User Guide for LAQM Diffusion Tube Data Entry System For England

This user guide provides information on using the Defra Diffusion Tube Data Entry System (DTDES). This document includes instruction for logging in, managing Diffusion Tube sites, uploading data and specifying preparation/analysis laboratory.


Control Panel

Once you have logged in, you will see the Control Panel page, which gives you the option to ‘Manage Results’, ‘Manage Sites’ and select your ‘Laboratory Preferences’. You can return to this page at any time by clicking ‘Home’ in the menu bar at the top of the page.

When you first log in, you should check that monitoring site information is up to date (monitoring sites may also be located in the sea if no grid references were available in the existing database) and check that the correct Laboratory Preferences are selected.


Manage Sites

Add a New Monitoring Site

Click the ‘Add Site’ button to add a new monitoring site.

Enter the ‘Site Name’ and select a ‘Site Type’ (In accordance with TG(09) – as shown in adjacent help box). The Site Start Time should be the date when the tube was installed. The Site End Time should be blank as long as the Site is operational.

To specify the site location, any part of the address (eg. ‘Manchester’ or ‘Portland Street, Leeds’ or a post code) can be typed into the Address boxes. Once the adjacent icon is pressed, the marker will move to this location. The Site location cannot be specified using grid references, or longitude/latitude.

Site location can be refined by dragging and dropping the pin to the correct location on the map.

Once the site location has been defined, it may be necessary to amend the address shown, in accordance with the ‘Closest Matching Address’ shown below the map, as the clicking the icon next to the address boxes will always locate the marker at the address in the boxes.

The tube Height and distance from the kerb should then be added.

Once all details are correct, click ‘Save’ to return to the ‘Manage Sites’ screen.

Editing Existing Sites

Click the ‘Edit’ Button to edit existing site details.

Details can all be amended as the same way as adding new sites.

If a monitoring site is moved to a nearby location, it is best practice to provide a new site name, rather than use the exisiting site name.

Closing Sites

Click the ‘Close’ button when monitoring is no longer carried out at a particular location.

Once a site is closed, you will not be able to add any further monitoring results.


Laboratory Preferences

To change the preparation/analysis laboratory and method, click the ‘Edit’ button for the relevant local authority.

Select the parameters from the drop-down lists, then click save.

This will autocomplete the relevant details in the results entry system. These details can also be changed when monitoring results are added.


Manage Results

Adding Tube Results Individually

Click the ‘Add Result’ button.

Select the site you which to enter data for and choose the monitoring month. Dates from the diffusion tube calendar will automatically be added. These dates can be amended as necessary.

The recorded concentration by the tube (in µg/m3 without bias correction and to no more than 1 decimal place) should be added. If no value was available, check the ‘No Value’ box and select an appropriate comment. Comments can also be provided if there was an issue with the tube in this month.

The laboratory details will automatically be completed from the details added in the ‘Preferences’ page.

Further results can be added in the same way by clicking the ‘Add More Results’ button.

Bulk Upload of Results

Alternatively, batches of results can be uploaded simultaneously using the ‘Bulk Upload Data’ option. 

In Step 1, Select the relevant local authority, ‘Start Period Month’ and ‘End Period Month’ from the drop-down lists, the click the Download File Button. This will produce a bespoke .csv template for adding tube results.

This should be saved in an appropriate location and concentrations for the tubes in the relevant month added. Dates, comments and laboratory details in the spreadsheet can be amended using the codes in the ‘Guide’ on the page.

The results can then be uploaded in Step 2 by selecting the results spreadsheet in the location where it is saved, then clicking ‘Upload File’. The data to be added will then appear in Step 3 for checking. If there are any issues with the data displayed, the spreadsheet can be amended and uploaded again. Once all data is displayed correctly, click to ‘Confirm and Upload to Database’.

All provisional tube data will then be displayed. This can be edited by clicking the ‘Edit’ button until the data is ratified by the LAQM Helpdesk team. Once ratified, the data cannot be edited.

(NB. The status of all data prior to 2010 is considered to be ratified and cannot be amended)


 Data quality for all results added will be controlled using the following automatic checks:

 Data added will be flagged as ’Cautious’ where:

  • The exposure start/end date is greater than 2 days outside of the dates specified in the diffusion tube calendar.
  • The result added is >100 µg/m3
  • The ‘Spider in tube’ comment has been selected

 Data will be flagged as ‘Not Suitable for Upload’ where:

  • The exposure period higher than 39 days, or lower than 14 days
  • The result added is 3, 0 µg/m3 or >200 µg/m3
  • If any of the following Comments have been selected:

Tube very dirty
Condensation in tube
Liquid inside tube
Tube missing
Foreign object in tube
Rejected other reason
Broken tube/cap
No valid data
Tube on ground

 Result Status

For 2010 results onwards, all tube data will be given a status as described in the table below:



Provisional – checked

Data uploaded by local authority meets all criteria for good quality data

Provisional – cautious

There is potentially some issue in the data uploaded, such as exposure dates are a couple of days outside the calendar

Provisional – Not Suitable for Upload

The data has not passed the quality checks, such as exposure period being too long, or a problem was reported with the tube


As for Provisional-checked, but finalised and locked for editing

Ratified – Cautious

As for Provisional-cautious, but finalised and locked for editing

Not Suitable for Upload


As for Provisional – Not Suitable for Upload, but finalised and locked for editing. Not possible to see this in the Diffusion Tube Data Centre