What You Can Do

Disconnect downspouts and driveway drains. Toledo residents are required to disconnect downspouts and driveway drains that flow directly into Toledo’s sanitary sewers.

Plant a rain garden. Rain gardens planted in low areas can catch and slow storm water from downspouts and impervious surfaces such as driveways, parking lots and roads. For additional information, visit the Rain Garden Initiative.

Get involved. The Toledo Waterways Initiative (TWI) has a Community Program Advisory Committee for the program as a whole, as well as individual Neighborhood Advisory Councils. To join one of these groups, please e-mail the TWI or call 419-720-0929.

Do your part. Remember that storm sewers, ditches and streams are meant to transport water. Do not dispose of grass clippings, leaves and other debris in the waterways, as doing so is detrimental and may contribute to flooding.

Use a rain barrel. Rain barrels are typically 55- to 60-gallon recycled food barrels modified to accept rainwater from downspouts. Residents connect rain barrels to a disconnected downspout, collecting roof runoff when it rains. Water collected in a rain barrel is not safe to drink but can be used to water gardens and lawns. Because rain barrels are intended to overflow during the rainy season, residents are encouraged to place rain barrels on grass and garden surfaces, so that storm water can be absorbed into the ground.

Rain barrels and composters are available year-round through the Lucas Soil & Water Conservation District. Contact 419-79-GREEN (419-794-7336).

Get Involved

City of Toledo Public Utilities

Toledo-Lucas County Rain Garden Initiative

Ohio EPA 

Ohio Water Development Authority

Great Lakes Information Network

Great Lakes Now

The Alliance for the Great Lakes

International Joint Commission

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

American Rivers

Ohio Water Environment Association

Lake Erie Waterkeeper

Program Progress

84%
84% 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 estimated cost of $527 million. This bar shows how close this program is to completion.