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Surface Water Quality Standards

FDEP Initiative to Protect Recreational Waters

The Department announces a new initiative to protect beaches and other recreational waters.  The Department now has new laboratory tools and assessment methods to identify and reduce the sources of pathogens in recreational waters. The Department has initiated rule development in Chapters 62-302, 62-303, and 62-304, F.A.C., to develop new rules that refine water quality standards to take advantage of this new technology and the data that will be available to make beach and recreational waters safer. 

For further information, the Department has also prepared a Bacteria Criteria Development web page, and has initiated rule development.  In addition, it has also convened a Technical Advisory Committee to assist in criteria development. 

Numeric Nutrient Criteria (NNC)

The Department has developed a Numeric Nutrient Criteria web page, and has conducted several public workshops. To view further information or get materials from the public workshops… see our Numeric Nutrient Criteria Highlights page.

Suwannee River, FloridaWith over 50,000 miles of rivers and streams, 7800 lakes, and 4000 square miles of estuaries, Florida has an abundance of surface waters that are used for a variety of purposes by the people who live and work here, by those who are visiting, and by the fish and wildlife that depend on these waters.

The federal Clean Water Act provides the statutory basis for state water quality standards programs. The regulatory requirements governing these programs (Water Quality Standards Regulation) are published in 40 CFR 131. States are responsible for reviewing, establishing, and revising water quality standards. Florida’s surface water quality standards system is published in 62-302 (and 62-302.530) of the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.). The components of this system include: classifications, criteria, including site specific criteria, an anti-degradation policy, and special protection of certain waters (Outstanding Florida Waters).

In response to recent initiatives put forth by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Florida has been working to develop biological criteria and numeric nutrient criteria for fresh waters and estuaries.

Water Quality Standards Program
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Road - M.S. 6511
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Contact Us

Surface Water Classifications, Uses & Criteria

Refining Designated Uses & Classifications

South Florida Canal Study

Antidegradation Policy

Bacteria Criteria Development


Nutrient Criteria Development

Outstanding Florida Waters

Alternate Surface Water Quality Standards

Surface Water Quality Support Documents

Emerging Substances of Concern (ESOC) 2008 DEP Report


Links to Related Topics

Last updated: February 11, 2015

  2600 Blair Stone Road M.S. 3500   Tallahassee, Florida 32399   850-245-8336 (phone) / 850-245-8356 (fax) 
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