Summer Topics

Learn how to maintain a healthy lawn; the cost to fill a pool or how to meter outdoor water use; make simple lawn care choices to save money and protect our water supply; save energy during warm weather; link to a rebate offer for a new programmable thermostat or low flow shower head; participate in volunteer opportunities including Storm Drain Marking; start a community garden or learn about rain barrels; and more.

Cost of Filling a Swimming Pool
Memorial weekend typically marks the pool filling season; check the chart(PDF, 156KB) to see how much it will cost to fill your swimming pool. A list of water haulers is also provided. Also learn about: Auxiliary Meters (which measure outdoor water use & save money on your bill) & Backflow requirements.

Get Your Garden in Full Bloom with Com-Til
Com-Til products are organic fertilizers and soil conditioners used for mulching, gardening, potting, transplanting and breaking up tough, clay soil. Add valuable organic matter & nutrients to give your greens a boost or use as a decorative mulch to retain moisture.

For a Healthy Lawn, Don't Over Water
1" per week is enough rain/water to keep most lawns healthy. Watering too much or too little is the cause of many common plant problems. You can have healthier plants and save money by giving your lawn/garden only what is needed.

View a chart detailing the cost of outdoor watering(PDF, 131KB), based on hose size & time. Learn more about Outdoor Watering(PDF, 2MB).

Make Simple Lawn Care Choices
Choose native plants, spot treat problem areas, or better yet, consider less toxic alternatives such as beneficial insects. Use the mulching feature on your lawn mower instead of bagging the clippings, or better yet, create your own compost from your yard waste. Learn more about proper yard waste disposal.

Dispose of Yard Waste Properly – Pet Waste Too
Waste must be properly prepared and placed for collection. Leaves swept into the curb will not be collected in Columbus. Dumping yard waste into storm drains or waterways adds excess nutrients to the water, can clog drains & contribute to flooding. Better yet, compost & mulch yard waste.

High Bills and Outdoor Seasonal Watering
A high water bill can signal a problem such as a leak, or be the result of seasonal, outdoor water usage (watering the lawn or garden, washing the car, etc). The resources below should help you establish what is average, determine the cause of a high bill and reduce your water usage. Request Toilet Dye Strips via E-mail to

Put Rainwater to Use(PDF, 156KB)
Rain gardens and rain barrels put rainfall to use, reducing the need for irrigation. Save money while protecting our water supply. Residents of the City of Columbus who have signed up as GreenSpot members are invited to buy a deeply discounted rain barrel, while supplies last. Join GreenSpot.

Learn about the GreenSpot Program and Learn more about this offer...

Meter Outdoor Water Use, Reduce Sewer Charges
Those using large amounts of water not entering the sewer system (outdoor watering, irrigation systems) could save by installing an auxiliary meter system. The system must be purchased, installed and maintained privately.

Make Smart Choices Maintaining Cars & Driveways
Simple steps can prevent many common pollutants from washing off your driveway into the curb and down storm drains that lead (untreated) into rivers. Consider porous pavement options when possible.

Start a Community Garden
A community garden is a single piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people. They provide fresh produce and plants as well as satisfying labor, exercise, neighborhood improvement, sense of community and connection to the environment.

Storm Drain Marker Program

Summer & fall offer perfect weather for this volunteer opportunity to raise awareness that dumping waste into storm drains contributes to water pollution & endangers wildlife. Decals, adhesive & instruction is provided for volunteers to apply on curbs near storm drain inlets - perfect for individuals or groups.

Help Prevent Street Flooding - Keep Storm Drains Clear
Help prevent street flooding by keeping storm drains free from blockages. Trash, leaves, debris, snow & ice are all common causes of storm sewer blockages - you can help.

Hydrant Flushing Season
Can Cause Low Pressure, Rusty Water Check the schedule to see if hydrants are being flushed in your area & learn what to do if you are experiencing rusty water. Columbus runs from April 15 - July 15. Other municipalities run from March - October.

Flooding and Water Leak Info
Information and resources (including basement backup prevention devices) for customers experiencing flooding and water leak issues such as: basement or yard flooding; water meter leaks; leaks in the street or a hydrant; blocked storm drains causing street flooding &/or ice; safety & cleanup information for basement flooding; how to locate your main water control valve to turn-off during an emergency.

Do Not Flush - No Wipes in the Pipes

Remember, no wipes in the pipes! Only toilet paper is truly flushable, despite what labels may claim. Anything else is not designed to break down, can clog home pipes and city sewers and must go in the trash instead. Please report any public sewer issues to our Sewer Maintenance Operations Center, at 614-645-7102.

ATTN: Pet Owners

Due to an increase in dog bites this year, you may be asked to secure your pet when our utility workers come to your home. Restraining your pets protects them & our staff.

Due to the potential for dog and other pet bites, we request owners to restrain pets when our utility workers provide service at your residence. Pets tend to be territorial and protective of their owners and may become nervous or feel threatened when a stranger comes to the door. This can cause a pet to become aggressive in nature. 

Restraining your pet will protect him/her as well as our staff. Please know that when a dog or pet bite occurs, we are required to report the incident to the Columbus Public Health Department and the Franklin County Department of Animal Care and Control.

Our utility workers are trained in dog safety awareness and are approved to use pepper spray as a last resort if they need to defend themselves against a dog attack.

Thank you for taking this precaution and caring for your pet, as well as assisting us in providing you with excellent service. Please note: not restraining your pet may delay your utility service.

Central Ohio Rain Garden Initiative (CORGI)
Rain gardens are a natural way to use rain water as a resource instead of a waste product. Learn about rain gardens: installation, sizing, example plants, design ideas, Seasonal gardening tips, recently awarded grant projects & technical resources. Learn more about rain gardens.

Volunteers Are Needed Year-Round by Local Watersheds
Local watershed groups plan year-round events and other ways to participate in keeping our waterways clean, including streambank litter cleanups, invasive plant removal & more.

Hoover Reservoir Litter Cleanup
Volunteers are encouraged to participate in this annual fall litter cleanup Saturday, September 2024 TBD at Hoover Reservoir. If interested in volunteering, contact Watershed Management at 614-645-1721 or

Warm Weather Energy Savings Tips
Page coming soon. Learn how to save energy during warm weather and air-conditioning season. Plus, link to a rebate offer for a new programmable thermostat or low flow shower head.

Keeping Wildlife Wild - Minimizing Goose Overpopulation
The overabundance of resident Canada Geese did not happen overnight and reducing their population is a multi-step process. You can help too simply by not feeding them or any wildlife. Wild animals are well adapted at finding food & surviving on their own. Furthermore, feeding them actually causes numerous problems. A summary of what we're doing to help is coming soon.