Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) Program
What is a TMDL?
A TMDL is a scientific
determination of the maximum amount of a given pollutant that a surface
water can absorb and still meet the water quality standards that protect
human health and aquatic life. Water bodies that do not meet water
quality standards are identified as "impaired" for the particular
pollutants of concern--nutrients, bacteria, mercury, etc., and TMDLs must be developed, adopted and
implemented for those pollutants to reduce pollutants and clean up the
The threshold limits on pollutants in surface waters--Florida's
surface water quality standards on which TMDLs are based--are set forth
primarily in rule
62-302, Florida Administrative Code, and the associated table of
water quality criteria.
What are the basic steps in the TMDL program? How
does it work?
- Assess the quality of surface
waters--are they meeting water quality standards?
(Surface Water Quality Standards - Chapter 62-302)
- Determine which waters are
impaired--that is, which ones are not meeting water
quality standards for a particular pollutant or
Waters Rule (IWR) - Chapter 62-303)
- Establish and adopt, by rule,
a TMDL for each impaired water for the pollutants of
concern--the ones causing the water quality problems.
(TMDLs - Chapter 62-304)
- Develop, with extensive local
Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs)
- Implement the strategies and actions in the BMAP
- Measure the effectiveness of
the BMAP, both continuously at the local level and
through a formal re-evaluation every five years.
- Adapt--change the plan and change the actions if
things aren't working
the quality of surface waters continuously
We are working on a
more comprehensive approach to protecting Florida water
quality involving basin-wide assessments and the
application of a full range of regulatory and
non-regulatory strategies to reduce pollution.
The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is the heart of
this comprehensive approach.
Locations of the Department's Adopted TMDLs
For locations of TMDLs in Florida, please see our
State of Florida Adopted TMDLs and
Status of TMDLs in
Florida documents (State Rule 62-304, Florida
Administrative Code F.A.C.). Additionally, you can
view our interactive TMDL map.
Please help us improve
our service by providing feedback on what you think of our Adopted TMDL
whether it is useful, and how could we make it better. Please contact
Jonathan Turner (Jonathan.Turner@dep.state.fl.us),
(850) 245-8438 or Janis Morrow (Janis.Morrow@dep.state.fl.us),
more information on the development of water quality restoration goals
(TMDLs), send e-mail to
Water Quality Evaluation & TMDL Program
2600 Blair Stone Road - Mail Station 3555
Tallahassee, FL, 32399-2400
Phone: (850) 245-8338
For information on TMDL grants, Section 319 (nonpoint source) grants,
and other financial assistance for water infrastructure projects or
implementation of urban or agricultural best management practices,
please see our financial
assistance webpage to
determine what opportunities might be right for your project.