Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor 1

David Watkins, Jr.

Committee Member 1

Martin Auer

Committee Member 2

Nancy Langston


Despite its legacy of pollution, the City of Cleveland, Ohio, has historically been at the forefront of water quality management. Today, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD), which serves the Greater Cleveland area, is following a consent decree with the State of Ohio to minimize combined sewer overflows (CSOs), along with implementing an integrated Clean Water Act planning study to prioritize infrastructure improvements with a broader view of water quality objectives. This report summarizes an urban watershed modeling effort to support the integrated planning (IP) process. Specifically, the development, calibration, and validation of the EPA Stormwater Management Model (SWMM) for the NEORSD area is presented, followed by an application of the model under both uniform and spatially distributed rainfall inputs. Results show the importance of using spatially variable inputs for urban watershed modeling studies over large areas. Based on this work, several recommendations for future research are made, including expanding the scope of the simulations performed to all SWMM models used in the IP modeling to gain a deeper understanding of how distributed versus uniform rainfall impacts the total loads to Lake Erie; testing the SWMM models with fixed, free and time-variable downstream boundaries to understand how well SWMM can model the stream-lake interaction (backwater and reverse flow); and simulating loads into Lake Erie using rainfall scenarios that account for climate change.