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 Committeefor the program as a whole. To join this group, 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. 

American Rivers

City of Toledo Public Utilities

Great Lakes Information Network

Great Lakes Now

International Joint Commission

Lake Erie Clear Choices Clean Water

Lake Erie Waterkeeper

Lucas County Soil and Water Conservation District

Ohio EPA 

Ohio Water Development Authority

Ohio Water Environment Association

Partners for Clean Streams

The Alliance for the Great Lakes

TMACOG Stormwater Coalition

Toledo-Lucas County Rain Garden Initiative

Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Coalition

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Program Progress

100% 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 $529.65 million. This bar shows the construction phase of the program is completed.