a different Report) have a unique SampleCode which is < 40 characters

**Fields Blank1, Blank2 etc.. are placeholder columns to maintain consistency with previous versions of the export. They do not need to be populated and will eventually be removed.

*** The records in the file should be sorted by Sample_Type DESC.  This means the "Normal" samples will appear first.  A secondary sort should be by Field_ID ASC.  This makes it easy for users to identify their QA Samples.

Chemistry File:

Within the csv export files Line 1 lists the data fields, line 2 and onwards contains the data for those fields:

One record for each result.

Primary Key

Field

Description

Req'd

Data Type

*

SampleCode

Unique Identifier for each sample (as per Sample File)

Y

Text(40)

*

ChemCode

Unique Identifier for each analyte (eg. CAS number)

Y

Text(20)

OriginalChemName

The name for the Analyte as given in the laboratories Certificate of Analysis

Y

Text(50)

Prefix

if below detection limit

"<" or ">"

Result

The reported result applicable for the result unit. Results for Spikes should be reported as a Percentage.

Y

Number. Text is permitted for asbestos analyses or other specific results.

Result_Unit

Should use SI Units where possible. A dash should be specified where units are not applicable, such as for pH or text results. Spike recoveries should be reported as a Percentage (%).

Y

Text(15)

*

Total_or_Filtered

Either Total or Filtered, if blank will default to T.

Y

List of
T (Total)
F (Filtered)

*

Result_Type

Y

Restricted to:
REG (regular result)
leached_REG (regular leached results)
SUR (Surrogate)
leached_SUR (leached surrogate)
SC (Spike Compound)
SC (Spike Compound Duplicate)

Method_Type

Y

Text(50):
PAH
Pesticides
Inorganic
Metals...

Etc as indicated on the CoC.

If a suitable value isn’t available then the name of the Method is most suitable, ie for the method “EG005T: Total Metals by ICP-AES”, the Name “Total Metals by ICP-AES” or similar would be most suitable.

 

*

Method_Name

Method or Test Code.

Y

Text(70)

Extraction_Date

Date extracted

if possible

Date

Analysed_Date

Date analyzed

if possible

Date

*

Lab_Analysis_ID

A unique value per analysis run included in the report.

Y

Text(20)

Lab_Preperation_Batch_ID

A unique value per sample preperation batch.

Y

Text(20)

Lab_Analysis_Batch_ID

A unique value per analysis batch.

Y

Text(20)

EQL

Quantitation Limit, reported in the units specified in the Detection_Limit_Units column.

Y

Number

RDL

Reportable Detection Limit, reported in the units specified in the Detection_Limit_Units column.

N

Number

MDL

Method Detection Limit, reported in the units specified in the Detection_Limit_Units column.

N

Number

ODL

Other Detection Limit, for use if required in contract or client specific requirements such as the US Defence "Limit of Detection".
Reported in the units specified in the Detection_Limit_Units column.

N

Number

Detection_Limit_Units

Units used for EQL, RDL, MDL and any other Detection/Quantiation Limit values. The Result can be reported in it's own unit (the Result_Unit). (was called EQL_Units in v2e)

Y

Text(15)

Lab_Comments

Lab Comments specific to a result. (was called Comments in 2e)

N

Text(255)

Lab_Qualifier*

N

Text **

UCL

Upper Confidence Limit used for QA recoveries

N

Number

LCL

Lower Confidence Limit used for QA recoveries

N

Number

Dilution_Factor

N

Number

Spike_Concentration

N

Number

Spike_Measurement

The measured concentration of the spike or surrogate.

N

Number

Spike_Units

Units used for Spike Concentration and Measurement

N

Text(15)

*The Lab_Qualifier may be populated with a data qualifier (U,J,J+,J-,R,UJ) as described in various USEPA documents, for example: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-06/documents/g8-final.pdf , / Data Qualifier Definitions

** Multiple Lab Qualifiers to be separated with a semi colon ";"

File Format

The fields and data in the csv files may optionally be surrounded by quotation marks.

Leachate Tests

Leaching test results are not given a separate SampleCode, (ie are not treated as a separate sample). Results are indicated in the chemistry file, and are identified in the Result_Type field.

Date Formats

Dates should be in the format dd mmm yyyy (eg 3 Jan 2020). This avoids confusion between users with different regional settings. If time is included it should be hh:mm AM/PM.

Tentatively Identified Compounds

Tentatively Identified Compounds should be reported with the ChemCode of the TIC, and be identified as such in the Comments field of the chemistry file. If the laboratory is using Lab Qualifiers a suitable Lab Qualifier should be reported.

Text Results

Asbestos and some other analyses are often reported as text. Only specific analyses can be reported as text. Including text in the result column for analyte concentration will result in an import error.

The EQL and the EQL Unit should remain as normal for an EQL, for example: 1 g/kg.

Aborted Analysis

Aborted analyses can be reported, a value of -999 should be entered as a result, and a comment entered into the Comments field in the Results file.

Laboratory QA Samples

Laboratory QA Samples should report the results for each Analysis Batch for which they relate, thus if a QC sample is applicable for multiple Analysis Batchs the results of that Sample should be reported for all Analysis Batch ID's for which they are appliable.
Typically field QA samples such as field duplicates, rinsates, some field or trip spikes will be applicable to the data and not known to the laboratory. The laboratory will report these results as per all other field samples and the QA type will be specified for those samples by ESdat users.

Matrix Spikes

The Sample Type should be reported as MS.
The SampleCode of the pre-spike sample indicated in the Parent Sample Column.
The results should be reported as per all Spike results, ie :
The % recovery should be reported in the Result column with Result Units of '%' and Result Type specified as MS. The Spike Concentration should be reported in the Spike_Concentration column and the Spike Measurement reported in the Spike_Measurement column. The Spike units should be reported in the Spike_Units column.

Trip Spikes

The Sample Type should be reported as Trip_S.
The results should be reported as per all Spike results, ie :
The % recovery should be reported in the Result column with Result Units of '%' and Result Type specified as MS. The Spike Concentration should be reported in the Spike_Concentration column and the Spike Measurement reported in the Spike_Measurement column. The Spike units should be reported in the Spike_Units column.

Laboratory Control Sample, Certified Reference Material, Standard Reference Material

The Sample Type should be reported as LCS, CRM, SRM as appropriate.
The results should be reported as per all Spike results, ie :
The % recovery should be reported in the Result column with Result Units of '%' and Result Type specified as MS. The Spike Concentration should be reported in the Spike_Concentration column and the Spike Measurement reported in the Spike_Measurement column. The Spike units should be reported in the Spike_Units column.

Laboratory QC performed on other clients field samples.

If the Lab Duplicate or Matrix spike used for Analysis Batch QC is on a field sample from another client the QC results on the parent and duplicate or spiked sample should still be reported.
The Field ID and Depth and any client provided information for these samples should not be reported.
The Sample Type of the Parent Sample should be set to NCP (Non Client Parent).

Matrix Spike Duplicates and Laboratory Control Sample Duplicates

The Sample Type should be reported as MS_D or LCS_D as appropriate.
The SampleCode of the primary Matrix Spike sample indicated in the Parent Sample Column.
The results should be reported as per all Spike results, ie :
The % recovery should be reported in the Result column with Result Units of '%' and Result Type specified as MS. The Spike Concentration should be reported in the Spike_Concentration column and the Spike Measurement reported in the Spike_Measurement column. The Spike units should be reported in the Spike_Units column.

Laboratory Duplicates

The Sample Type should be reported as Lab_D or Lab_T for laboratory duplicates or triplicates.
The SampleCode of the Parent Sample should be reported in the Parent_Sample column.
The results should be reported as normal measured concentrations.

Trip, Method and Storage Blanks

The Sample Type should be reported as Trip_B, MB or SB as appropriate.
The results should be reported as normal measured concentrations.

*The ESdat ELDF format is a continuously maintained and evolving proprietry format for receipt of laboratory results by organisations with an active ESdat maintenance agreement, account or subscription and the subsequent processing, storage or other use without limitation. Third party software or development organisations wishing to use the ESdat format for other commercial or bespoke software should contact EScIS to arrange a licence agreement.