2.7.26. Rice Creek

2.7.26.1. About the Rice Creek

Figure 2.55 The Rice Creek Tributary (WBID 2567A/B) with sanitary sewer overflows reported by JEA in 2019 (JEA 2019b).
Figure 2.55 The Rice Creek Tributary (WBID 2567A/B) with sanitary sewer overflows reported by JEA in 2019 (JEA 2019b).
  • West of Palatka
  • Primary Land Use: Forested/Wetland
  • Current TMDL reports:
    None
  • Not included in 2016 Verified List of Impaired Waters
  • WBID Area: 31.1 sq. mi.
  • Beneficial Use: Class III F (Recreational – Freshwater)

2.7.26.2. 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 the Rice Creek WBID 2567A/B (DEP 2014c) shown above. The filtered dataset reflects water column concentrations and was used to generate Table 2.27.

2.7.26.3. Discussion

Water quality data for Rice Creek are shown in Table 2.27. Rice Creek is predominantly surrounded by wetlands, forests including The Rice Creek Wildlife Management Area and a pulp mill (Georgia-Pacific). Dissolved oxygen, total phosphorus, chlorophyll-a, and turbidity levels are within acceptable limits; chlorophyll-a concentrations in Rice Creek have fallen by more than half since 2016. Average concentrations of copper, nickel, and zinc increased between 2017 and 2019, although the average concentrations remain lower than the WQC. Rice Creek was identified as being impaired for dioxin (DEP 2014e), but it is no longer listed as such.

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

Table 2.27 Water quality data for Rice Creek.

 Water QualityAverage and Number of Samples º
ParameterCriteria (FW)201720182019
Dissolved Oxygen (mg/L)≥34% sat. (≥3.0)5.54
(0 of 30 samples)
4.98
(10 of 77 samples)
6.20
(0 of 32 samples)
Total Nitrogen (mg/L)<1.540.89
(2 of 12 samples)
0.96
(0 of 24 samples)
0.73
(0 of 16 samples)
Total Phosphorus (mg/L)<0.120.07
(1 of 16 samples)
0.08
(4 of 40 samples)
0.06
(0 of 20 samples)
Chlorophyll-a (µg/L)<204.23
(0 of 11 samples)
2.69
(1 of 30 samples)
2.71
(0 of 16 samples)
Arsenic (µg/L)≤500.58
(0 of 6 samples)
1.39
(0 of 22 samples)
0.74
(0 of 5 samples)
Cadmium (µg/L)≤0.30.01
(0 of 6 samples)
0.04
(0 of 22 samples)
0.07
(0 of 5 samples)
Copper (µg/L)≤9.30.86
(0 of 6 samples)
1.21
(0 of 22 samples)
1.74
(0 of 5 samples)
Lead (µg/L)≤3.20.29
(0 of 6 samples)
0.37
(0 of 22 samples)
0.24
(0 of 5 samples)
Nickel (µg/L)≤520.49
(0 of 6 samples)
1.54
(0 of 22 samples)
2.25
(0 of 5 samples)
Silver (µg/L)≤0.070.02
(1 of 6 samples)
0.01
(0 of 22 samples)
0.07
(1 of 5 samples)
Zinc (µg/L)≤1202.55
(0 of 6 samples)
5.91
(0 of 22 samples)
9.50
(0 of 5 samples)
Fecal coliform (CFU / 100 mL)<400Not available190
(0 of 1 sample)
Not available
Turbidity (NTU)<293.29
(0 of 11 samples)
4.64
(0 of 29 samples)
3.38
(0 of 16 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.