The Olentangy River Watershed
The Olentangy River flows 88.5 miles from its headwaters in Crawford and Richland County through Marion and Morrow County into the City of Delaware and ending in Franklin County at its confluence with the Scioto River. The Olentangy River has a drainage area of 536 square miles. Twenty-two miles of the Olentangy were designated a state Scenic River by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in 1973. The designation runs from the Delaware Dam, north of the City, to the old Wilson Bridge Road in Worthington.

Click to view the Interactive Map

The city was awarded the Ohio EPA’s Ohio Gulf Hypoxia Assistance grant in the fall of 2020. The funding will go towards developing a strategic plan to address nonpoint source (NPS) pollution in the Delaware Run watershed region. We need community feedback on where to focus our improvement efforts.

NPS pollution results when rain or snowmelt moves over or through the ground, picking up pollutants like fertilizers, herbicides, sediment, etc., depositing them in streams and lakes and thereby impacting water quality, aquatic life and drinking water. The city and its partners are seeking input from the community on what problems are impacting local waterways, where these problems exist, and what sort of efforts the community is already implementing to help. Given the diverse land use in the area, the surveys have been split into two broad categories: agriculture and urban. You do not need to be a Delaware city resident to complete either survey and are welcome to complete both of them a single time.

Local knowledge is an invaluable resource. The information gathered in these surveys will help guide the strategies selected to improve the Delaware Run watershed and help to ensure our resources are protected for the enjoyment of generations to come.

Link to the agriculture survey:

Link to the urban survey:

2020 Events

Ohio EPA Events

In partnership with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Ohio Environmental Education Fund Grant, Public Utilities will be working with Ohio Wesleyan University and Keep Delaware County Beautiful to hold two events this fall. Details Here.

7th Annual NOW Festival
If you missed the Virtual NOW Festival live-stream on July 18, the program was recorded and can be accessed here.

Topics covered included:

  • Rain barrels and water pollution prevention
  • Fish and bugs found in the Olentangy and their habitats
  • How to recycle the right way
  • Kayak safety

For more information email Caroline Cicerchi.

Rain Barrels

    • The City of Delaware Public Utilities offers discounted rain barrels year-round to residents, in coordination with its Small Municipal Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit with the Ohio EPA. The barrels vary in color and size based on what is in stock. To purchase a barrel, please contact the Watershed Coordinator.
    • Rain barrels connect to downspouts and store rainwater for reuse. There are many benefits to them including reducing stormwater runoff, watering gardens, and lowering water bills.
    • Rain barrels can also be the perfect canvas for works of art. Every June, a rain barrel raffle takes place during the NOW Festival, with over a dozen locally painted barrels raffled off. Are you interested in showing off your art skills or have an interest in sponsoring a barrel on behalf of a local painter? Reach out to the Watershed Coordinator.
    • Watch a demonstration on how to install your rain barrel here.


Olentangy River Watershed Success Stories

Olentangy River Clean-up: August 22, 2020

Public Utilities and Keep Delaware County Beautiful partnered to hold the annual Olentangy River Clean-up on August 22 at Mingo Park. Two groups of ten volunteers, with staggered check-in times, helped collect 45 bags of trash and 1,060 pounds of scrap metal. The scrap metal was recycled and the money generated was donated to the Olentangy Watershed Alliance. Two bikes, an old typewriter, part of an old vacuum, and a toy gun were pulled out.

Bio-Retention Cells on OWU Campus
Two bio-retention cells were installed in Spring 2018 on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University, near Branch Rickey Arena. Bio-retention cells are stormwater utilize soil, mulch and vegetation to treat runoff from impervious surfaces such as rooftops, sidewalks and roadways. All species in the gardens are native to Ohio, which minimizes the need for maintenance, watering and pesticides. The plants have a high moisture and pollutant tolerance that will allow for the uptake of nutrients. The flowers were carefully selected by city staff to attract a diversity of wildlife including Monarch butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other pollinator species. The project was funded through the City’s storm water fund in compliance with with Ohio EPA.

The Delaware, Knox, Marion, Morrow Joint Solid Waste District
The City of Delaware is part of the DKMM district, a political subdivision funded by a fee on solid waste generated within the district. DKMM funds programs that provide education about and alternatives to disposal of generated wastes.  These programs include: recycling, composting, education and awareness, solid waste environmental and monitoring and household hazardous waste, electronics and tire collections.  DKMM Special Collection Events

How Can You Protect Our Olentangy River Watershed?
Email City of Delaware Watershed/Sustainability Coordinator Caroline Cicerchi  or phone her at 740-203-1905.

NPS Pollution Brochure
Drains to River Brochure
Storm Water Quality Implementations Brochure
Pet Waste Removal Flyer
Sponsor a Rain Barrel

Watershed Newsletters

Winter 2020
Fall 2020
Summer 2020
Spring 2020

Winter 2020
Summer 2019
Spring 2019
Winter 2019
Fall 2018
Summer 2018
Spring 2018


Public Utilities Department225 Cherry StreetEmail740-203-1905
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