Stormwater (rain and snow) flushes material into storm drains, including trash, dirt, oil and other pollutants. Some stormwater goes to water treatment facilities and is treated and released into Lake Erie, clean and clear. However, when rains are heavy sewers can overflow, sending untreated water - including raw sewage and other pollutants - directly into the lake. An increase in the frequency of storms, as predicted for northeast Ohio in the future, means there will be more stormwater to manage.
Stormwater management practices are used to delay, capture, store, treat, or infiltrate stormwater runoff. Residents and businesses are encouraged to consider a variety of strategies to help sustain a dependable supply of clean, safe drinking water. Examples include the use of water efficient technologies (low flow toilets, waterless urinals, etc.), rain barrels, and green cleaning products.
Watercourse Protective Zone Per EPA requirements, the City of Cleveland is developing a Watercourse Protective Zone, which will lay out standards and best practices for managing stormwater at development projects in specified riparian areas. The Watercourse Protective Zone will play a critical role in ensuring a clean Lake Erie.
Construction and Post-Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control This ordinance includes permitting requirements related to stormwater management for new construction. Additional information is available from Water Pollution Control and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD).
The Office of Sustainability leverages Cleveland's wealth of assets by collaborating with the community to improve the economic, environmental, and social well-being of its citizens. To lead by example, the Office develops and implements policies and practices with City departments to embrace a culture of sustainability.