Watershed Resources

What is a watershed?

How water flows across a region’s surface affects many aspects of the landscape.

A watershed is the area of land that drains into a body of water. The largest watershed in Northeast Ohio is Lake Erie. Below is a simple illustration of a typical watershed.

Protecting the Lake Erie watershed and the more than two dozen smaller watersheds that drain into the lake is important to the environment, public health, and the economic well-being of Greater Cleveland. When stormwater runoff is not managed properly, the result is flooded streets and properties, land erosion, and overrun sewers. All of these occurrences deposit pollutants into area streams and rivers, and the lake.

Quick Links

Water Cycle:See how water flows in an urban area
Rain Gardens: Rain Garden Manual
Native Plants: Cleveland Metroparks Native Plant Guide
Rain Barrels: About rain barrels


NEORSD Stormwater Fee Finder

Some people say rain, other say rainwater. We say stormwater, and it’s more than just rain.

Stormwater is any rainwater or melting snow or ice that flows over the surface of the land to the nearest sewers, lake, or stream. Hard surfaces like driveways, roofs, parking lots, and even some lawns pose two stormwater problems: Pollution – like litter, debris, oils, etc. which the stormwater carries to its destination untreated – and increased flow when the water flows quickly and in larger volumes. That combination can increase flooding and erosion, the washing away of streambank soils.

Click here to visit the NEORSD Stormwater Fee Finder


About Project Clean Lake

Project Clean Lake is a 25-year program that will reduce pollution in Lake Erie by 4 billion gallons per year. A combination of large tunnels, treatment plant improvements and expansion, and green infrastructure is reducing the volume of combined sewer overflow discharging to our Great Lake.

Click here to learn more about Project Clean Lake


Sources: Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Cleveland Metroparks, The Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District