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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Green Yards and Healthy Homes Booklet


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


NEORSD Stormwater Fee Credits

Sewer District customers can receive a reduction in their stormwater fee through credits.  Residents can receive credits by retaining 25% of their stormwater on their property through stormwater control measures like rain gardens, rain barrels, pervious pavement, and vegetated filter strips.

For more information about the program or to view the online application, visit: Northeast Stromwater Fee Credit  and Regional Stormwater Management Program.


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.


The Cuyahoga River: An Ohio Water Trail

The Cuyahoga River is a symbol of efforts to clean up America’s waterways. Famous for catching fire, the Cuyahoga is now sparking excitement. Wildlife and people are returning. The proposed Cuyahoga River Water Trail will take advantage of new opportunities and be a lasting legacy.

Click here to learn more about this project.


Download the MyErie App

Easily find access points to Lake Erie and nearby rivers! MyErie is a must have app for anyone that loves the outdoors in northern Ohio. You can take and upload your own photos from right with the app, too.  Learn more about our mobile app here.

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