at Work
Water quality
in the region

WPC Building Improvements

Click the photo to view gallery.

The Division of Water Pollution Control (WPC) is responsible for maintaining the local sanitary sewerage and stormwater drainage collection systems in the City of Cleveland. As the stormwater management agent for the City, WPC also is charged with managing and supervising matters relating to the elimination, control and regulation of water pollution within Cleveland city limits.What is Stormwater Management? Stormwater management practices are used to delay, capture, store, treat, or infiltrate stormwater runoff.Learn more in our FAQ

The City of Cleveland has a stormwater management demonstration project at the WPC facility on Kirby Avenue. The project includes a bioswale, two rain gardens, pervious concrete and asphalt pavements and a 15,000 gallon water re-use system that harvests rain water for landscaping and washing the division’s vehicles. The stormwater managment techniques incorporate low impact design (LID) principles.

WPC’s Kirby Avenue facility includes offices, an adjoining maintenance warehouse, parking lots, and a storage yard. The existing stormwater drainage system on the property is limited to an enclosed storm sewer and roof drainage collection system, both of which discharge into a combined sewage system.

Pervious Pavement

A major part of the project replaced 10,200 square feet of existing asphalt and 4,200 square feet of concrete with pervious, or porous, pavement. The pervious pavement allows stormwater runoff to infiltrate underground. This reduces the chance of heavy rain overwhelming the sewer system, and it recharges the ground.

Rain Gardens

Two rain gardens cover 480 square feet of ground. The rain gardens collect and retain rainwater drained from about 17,400 square feet of roof area covering the WPC building. The former roof drainage collected into downspouts, which discharged directly into the combined sewer system. The downspouts were diverted from the sewer system to the rain gardens located along the northeast side of WPC’s warehouse building and conveniently accessed through a garage area. The rain gardens contain plants native to the Cleveland area, and they are accustomed to local climate changes and require less maintenance. The integration of the rain gardens is both functional and aesthetically appealing, while also resulting in reduction of stormwater discharged into the combined sewerage system.


A bioswale collects runoff from non-pervious pavement around the main and east entrance driveways. Prior to completion of the stormwater management project, about 9,950 square feet of parking lot drainage flowed into the Kirby Avenue Street drainage system, which outlets into a combined sanitary sewer system. That drainage is now intercepted by the bioswale and infiltrates into the ground. The bioswale is similar to the rain gardens in that it also contains plants native to the Cleveland area.

Rain Harvesting

The final element of the project is the construction of three 5,000 gallon storage tanks that collect and store rain water and snow melt for re-use. The roof drains 17,400 square feet.

In addition to its environmental benefits, the stormwater management project is used to educate the community about the use of green solutions to stormwater issues.

Stormwater System Maintenance

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants Cleveland a permit to operate a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Communities Address Non-Point Source Pollution
Deputy Commissioner Zoghaib talks about how the City of Cleveland handles the challenges of Stormwater Management in a large metropolitan area.Read the full article
(MS4). MS4s are intended to carry stormwater runoff and sanitary sewage separately. The water carried by an MS4 is not processed at one of three water treatment plants located in the City of Cleveland, instead it flows into local waterways where it eventually reaches Lake Erie. This means that pollutants that enter these storm drains and catch basins can be carried to local waterways and impact localdrinking water.

Big Creek Watershed Stormwater Management Improvement Project – Phase 1
Project Brochure: PDF

Waterways can sometimes rise above the tops of culverts during severe storms, causing street closures and disrupting traffic. Basements in the area become inundated with flow from surcharges combined sewer systems. This project benefits area residents and drivers by reducing occurrences of these problems.

WPC replaced eight culverts, cleaned and restored 4,500 linear feet of stream. Click above photo for gallery.

Kerruish Park

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.

This project improved the structure of the dam, the hydraulics during a major storm, the water quality and enhanced aquatic habitat. Click above photo for gallery.

Other Projects and Initiatives

Other Divisions and partner organizations around North East Ohio are engaged in the conservation of our soil and water.

A look at Cuyahoga Soil & Water

Cleveland Metroparks Dam Removal

Exploration of a local waterway



The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) protects the environment and public health by ensuring compliance with environmental laws.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades.