Surface Water Quality Standards
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
62-302.530) of the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.). The components of this system include:
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
Water Quality Standards Program
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Road - M.S. 6511
Tallahassee, FL 32399