Keep It Clean

    Hoover Crop  

The We All Live Downstream program offers simple steps you can take at home to  prevent water pollution .


Take a Tour

Watershed Signage

Signage installed at Griggs, O'Shaughnessy & Hoover Reservoirs invites park visitors to  take a self-guided tour along the shoreline & learn about the green infrastructure installed there.

Rain gardens, porous pavement & more can improve the quality of storm water entering the reservoirs that supply our drinking water.

Non-point Source Pollution

Stormwater Runoff

Protect our Waterways
Illustration Courtesy of NCDENR

Landscaping to Protect Our Waterways

Our Watershed Management Section implements proven best management practices around Columbus' reservoirs for the purposes of increased water quality and as an educational example for our neighboring communities.

Every time it rains, pesticides, fertilizers, loose dirt and other pollutants are washed from impermeable (hard, non-penetrating) surfaces like roads and parking lots into our waterways. When we landscape with plants native to our area, we can protect the quality of water from such runoff in our reservoirs, rivers and streams. The plants’ long roots slow the flow of stormwater, soak up and filter contaminants and hold the soil in place. That results in less flooding, fewer pollutants and decreased erosion.

Providing a deep-rooted vegetative buffer around a body of water (photo below) provides many environmental benefits including better water quality. Such buffers around a reservoir are especially important when there is substantial development nearby.

Landscaping to Protect Our Waterways

Native landscaping also reduces time and money invested in gardening. Plants native to Ohio thrive in the weather and soil conditions found here, so there is no need for watering or fertilizing. This means a savings on water, chemicals and energy. The plants also provide food and shelter for birds, butterflies and beneficial insects, such as dragonflies that eat mosquitoes.

Resources and related links to help you get started include:

Our Native Plants page where you can find a list of plants native to each water supply reservoir
US EPA – GreenScaping
Central Ohio Rain Garden Initiative
Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District
Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed – Backyard Conservation