Learn More: Benchmarks

What does this mean?

The 10th percentile, median, and 90th percentile benchmarks are provided as a convenience for Water Atlas users. They are based on "typical" values for selected water quality parameters, as defined in the "1996 Water-Quality Assessment for the State of Florida, Section 305(B) Main Report", published by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The values in the table are based on typical values measured during the period just prior to 1996, the year of the report's generation, from around the state.

How are the data collected? (Methods)

The most recent values for the Florida criteria listed in the table may be found in the Florida Administrative Code, Chapter 62.302, Surface Water Quality Standards.


The 1996 values were calculated for specific measures from streams, lakes, and estuaries throughout the state. The calculations were made to serve as a screening tool to assess potential water quality problems. As a rule, values at or above the 90% percentile were considered to be indicative of water quality problems.

Caveats and Limitations

The percentile and median benchmark graphing options within the Data Download tool are presented to Atlas users to provide assistance with/context for data interpretation only. There are specific criteria for individual water resources that differ from the generalized values used to generate the benchmarks.

Additional Information