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Suwannee River, FloridaSurface Water Quality Standards

With 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).

Triennial Review of State Surface Water Quality Standards

The Department has initiated the current Triennial Review of State surface water quality standards.  The Department is considering revisions to several rule sections; however, all surface water quality standards in Chapter 62-4, Chapter 62-302 and Chapter 62-303, F.A.C., are under review.  The first series of public workshops was held in June, 2015.  Additional public workshops will be conducted in the future.  The Department is proposing several new water quality criteria. For more information, links to criteria documents, proposed rule revisions, and other related materials, please see our Triennial Review information page

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. 

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), Water Quality Criteria, and Antidegradation Policies

Alternate Surface Water Quality Standards


Numeric Nutrient Standards

Outstanding Florida Waters

South Florida Canal Study

Surface Water Quality Support Documents


Links to Related Topics

Last updated: July 02, 2015

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