About the Toledo Waterways Initiative

The water circulating through our rivers, streams and Lake Erie is a precious natural resource.  Our fresh water supply sustains half a million people, plus fish and other life including animals, birds, plants and trees. Water creates a beautiful natural landscape enjoyed by residents and guests and is vitally important to our community’s prosperity. Protecting our water is important to our region’s health, beauty and economic future.

Toledoans value their waterways and so, in 2002, voted to help preserve them by supporting the Toledo Waterways Initiative (TWI) to reduce water pollution. Thank you, Toledo.

Upon completion of the construction for the TWI program in 2020, 80% less untreated water will enter our waterways. This will be achieved by building several types of structures to hold, separate or divert diluted wastewater during periods of heavy rain and funneling this water to facilities designed to filter and clean the water before returning it to the Maumee River.

Environmental benefits. The TWI is helping remove trash from our waterways and restore these beautiful natural areas for all to enjoy, while providing a cleaner environment for wildlife and fish. The construction projects are also helping improve Toledo’s parks and streets. The TWI is a pollution control program; however, some projects also have led to reduced basement and street flooding in certain areas.

Recreation benefits. The Ottawa River and Maumee Bay once had regularly posted swimming restrictions due to high bacteria levels from sewage. These restrictions are now less common as the ecosystem recovers, also benefiting the fishing and birding industries.

Economic benefits. With environmental benefits come economic benefits. The economic impact of the TWI construction program to our five-county area is $60 million annually, supporting roughly 500 jobs every year. In addition, with 90% of the construction design work done in Toledo, these well-paying jobs contribute to our local economy. (Not to mention the benefits of protecting our water supply, preserving the aesthetics of the region, as well as the economic impact of keeping and attracting businesses and employment to the region.)

To learn more about the TWI, please explore the links below.

Program Progress

62%
62% Complete
Started in 2002
Completed in 2020

The Toledo Waterways Initiative (TWI) program encompasses more than 45 separate projects over the course of 18 years, at a total cost of $521 million. This bar shows how close this program is to completion.