2.7.7. Cedar River

2.7.7.1. About the Cedar River

Figure 2.36 The Cedar River Tributary (WBID 2262B and 2213P2) with sanitary sewer overflows reported by JEA in 2019 (JEA 2019b).
Figure 2.36 The Cedar River Tributary (WBID 2262B and 2213P2) with sanitary sewer overflows reported by JEA in 2019 (JEA 2019b).
  • At the I-10/I-295 Interchange
  • Primary Land Use: Residential/Forested
  • Current TMDL reports: Fecal/Total Coliform – 2262B, Mercury
  • 2016 Verified Impairment for Iron (2213P2, 2262B)
  • WBID Area: 22.8 sq. mi.

2.7.7.2. 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 Cedar River WBID 2262B (freshwater) and 2213P2 (marine) (DEP 2014c) shown above. The filtered dataset reflects water column concentrations and was used to generate Table 2.8.

2.7.7.3. Discussion

Water quality data for the Cedar River are shown in Table 2.8. The Cedar River feeds into the Ortega River and thus is not directly a tributary of the St. Johns River. Even so, the Cedar River is tidal in nature, varying in height by ~1 ft over the course of a day (SJRWMD 2010d). Salinity levels, as influenced by tidal movement, are relatively low indicating that the Ortega River buffers the Cedar River significantly from marine water intrusion. Average dissolved oxygen levels were above the WQC over the past three years. Average total phosphorus levels have been near to or higher than the recently updated WQC (DEP 2015c; DEP 2016e; DEP 2016k), although they decreased in 2018 and 2019. Average chlorophyll-a levels in the Cedar River were well above the WQC in the marine WBID (2213P2) from 2017 through 2019.

Heavy metal concentrations increased in 2018 but decreased in 2019. The Cedar River is impaired for iron, and FDEP considers it a medium priority for development of a TMDL report to address iron levels (DEP 2016e).  Average iron levels in 2018 and 2019 exceeded the WQC in the marine WBID of the Cedar River (2213P2).

In 2004, Cedar River was identified as being impaired for both fecal and total coliforms (i.e., levels significantly above 400 CFU/100 mL) and as a result, a TMDL report was finalized in 2006 (Magley 2006b). (Note: the data analyses in the TMDL are based on different criteria than that used in this report). Currently, a Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) to address this impairment is under development, but the timeframe for its release is currently unknown.

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

Table 2.8 Water quality data for the Cedar River.

 Water QualityAverage and Number of Samples º
ParameterCriteria (FW)201720182019
Dissolved Oxygen (mg/L)≥34% sat. (≥3.0) FWNot available7.13
(1 of 12 samples)
7.18
(0 of 7 samples)
≥4.0 SW8.09
(0 of 3 samples)
7.05
(0 of 9 samples)
6.69
(0 of 10 samples)
Total Nitrogen (mg/L)<1.54Not availableNot available0.97
(2 of 15 samples)
Total Phosphorus (mg/L)<0.120.14
(4 of 6 samples)
0.09
(2 of 12 samples)
0.09
(1 of 13 samples)
Chlorophyll-a (µg/L)<20 FWNot available18.8
(0 of 1 sample)
5.12
(0 of 3 samples)
<5.4 SW18.68
(2 of 3 samples)
28.26
(4 of 5 samples)
18.81
(4 of 5 samples)
Arsenic (µg/L)≤501.64
(0 of 3 samples)
4.10
(0 of 5 samples)
2.04
(0 of 7 samples)
Cadmium (µg/L)≤0.3 FWNot availableNot available0.01
(0 of 1 sample)
≤8.8 SW0.01
(0 of 3 samples)
0.31
(3 of 5 samples)
0.11
(0 of 6 samples)
Copper (µg/L)≤9.3 FWNot availableNot available0.60
(0 of 1 sample)
≤3.7 SW1.97
(0 of 3 samples)
4.40
(0 of 5 samples)
2.63
(0 of 6 samples)
Iron (mg/L)≤1.0 FWNot availableNot available0.74
(0 of 1 sample)
≤0.3 SWNot available0.42
(5 of 5 samples)
0.35
(4 of 6 samples)
Lead (µg/L)≤3.2 FWNot availableNot available0.69
(0 of 1 sample)
≤8.5 SW0.93
(0 of 3 samples)
1.72
(1 of 5 samples)
1.32
(0 of 6 samples)
Nickel (µg/L)≤52 FWNot availableNot available1.25
(0 of 1 sample)
≤8.3 SW0.57
(0 of 3 samples)
1.70
(0 of 5 samples)
1.41
(0 of 6 samples)
Silver (µg/L)≤0.07 FWNot availableNot available0.01
(0 of 1 sample)
≤0.92 SW0.02
(1 of 3 samples)
0.31
(3 of 5 samples)
0.02
(0 of 6 samples)
Zinc (µg/L)≤120 FWNot availableNot available2.50
(0 of 1 sample)
≤86 SW5.98
(0 of 3 samples)
24.00
(0 of 5 samples)
20.0
(0 of 6 samples)
Fecal Coliform (CFU/100 mL)<400Not available1100
(9 of 16 samples)
310
(2 of 8 samples)
Turbidity (NTU)<294.94
(0 of 3 samples)
5.14
(0 of 7 samples)
4.66
(0 of 9 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.