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Stormwater Management

Moreland Hills is located in the Chagrin River Watershed which is part of the Lake Erie watershed. A watershed is an area or ridge of land that feeds all the water running under it and draining off it into different rivers, lakes or seas. Many residents in our village use Lake Erie as their drinking water supply. We need to keep our watershed healthy and productive, because it keeps us healthy and productive. 

The first step in storm water management is understanding where all the water we use every day ends up.  Water from inside our home's plumbing system goes directly into the sewer system and then to a treatment plant where it is cleaned and released into our streams and rivers. Homeowner septic systems perform this task in the absence of a sewer system. Water that we use in our yards and driveways seeps into the ground and finds its way into storm sewers or streams.  

Stormwater is rain or melting snow and ice that flows across land surfaces to the nearest storm sewer, ditch, stream or lake.  As it travels along, stormwater collects dirt and pollutants such as litter, debris oils, pesticides fertilizers and pet waste. The initial pulse of stormwater from a rain storm contains the greatest volume of water and highest level of pollutants and goes directly to our watershed without the benefit of a treatment plant. This pulse is often referred to as the "first flush.”  Homeowners can avoid contributing pollutants to this first flush by eliminating pesticides, using organic fertilizers, avoid dumping phosphate contaminated water (such as car washing cleaners) over hillsides and by removing pet waste from lawns and public hiking trails.

Learn more about what you can do to manage stormwater and decrease pollution from the Chagrin River Watershed Partners,  Their website provides detailed information about using rain barrels, disconnecting downspouts, managing backyard streams, and landscaping practices, such as rain gardens and tree and shrub planting.


The Village is currently working with the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District to educate our residents about stormwater management.  Their stormwater education theme for 2020 is Lake Erie Starts Here.

Visit their site for quarterly conservation tips, stormwater education, programs and events, and resources at: and

Crimes Against the Creek -

Dumping anything other than water down the storm drain or in the creek isn’t just a bad idea, it’s ILLEGAL.

In areas with separate sewers, storm drains and storm sewers flow directly to local creeks and Lake Erie.  In older areas with combined sewers, storm sewers often flow directly to wastewater treatment plants, where pollutants can upset the water treatment process.

Many common household and automotive wastes are highly toxic in the aquatic ecosystem.  These wastes kill fish and amphibians and drastically alter water chemistry.  The most common substances that are dumped illegally in storm drains and creeks are: paint, automotive fluids, concrete washout, lawn chemicals, and cooking oils. 

In April 2012, illegal dumping of a metal plating chemical down a storm drain (which flows to the river) killed 31,000 fish along 3 miles of the East Branch of the Rocky River in Cuyahoga County!


You can help combat stormwater pollution by shrinking your lawn! Planting native plants can improve the curb appeal of a home, boost its resale value, all while protecting our environment with their long root systems which hold in soil, slow stormwater runoff and provide vital food and habitat for birds, insect pollinators and many other species.     



The following events hosted by the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District are available to all Moreland Hills residents.  These are great opportunities for homeowners, students, teachers, and anyone who wants to be a part of conservation.

Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District, Lake Soil & Water Conservation District, and Chagrin River Watershed Partners offer the Master Rain Gardener certification course for residents and professionals within Northeast Ohio.

This program consists of 5 classes over a 6-week period and can be taken in-person or online. Participants will learn how to design, install, and maintain residential rain gardens. This course offers two track options: one for residential rain gardeners, and one for professionals. The residential certification track is geared toward homeowners who would like to install a rain garden in their own yard. This also enables them to serve as the neighborhood expert on rain gardens! The professional certification track is geared toward landscape professionals and contractors looking to install rain gardens professionally on residential properties. 

Need-based scholarships are available!

For more information about this program,  please visit



Stormwater is any rainwater or melting snow or ice that flows over the surface of the land to the nearest storm sewer, stream, or lake.  Impervious or hard surfaces like driveways, rooftops, and parking lots all pose several stormwater problems. Runoff picks up fertilizer, oil, pesticides, dirt, bacteria and other pollutants as it makes its way over these hard surfaces to storm drains, ditches, and streams. Hard surfaces also make stormwater flow faster, and the rush of stormwater flowing into storm sewer systems when heavy rain falls can back up and cause street flooding. Excessive stormwater runoff entering the regional stream system increases flooding and erosion, reduces water quality, and creates costly problems to communities and their residents.  Unlike water from toilets, showers, and sinks that is filtered through a wastewater treatment facility, anything that enters storm sewer systems or roadside ditches goes directly into our local streams and eventually Lake Erie.  

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s (Sewer District) Regional Stormwater Management Program takes a regional approach to address stormwater pollution, flooding, erosion and water quality problems.  The Program provides stormwater services throughout the regional stream system and is funded by a fee on customers’ Sewer District bills.  Your fees are calculated based on the amount of impervious surface area on your property, such as rooftops, driveways, and patios.  When property owners make changes or improvements on their properties to reduce the amount of runoff affecting the regional stream system and storm sewers, they may be eligible for a reduction in what they are paying, called a fee credit.  Actions like disconnecting downspouts, installing rain barrels, or planting rain gardens are some of the ways you can better control runoff on your property and potentially receive a fee credit.  

For more information on the Sewer District Regional Stormwater Management Program’s Stormwater Fee Credit Program, visit

For general information on residential stormwater management, you can visit Chagrin River Watershed Partners' website at


Village of Moreland Hills | 4350 S.O.M. Center Road | Moreland Hills, Ohio 44022 | P: (440) 248.1188 | F: (440) 498.9591 | Contact UsSitemap | Powered by the Dept. of Information Technology