2.7.26. Rice Creek

2.7.26.1. About the Rice Creek

Figure 2.60
Figure 2.61 The Rice Creek Tributary (WBID 2567A/B).
  • West of Palatka
  • Primary Land Use: Forested/Wetland
  • Current TMDL reports: None
  • Verified Impaired 2016 (final): None
  • WBID Area: 31.1 sq. mi.
  • Beneficial Use: Class III F (Recreational – Freshwater)

2.7.26.2. Data sources

Result data were downloaded from the FL STORET and WIN websites (DEP 2010f; DEP 2018h) and filtered based on the stations (DEP 2010g) in the Rice Creek WBID 2567A/B (DEP 2014c) shown above. The filtered dataset was used to generate Table 2.27.

2.7.26.3. Discussion

Water quality data for Rice Creek are shown in Table 2.27, although the frequency of sampling was sharply lower in 2017. 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 normal levels; chlorophyll-a concentrations in Rice Creek have fallen by more than half over the past three years. Levels of metals, including copper and nickel, had decreased between 2015 and 2017, although some of these concentrations rose in 2018.  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)201620172018
Dissolved Oxygen (mg/L)≥34% sat. (≥3.0)5.38
(4 of 87 samples)
5.54
(0 of 30 samples)
4.98
(10 of 77 samples)
Total Nitrogen (mg/L)<1.541.00
(1 of 28 samples)
0.89
(2 of 12 samples)
0.96
(0 of 24 samples)
Total Phosphorus (mg/L)<0.120.05
(0 of 46 samples)
0.07
(1 of 16 samples)
0.08
(4 of 40 samples)
Chlorophyll-a (µg/L)<207.50
(5 of 30 samples)
4.23
(0 of 11 samples)
2.69
(1 of 30 samples)
Arsenic (µg/L)≤500.68
(0 of 18 samples)
0.58
(0 of 6 samples)
1.39
(0 of 22 samples)
Cadmium (µg/L)≤0.30.00
(0 of 18 samples)
0.01
(0 of 6 samples)
0.04
(0 of 22 samples)
Copper (µg/L)≤9.30.99
(0 of 18 samples)
0.86
(0 of 6 samples)
1.21
(0 of 22 samples)
Lead (µg/L)≤3.20.26
(0 of 18 samples)
0.29
(0 of 6 samples)
0.37
(0 of 22 samples)
Nickel (µg/L)≤520.60
(0 of 18 samples)
0.49
(0 of 6 samples)
1.54
(0 of 22 samples)
Silver (µg/L)≤0.070.00
(0 of 18 samples)
0.02
(1 of 6 samples)
0.01
(0 of 22 samples)
Zinc (µg/L)≤1202.12
(0 of 18 samples)
2.55
(0 of 6 samples)
5.91
(0 of 22 samples)
Fecal coliform (CFU / 100 mL)<400Not availableNot available190
(0 of 1 sample)
Turbidity (NTU)<292.79
(0 of 29 samples)
3.29
(0 of 11 samples)
4.64
(0 of 29 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.