The STATIONS table links the station identifier field in the DATA table to a complete description of the station at which a data value is located. The most important fields include:

· Station Name–a descriptive name for the station

· Station Type–a code or acronym used to describe the type of station; for example, whether the station is a water intake, point source, or power plant

· Latitude & Longitude–useful for linking the STATIONS database to mapping or GIS programs

· Branch Identifier–a code or numbering system that can be used to describe the hierarchy of streams that data represent

· HUC, Reach ID, Drainage Area, River Mile, Agency, Reference Identifier–additional fields to describe the station

Some of the fields in the STATIONS table can be very useful when performing advanced queries. For example, you can generate a report with data from all stations tributary to Peachtree Creek.

The Station Group table is used to easily generate output for arbitrary groups of stations (for example, all point sources).  Each record contains a station group name and station identifier (which is linked to the STATIONS table).

The Branches table is primarily used to provide descriptive names for branch identifiers entered in the STATIONS table.