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Tiered Monitoring Design


Tier I

The purpose of Tier I monitoring is to assist the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, other agencies, and the public in providing estimates of the statewide condition, described by indicators or water quality criteria, of Florida waters. The information generated is the basis for reporting and advising relevant Departmental and other governmental agencies on the status and trends of Florida’s water quality. Florida has embraced a random sample (probabilistic) based status monitoring network and a fixed station “trend” or temporal variability (TV) monitoring program. The status monitoring network is tied to the rotating basin schedule that was set up by the TMDL program (Tier II). Data generated by the Status Network and the Temporal Variability Network can be utilized for Tier II decision making.

Tier II

The main purposes of Tier II monitoring is to identify problem water bodies, to determine the extent and severity of the problems within these water bodies, and to develop pollution reduction goals to address these problems. This monitoring is used to set the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) of the pollutants identified as causing the problems within these waterbodies (For additional information, please also see the Total Maximum Daily Load Program). Regulatory permits are issued at the end of each Tier II monitoring cycle. This allows information from Tier II to feed into Tier III (site specific) monitoring as listed below.

Tier III

The main purpose of Tier III monitoring is to address site-specific water quality monitoring questions. It includes all monitoring tied to regulatory permits issued by DEP and is associated with evaluating the effectiveness of regulating point source discharges, BMPs or TMDLs (For additional information, please see the Wastewater Program, the NPDES Stormwater Program, the Environmental Resource Permitting Program, Mine Reclamation, and Underground Injection Control).

Last updated: June 30, 2015

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