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Water Quality And Efficiency

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.

    Example Projects     

Permeable Pavement Systems
The Division of Parks installed three permeable pavement and paver parking lots (Morgana, Kennedy and Impett parks) in 2009 and 2010. These lots significantly reduce the amount of stormwater that flows into Cleveland sewer systems, which reduces the strain on the sewer infrastructure.

Big Creek Watershed Plan
The Big Creek Balanced Growth plan was developed as a multi-year effort of five municipalities, including the City of Cleveland, working with the Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization and the Friends of Big Creek. The cities are now eligible for state support for plan implementation through special incentives.

The Big Creek Plan identifies numerous priority conservation and development areas, as well as opportunities for stormwater retrofits. Considering the urban nature of Big Creek, stormwater retrofits are the primary means for improving watershed function and expanding green infrastructure. The Plan also contains data, tools, recommendations and strategies the Partnership will use for implementation.

Euclid Creek
The City of Cleveland is one of many partners working to ecologically restore Lower Euclid Creek. This project has many goals, including increasing the overall ecological function of Lower Euclid Creek, increasing fish habitat and spawning of recreational species, assisting Euclid Creek in reaching State of Ohio water quality attainment standards, and creating an economic impact of $2.4 million (double the project cost).

Kerruish Stormwater Control Facility Dam
Kerruish Stormwater Control Facility Dam is on Mill Creek in Cuyahoga County, Ohio and is used for flood control purposes. The existing retention basin is located North of I-480 and East of Lee Road. The improvement project consisted of clearing and grubbing of the dam area, removing trees, repairing the dam structure including primary spillway, construction of a new emergency secondary spillway and constructing access roadways. This project improved the structure of the dam, the hydraulics during a major storm, the water quality and enhance aquatic habitat. It will also improve access to the dam. Additional information on other projects led by Water Pollution Control >>

Office of Sustainability
Jenita McGowan, Chief
601 Lakeside Ave. Room 227
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

P: 216.664.2455
F: 216.664.2378
Ohio Relay: 711

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Mission Statement


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.

City of Cleveland Office of Sustainability