Stormwater runoff is a major source of water pollution. That is why the Division of Water Pollution Control launched the multi-year Only Rain Down the Storm Drain campaign to educate Cleveland residents about how to help lessen the impact of contaminated stormwater runoff on local waterways. Each year the campaign highlights a different issue that could impact the health of local waterways.
Rain water or snowmelt is stormwater runoff. The runoff washes contaminants that are on the ground into storm drains than flow directly into local streams, creeks, the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie.
It is especially important that we protect Lake Erie, which is Northeast Ohio’s main source of drinking water. Contaminants, such as motor oil, fertilizers, pesticides and animal waste can be pushed into storm drains and catch basins by stormwater and even water from yard sprinklers.
Phase III of its Only Rain Down the Storm Drain program is called Make A Difference! Protect. Conserve. Save. This phase encourages Clevelanders to take an active role in protecting the environment and preserving the sewer system, conserving water resources, and ultimately saving themselves money.
Phase I of the Only Rain Down the Storm Drain campaign focused on the affects of stormwater runoff. Phase II focused on the proper disposal of hazardous household waste, such as some common cleaners, paint and automotive fluids.
A specially designed Only Rain Down the Storm Drain logo and color is the focal point of each phase of the campaign. Through the use of street kiosk posters, brochures, messaging on a digital billboard on I-90, literature, TV20 television programming, social media and other promotional methods, the multi-layered campaign shows citizens how even slightly changing their actions can make a positive environmental difference.
Kiosk posters are located throughout Cleveland. The posters are rotated in Wards 1, 3, 8, 13, and 17 where outfalls flow directly into waterways untreated.
To help prevent harmful pollutants from being washed into MS4 waterways, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that major cities, including Cleveland, develop a stormwater management program. Part of that program is to conduct a public information/public education (PIPE) program, such as the Only Rain campaign.
Residents also are being encouraged by the campaign to report any dumping into storm drains, which is illegal. Violators can be fined up to $500 for each occurrence. To report dumping violations, residents should call (216) 664-DUMP.
Remember: You Can Make a Difference!
Phase II: Properly Dispose of Hazardous Household Waste
Phase III: Make A Difference! Protect. Conserve. Save.