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Alternate Surface Water Quality Standards
Site Specific Alternative Criteria

Site specific criteria replace the criteria applicable statewide in cases where site specific information supports different numeric criteria.  Any SSAC must fully support and protect the designated use of the waterbody.  SSACs fall into three types: Type I, Type II, and Type III.  Type I SSACs (Rule 62-302.800(1), FAC) are established to reflect natural background conditions, such as lower dissolved oxygen levels than the statewide default criteria.  Type II SSACs (Rule 62-302.800(2), FAC) are established for situations other than natural background conditions.  Type III SSACs (Rule 62-302.800(3), FAC) are limited to nutrient criteria.  All types of SSACs must still fully protect the designated use of the water body.  Examples of site specific criteria include the Everglades phosphorus criterion (Rule 62-302.540, Florida Administrative Code) and the Site Specific Alternative Criteria described in Rule 62-302.800, FAC.

Frequently Asked Questions

Waters with Site Specific Alternative Criteria

SSACs Under Development or Pending Final Approval


Site Specific Interpretations of the Narrative Nutrient Criterion

Numeric nutrient criteria that are approved Hierarchy I interpretations of the narrative nutrient criteria under Rule 62-302.531(2)(a), F.A.C., can include Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), Level II Water Quality-Based Effluent Limits (WQBELs), Reasonable Assurance Plans (RAPs), and Site Specific Alternative Criteria (addressed above).

Water Quality Standards Variances

Charlotte Harbor Water Association (variance for acute toxicity)

Premier Chemicals (variance for acute toxicity)

City of Vero Beach Reverse Osmosis (variance for acute toxicity)

Everglades Protection Area Dissolved Oxygen Site Specific Alternative Criteria Development Public Workshop

Download Public Workshop Materials and Technical Support Documents (3.5 MB)

  • Summary
  • Public Workshop Presentation
  • Everglades Marsh Dissolved Oxygen Site Specific Alternative Criteria Technical Support Document
    • Appendix I
    • Appendix II

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

Last updated: June 30, 2015

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