Montgomery Soil & Water Conservation District

Helping People and Communities Care for Land and Water


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Whether you are buying or building a home, live in the country or the city, there are some things concerning land and water that you should be educated about.

Water Water Everywhere

Every house uses water, creates waste water, and is situated in a watershed that drains water from rain fall along the land or in storm drains and storm sewers. Each of these aspects of water can affect you in various ways. 

In an urban area where you are connected to municipal supply water and sanitary sewer, your local government maintains these systems and the costs are in your utility bills.  Every public water supply entity is required by the Environmental Protection Agency to annually report a chemical analysis of all man-made chemicals in drinking water that are potentially hazardous to public health, to every household served by the water supply system.  Every municipal government also maintains a wastewater treatment facility, that removes wastes using a special collection of bacteria (termed sludge) through a natural process of biodegradation.   It is very important that homeowners not flush or dispose of materials into the sanitary sewer system that are not biodegradable.  The treated water is then returned to streams and rivers.

Waste Water and Supply Water in Rural Areas

In rural areas not connected to municipal supply and sanitary sewer, houses have Household Sewage Treatment Systems (HSTS), commonly  known as septic systems.  Furthermore, your water supply will come from an on-site well, which should be periodically tested by the County Health Department for harmful bacteria.  You can also check the drilling records at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources web site page on water wells.

Building and Managing Ponds

Many homeowners are interested in building or actively managing ponds.  Montgomery Soil and Water Conservation District can help homeowners with things such as evaluations for potential pond sites, and pond design.  However, we're not actively involved in management of existing ponds.  We have a contact list of local vendors for pond management supplies and services.  The information provided does not constitute endorsement of a particular vendor. Check our annual Calendar of Events in the spring for annual pond clinic event information.  You may also request an 'Ohio Pond Management Handbook', a 53 page booklet published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

Storm Water Runoff  - How Much Do You Generate?

Whether in urban or rural areas, significant stormwater runoff is a fact of life, and an often frustrating one in this region of the country.  Urban drainage systems are equipped to handle larger volumes of water than rural drainage systems, because there are larger amounts of hard surfaces collecting water.  Newer designs referred to as Low Impact Development practices are available to help reduce the pollution reaching our rivers and streams from urban stormwater runoff.  The Montgomery SWCD Drainage Program is involved throughout the county.  Some of these areas never had drainage systems installed, or have old systems that were not maintained, and are failing.  See Drainage Program page for general information and protocols on establishing new drainage projects.

Soils and Plants - Consider the Ground You Walk On

Depending on the type of soil on your home site, there may be detrimental affects to your basement, landscape, or Household Sewage Treatment Systems (HSTS) leach field.  Generally, high clay-content soils such as are in this region of Ohio, require intensive management to avoid malfunctioning septic systems flooding basements, and poorly growing landscape plants.  For advice on general horticulture, contact the Montgomery County Ohio State University Extension Office.  For valuable information on restoring native plant communities, contact the Marianist Environmental Education Center. If you think your soil has fertility or toxic substance problems, you might want to send a sample to a testing laboratory.  If you want to research your soil types along with their capabilities and limitations, explore the Web Soil Survey.

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