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June 2022 – Shift to an F3

Shift to an F3 for Putting Out Field Fires

In 2020, a large utility company invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a third-party application rollout for its groundwater monitoring programs and well inspection maintenance program. The application was to be used in the field to collect and transfer data, with improved speed and quality control. It was a huge effort in design, testing, licensure, and training.

The use of the application was terminated after 2 months, due to data loss and Sampling Team struggles.

Environmental Standards’ Data Management Team responded. In the background, we were developing an “FFF” or Field Fillable Form (F3), one for each activity common to the utility. F3’s are .pdf e-field forms that look like paper forms. The premise being instead of designing an application that is completely new and foreign to the user and having to flip through screens to enter data, we designed a form that is user friendly, is known to the user, and has many of the same benefits of the application. The form can be processed into an electronic data deliverable (EDD) to be loaded into a database.

The adoption of F3 has been a success for the utility and is being used across multiple Sampling Teams and locations. F3 has also been developed and deployed by other clients and applications with success.

Why they are successful:

  • Customizable to the look and content needed
  • No software or license to buy
  • No special equipment to purchase – a standard tablet, laptop, or phone can be used
  • Wi-Fi or data plans are not required to operate
  • Ease in training and transition of sample-collection staff
  • Can be pre-populated before going into the field
  • Field data entry selections can be controlled by drop-down lists to reduce errors
  • Auto-create/control sample identifications (IDs)
  • Red light/green light when pre-determined criteria met
  • Auto-strikethroughs when the form is complete
  • Ease of use and look like a report attachment

F3 is inexpensive and quick to develop and deploy. If interested in learning more, please contact Lydia Work at lwork@envstd.com or 304-552-1442.

Lydia M. Work, LRS

Principal Chemist