2.7.21. Open Creek About Open Creek

Figure 2.50 Open Creek (WBID 2299A/B) with sanitary sewer overflows reported by JEA in 2019 (JEA 2019b).
Figure 2.50 Open Creek (WBID 2299A/B) with sanitary sewer overflows reported by JEA in 2019 (JEA 2019b).
  • West of the Intracoastal Waterway, Southwest of Jacksonville Beach and Northwest of Ponte Vedra Beach
  • Primary Land Use: Residential
  • Current TMDL reports:
    Fecal Coliform with BMAP (2009), Mercury
  • Not included in 2016 Verified List of Impaired Waters
  • WBID Area: 6.5 sq. mi.
  • Beneficial Use: Class III M & F (2299A Recreational – Marine, 2299B Recreational – Freshwater) Data sources

Data were downloaded from the FL STORET and WIN websites (DEP 2010f; DEP 2018c) and filtered based on the stations (DEP 2010g) in Open Creek WBID 2299A (marine) and 2299B (freshwater) (DEP 2014c) shown above. The filtered dataset reflects water column concentrations and was used to generate Table 2.22. Discussion

Water quality data for Open Creek are shown in Table 2.22. Total phosphorus and dissolved oxygen levels were within acceptable limits from 2017 to 2019. Open Creek has been identified as impaired for mercury (DEP 2016j) and is addressed in the statewide mercury TMDL already in place (DEP 2013c).

Average fecal coliform levels, averaged over all the stations in Open Creek, remain around the WQC. There is some variation in the levels depending on the location, and approximately one-third of the fecal coliform measurements exceeded the WQC.  A TMDL report (Wainwright and Hallas 2009b) was released in 2009 to address fecal coliform. (Note: the data analyses in the TMDL are based on different criteria than that used in this report). Subsequently, a BMAP to address this issue was legally adopted (DEP 2009b).  The last Annual Progress Report for this BMAP was published in 2016 and listed 18 active, ongoing projects underway by FDOT and JEA to address the BMAP in the Open Creek watershed (DEP 2017c).  In 2018, FDEP piloted microbial source tracking strategies in selected impaired waterbodies.  They found that the strategies used could be used to narrow down areas suspected of containing sources that actively contribute fecal indicating bacteria to water in order to identify and remediate them, but this work is resource-intensive.  Open Creek was suspected of having sources of untreated human waste present, and ruminant waste was detected in the waterbody (DEP 2019a). Additional information about fecal coliform in the tributaries can be found in Section 2.6 and Table 2.2.

No recent measurements were available in WIN or STORET between 2015 and 2017 for the following parameters:

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Copper
  • Lead
  • Nickel
  • Silver
  • Zinc

Historical water quality data for these parameters in Open Creek are available in previous versions of the River Report.

Table 2.22 Water quality data for Open Creek.

 Water QualityAverage and Number of Samples º
Dissolved Oxygen (mg/L)≥34% sat. (≥3.0) FW5.69
(0 of 8 samples)
(0 of 6 samples)
(0 of 3 samples)
≥4.0 SW6.29
(0 of 4 samples)
(1 of 5 samples)
(0 of 7 samples)
Total Nitrogen (mg/L)<1.54Not available0.79
(0 of 12 samples)
(0 of 25 samples)
Total Phosphorus (mg/L)<0.120.05
(0 of 4 samples)
(0 of 10 samples)
(0 of 7 samples)
Chlorophyll-a (µg/L)<20 FWNot available3.88
(0 of 6 samples)
(0 of 4 samples)
<5.4 SW3.20
(0 of 4 samples)
(0 of 4 samples)
(0 of 3 samples)
Fecal Coliform (CFU/100 mL)<400380
(2 of 7 samples)
(3 of 6 samples)
(2 of 6 samples)
Turbidity (NTU)<292.70
(0 of 4 samples)
(0 of 10 samples)
(0 of 7 samples)
Note: Hardness-dependent freshwater criteria for cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc were generated based on a hardness concentration of 100 mg/L.
° = Number of samples below Water Quality Criteria for Dissolved Oxygen; Number of samples above Water Quality Criteria for all other parameters.
FW = freshwater; SW = saltwater (marine). Values denoted with (*) indicate a proposed criterion, which has not yet been adopted.
Values denoted with (‡) are reference values based on EPA criteria (EPA 2010b), but the water body is not regulated by this standard.