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Slides from Jay Dorsey's March 11, 2008

Design of Stormwater Facilities Seminar


Planning &









Our office provides a variety of information and technical assistance to business professionals, the individual landowner, and other units of government. 

A summary of these services is provided below:

Backyard Conservation Erosion and Sediment Control Water Quality/Nonpoint Source Pollution
  (see Streams & Water Quality Page)
Conservation Development 
     (see Land Protection Page)
Impervious Surface and Runoff

What a Homebuyer Needs to Know

Conservation Easements
     (see Land Protection Page)

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination SysteM (NPDES PH II)
  (see Streams & Water Quality Page)

reducing storm water runoff on your homesite

(Microsoft PowerPoint version)

(pdf version)

Drainage/Erosion Pond Construction
What a Homebuyer needs to know
Are you thinking of buying or building a home?  Then the following information is for you!

Here are a few things to consider.....

Soil and Drainage

* If you will be disturbing 5,000 square feet (or more) of land see the Erosion & Sediment Control Section 

Is the soil on the home site a heavy clay with low permeability?

Will water pond or gather in depressions during wet times?

Are subsurface drains installed to drain depressions that may collect and hold water?

Do surface drainage swales cross the lot carrying water from upland properties; if so, will drainage swales limit potential building sites?

Is there a suitable outlet for surface and subsurface drainage?

Do the soils on the site have significant shrink swell potential; requiring the use of a coarser material for foundation backfill?

Will the lot be wet for several months out of the year due to a seasonally high water table?

Are slopes around the building site stable considering the textures of the soils?

Will low soil strengths add extra expense to building design and construction?

Sewage Disposal

Are public sewage facilities available at your potential home site?

Does the lot meet the Health Department minimum requirements of 40,000 square feet for septic tank leach fields?

Is the soil too shallow to bedrock to support a leach field sewage disposal system?

Are enough non-hydric soils present on the site to support a septic tank and leach field sewage treatment system?

What other sewage treatment systems are permitted in Medina County?

Is enough area clear of woody vegetation to support a septic tank leach field?

Will existing topography allow for gravity flow of sewage from the home site to the septic tank and then to the leach field?

Does the property have an acceptable outlet for the leach field curtain drain?

Is the lot large enough to adequately separate a septic tank leach field from a domestic well?  The leach field should be at least 50 feet from the well and 10 feet from the property line.

Is the lot large enough to allow for relocation of the leach field; should this be necessary in the future?

How do septic systems function for other home owners in the area?

Flood Hazard

Is your potential home site located on a floodplain --- in the broad flat area adjacent to a stream or ditch?

Are debris piles or scour marks apparent on the land around a stream indicating the height and extent of recent flooding?  Does it appear that flooding may reach your prospective home site or sewage disposal system?

Does your home site lie in the regulatory floodplain as identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency?

Landscape Considerations

Can existing trees be saved to serve as windbreaks or shade trees?

Will topsoil be stockpiled and applied following final grade?

Is the native soil capable of supporting desirable landscape plants?

Are natural slopes stable on the site?  Is there evidence of past land slips or slides -- i.e. hummocky ground, swept tree trunks, tilted trees, or deep parallel cracks in the soil?

Water Supply

Are public water supplies available at the site?

What are the capacities of water wells near the prospective home site?

How deep are the wells in your area?

What is the quality of well water in your area at various depths?

How do groundwater professionals rate the carrying capacity of the aquifer in the area of your prospective home site?

Are underground storage tanks, sewage disposal areas, or other waste disposal facilities in close proximity to your prospective home site that could contaminate your well?

Is a well drilling permit required before building?

Area Development Plans

Is your prospective home site in a rapidly developing area?

What type of development is planned for the area?

Are planned developments and present zoning compatible with your potential home site?

What effect will future development have on drainage across the site?

Subtle indications of potential problems:

When your potential home site is in a small patch of woods surrounded by cropland; check to see whether the wooded area is predominantly in hydric soils?

When the road is topographically higher than your potential home site; check to see that an acceptable drainage outlet is available for foundation, surface, and subsurface drains.

When surrounding properties are topographically higher than your prospective home site; check to see that upland runoff does not flood or pond on your site.

(Information from Franklin County Soil & Water Conservation District)

Drainage Around Your Home
Hydric Soils

Soils and Building Sites

NRCS Urban Conservation Website

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Erosion and Sediment Control 

The role of the Medina County Soil & Water Conservation District in implementing erosion and sediment control rules and regulations for the county and its corresponding incorporated areas is dependent upon the jurisdiction in which the construction activity is taking place. The following information summarizes the SWCD’s involvement with the various erosion and sediment control rules and regulations throughout the county:

OEPA Construction Site Inspection Checklist
OEPA Checklist for SWP3's

Rainwater and Land Development Manual (available for purchase from our office)

Unincorporated Medina County: The Board of County Commissioners of Medina County, through the office of the Medina County Highway Engineer (MCHE), administers stormwater and sediment control requirements contained in the Medina County Subdivision Regulations in the unincorporated areas of Medina County. A Stormwater Management & Sediment Control (SM&SC) Permit, issued by the MCHE is required for all construction projects over 1 acre. SWCD involvement with these sites will be determined on an as requested basis by the MCHE.

The City of Brunswick, the City of Wadsworth and the City of Medina:  Currently, the SWCD assists these areas by reviewing erosion and sediment control plans for proposed development sites on a requested basis.  We work in cooperation with the city engineering departments to ensure best management practices are correctly specified on construction drawings.  Compliance inspections are completed upon a request from city personnel.  No fees are charged for plan reviews or for site inspections completed in these areas.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency:  As of April 21, 2003 the construction storm water permit has changed to incorporate all sites disturbing 1 acre or greater as well as post-construction storm water measures.  These changes were made due to the NPDES Storm Water Phase II requirements. 

For questions concerning the SWCD E&SC Program within the unincorporated areas of the County:
Contact Jeff Van Loon, District Manager, by e-mail or by phone at (330) 722-9315


Pond Construction 

Our office assists landowners/contractors with pond construction.  In order to ensure sound construction, a series of important steps need to be taken.  Our office offers and highly recommends a landowner/contractor perform the three (3) optional steps, prior to the seven (7) required, to ensure proper placement and construction of a pond.    

Design and Construction Process----(requirements)

Optional but Highly Recommended Steps:

  1. Obtain general soil information, to determine suitability of site.

  2. Have a SWCD representative conduct a preliminary site investigation.

  3. Have a SWCD representative on site when test pits are dug to check the soil suitability for pond construction.

 Required Steps:

  1. Obtain a Stormwater Management and Erosion Control Permit Application from the Medina County Highway Engineer’s Office.

  2. Complete Pond Construction Plan standard from and return to SWCD Office.

  3. Our office reviews and ensures that all required information is complete and meets current standards.

  4.  A visual site investigation will be completed by our office to determine if pond site appears as drawn on the plan, and that no apparent drainage problems will be created by construction.

  5. The reviewed Pond Construction Plan  and the Pond Permit Application must then be submitted  by contractor/landowner to the Township Zoning Inspector for township permit, if required.

  6. Construction can begin at this time.----However, SWCD must be contacted to obtain an inspection for the completed pond.

  7. Final inspection report will be mailed to the landowner and the County Engineer for review.

Frequently Asked Questions
Medina County Pond Permit

Earth Moving Contractors

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Some ponds are governed by the state of Ohio, as a result, Ohio Department of Natural Resources has developed several fact sheets on Dam Safety.

For more information, contact Jim Dieter, District Technician by e-mail or phone at
(330) 722-9317.

Drainage, Streambank, Erosion Problems

Our office assists landowners with a variety of drainage and erosion concerns:

We commonly perform site visits and distribute informational brochures concerning this topic.  As a result, our office has developed an informational brochure, which describes surface and subsurface drainage, seasonal high water table, wet basements, and provides information on the Ohio drainage laws (see below).  Additionally, we would be happy to visit your property for a more detailed review and comprehensive assistance.

Drainage Around Your Home
Stream Bank Erosion

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Backyard Conservation  

The conservation of natural resources is important on every level from a 100 acre farm to a ½ acre lot.  For many years, conservation practices have been applied to farmland, and these practices can be adapted to your own backyard.  By beginning at this individual lot level, each property owner can personalize and take pride in their unique backyard display. The USDA NRCS has developed a brochure giving tips and highlights for ten conservation practices.  Even if you do not have a backyard of your own, consider applying this program to public property within your community.  

NRCS has partnered with the Audubon Society to develop and promote a backyard conservation program called Audubon at Home.  Click here for more information on this program.

Additionally, the ODNR Division of Forestry has a program, which helps to develop and manage Urban & Community Forestry.     

Ohio Division of Forestry
Ohio Division of Wildlife
Ohio Woodlands Stewards Program
Wildlife Habitat Council


Impervious Surface and Runoff  

With the urbanization revolution directly at hand, many land use changes are effecting our  natural resources.  Impervious surfaces include roads, streets, parking lots, rooftops, driveways, sidewalks, or other compacted surfaces which block or greatly reduce the ability of rain to infiltrate into the ground.  Consequently, larger volumes of water run off the land.  

The following information taken from the Center for Watershed Protection.

Land development impacts hydrology (movement/flow of water), geomorphology (geologic changes or changes in the shape and composition of streams), water quality, and habitat.

Hydrological impacts of urbanization include: disruption of water balance, increased flood peaks, increased storm water runoff, more frequent flooding, increased bankfull flows (a condition where streamflow fills a stream channel to the top), and lower dry weather flows.

Geomorphological impacts of urbanization include: stream widening and erosion, reduced fish passage, degradation of habitat structure, decreased channel stability, loss of pool-riffle structure fragmentation of riparian tree canopy, embeddedness, and decreased substrate quality.

Water quality impacts of urbanization include:  increased stream temperature, increased pollutants, and increased risk of beach closure.

Several studies indicate water quality degradation generally begins to occur when 10% or more impervious surface area exists.  Typical pollutants from urban storm water include:  suspended solids/sediments, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), metals (copper, zinc, lead, and cadmium), oil and grease, bacteria, pesticides and herbicides, and temperature.

Habitat impacts due to urbanization include: decline of habitat value of streams, loss of buffer zones, loss of large woody debris, creation of fish barriers, a shift in the energy source that drives streams, and increased algae growth.

Chagrin River Watershed Partners
Center for Watershed Protection