Many County buildings are currently closed to the public. Please visit our Online services page for resources and building information.

You are here: Home > Projects & Programs > Stormwater Program

Stormwater Program

Phase I of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) storm water program was promulgated in 1990 under the Clean Water Act. Phase I relies on National Pollution discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit coverage to address storm water runoff from 1.) "medium" and "large" Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) generally serving populations of 100,000 or greater, 2.) construction activity disturbing five (5) acres of land or greater and 3.) several categories of industrial activity.

The Storm Water Phase II Final Rule is the next step in EPA’s effort to preserve, protect and improve the nation’s water resources from polluted storm water runoff. The Phase II program expands the Phase I program by requiring additional operators of MS4s in urbanized areas, through the use of NPDES permits, to implement programs and practices to control polluted storm water runoff.

The Final Rule "automatically" covers operators of small MS4s located in "urbanized areas" as delineated by the Bureau of Census. A small MS4 is any MS4 not already covered by Phase I of the NPDES storm water program.

The Cuyahoga County is considered a small MS4.

Due to revisions made by the Ohio EPA to the general stormwater permit in 2016, the County revised, and will continue to update, its Stormwater Management Program.  The revised “Program” document was submitted to the Ohio EPA in December 2016.

Stormwater Education

Learn about Stormwater discharges and National Pollutant Discharge

Conservation tips




Annual Storm Water Reports

Other Related Sites

What is a Watershed

A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place. John Wesley Powell, scientist geographer, put it best when he said that a watershed is:

"that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community."

Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes. They cross-county, state, and national boundaries. No matter where you are, you're in a watershed!


East Siders: Streams on the eastside of Cleveland include: Doan Brook, Dugway Brook, Nine Mile Creek, Euclid Creek, and the Chagrin River.

Central County: Many creeks flow into the Cuyahoga River, which flows into Lake Erie. Some of those creeks include Pond Brook, Mill Creek, Wolf Creek, Tinkers Creek, Chippewa Creek, West Creek, Stickney Creek, and Big Creek.

West Siders: On the west side many creeks flow into the east and west branches of the Rocky River, including Plum Creek, Mill Stream, Baldwin Creek, and Abrams Creek. Spencer Creek and Porter Creek flow directly into Lake Erie.

Here’s How You Can Protect Your Watershed—And the water you need to live
  • Please put paper wrappers, bottles, cans and other trash in the garbage—not in the street
  • Keep grass clippings, paper and other wastes out of storm drains
  • Reduce toxic substances and home and on the lawn; call for great alternatives!
  • Report illegal dumping in the City of Cleveland! Call 216-664-DUMP
  • Visit a nearby stream and learn about its origins, destination and its unique qualities
  • Become an Earth Team volunteer and help with community clean up days