City of Akron Watershed Office

1570 Ravenna Road

City of Akron Watershed Office

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Source Water Protection

The City of Akron has taken actions for many years to protect its source of water, the Upper Cuyahoga River, and has long been recognized for this proactive policy. Ohio EPA completed an assessment of Akron’s source water area in April, 2003 in which they recommended that Akron continue its protection program that includes land acquisition, watershed monitoring and reporting of pollution sources, collaboration with upstream landowners, and Akron’s management policies of its Watershed Property.

The report identified numerous point and nonpoint sources of pollution, including wastewater treatment plants, agriculture, development and public highways and further identified numerous "potential contaminant sources" within a "corridor management zone" that consists of an approximate 10-mile reach of the river upstream of Akron’s water plant intakes at Lake Rockwell.

Akron Watershed Property

Akron owns and manages approximately 19,000 acres of land in the Upper Cuyahoga River watershed, including four reservoirs used to temporarily store runoff water. The land provides protection of the river from pollution, recharge of groundwater supplies, and attenuates the runoff that occurs during storm events. The reservoirs provide flood control to downstream areas, and replenish the river’s flow during dry periods of summer and fall. Both the land and the reservoirs provide significant natural habitat for many species of plants, animals, insects and other species.

The reservoirs and Akron’s surrounding Watershed Property are managed to obtain optimal water supply, which is provided by minimal landuse, natural vegetation and undisturbed soils. By protecting and preserving the watershed in the most natural state possible, the reservoirs and the Cuyahoga River gain the benefit of a natural living filter. The vegetation of grasses, shrubs and forests filter out sediment, nutrients, pesticides and other pollutants, and the undisturbed soils are able to absorb stormwater and moderate its runoff.

The establishment, wise management and preservation of a natural watershed will continue to provide an ample supply of high quality water for Akron and the surrounding communities that depend upon Akron for their water supply.

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