The department uses water quality data from a wide variety of sources, including its own monitoring programs, to regularly assess Florida’s rivers, streams, lakes, springs and estuaries to determine whether they meet publicly adopted water quality standards. These standards are established to protect public health, preserve aquatic habitat and wildlife, and ensure safe and healthy fishing and recreational uses. Surface waters that do not meet the standards set for them are determined to be “impaired” and in need of restoration.
Because funds are limited and Florida’s surface water resources are so expansive and diverse, the department has sorted those resources into 29 major watersheds, or basins, and further organized them into five basin groups for assessment purposes. One group (one-fifth of the basins) is assessed each year as part of a repeating five-year cycle designed to gather an ever-more complete understanding of water quality.
Below are links to the statewide comprehensive Verified List, Delist List, Study List, and Study List Removals as well as Lists adopted by Secretarial Order. These lists are up to date with the most recent data, including assessments adopted October 2, 2019 for the Group 1 basins. As water quality improves and assessments are refined, these lists will be updated through formal adoption processes each year. Using the data from these assessments, the department has verified many waterbodies, or segments of those waterbodies, as impaired (not meeting standards). Others have been “delisted” because a previously identified impairment cannot be verified or a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) has been adopted.
Statewide Comprehensive Verified List of Impaired Waters
This list contains waterbody-parameter combinations that have been verified as impaired based on criteria and assessment methodologies in Chapters 62-302 and 62-303, F.A.C., respectively. Waterbodies verified as impaired and that have not subsequently been delisted (see below) remain on the Verified List. Thus, the list provides the comprehensive compilation of waters currently considered impaired and identifies the county that at least a portion of the waterbody intersects.
This list contains waterbody-parameter combinations that have been removed from the Verified List based on delisting methodologies in Chapter 62-303, F.A.C. There are several reasons why a waterbody parameter may be delisted, including but not limited to: a subsequent assessment determining that a waterbody-parameter is no longer impaired based on current water quality standards, if there has been a Total Maximum Daily Load completed for the verified impaired parameter or if a flaw in a previous assessment has been determined. This list provides the comprehensive compilation of waters that have met the requirements of rule 62-303.720, F.A.C., and that have been approved by order of the Secretary as no longer required to be on the Verified List.
This list contains waterbody-parameter combinations that meet the listing requirements for the Study List, as identified in rule 62-303.390, F.A.C. The Study List is the list of surface waters or segments where additional information is needed to confirm attainment of water quality standards. This list provides the comprehensive compilation of waters that meet the requirements for the Study List and identifies the county that at least a portion of the waterbody intersects.
Waters and associated parameters identified in the Study List are considered to be not attaining standards and are submitted to EPA as water quality limited segments and additions to the State 303(d) list; however, they are not included on the State of Florida Verified List of Impaired Waters and prioritized for TMDL development.
This list contains waterbody-parameter combinations that no longer meet the listing requirements for the Study List, as identified in rule 62-303.390, F.A.C. The department submits these to EPA and requests they remove these waterbodies from the 303(d) List. There are several reasons for requesting removal from the 303(d) List including, but not limited to, more recent or accurate data, flaws in the original analysis, site specific data or information to support natural conditions, and changes in water quality conditions.
The adopted lists below are the first step in the process of restoring impaired waters. Once these waters have been accepted by EPA, department staff will begin developing TMDLs for these waters. A TMDL represents the maximum amount of pollutant loading that can be discharged to a water body and have its designated uses be met. The final step in this process is the implementation of the TMDL. This could be done through the development of a Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) by watershed stakeholders or the department. Some impairments are addressed through other measures such as TMDL limits, reasonable assurance plans, permitting, statewide programs, and source identification efforts.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.