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Upper Wolf Creek – Barberton Reservoir Watershed


Wolf CreekThe Upper Wolf Creek is a small headwater tributary to the Tuscarawas River located in predominately rural and low density residential areas of western Summit and eastern Medina Counties. The Creek originates in Medina County and flows east into Summit County before forming the Barberton Reservoir in the City of Norton and Copley Township. From the Barberton Reservoir dam, the Upper Wolf Creek drains approximately 18,062 acres. In addition, Barberton Reservoir serves as the primary drinking (source) water supply for the City of Barberton, serving a population of over 29,000 people.

The watershed is facing development pressures due to its close proximity to Akron, Wadsworth, Medina, and Cleveland. Urban sprawl is resulting in the development of the watershed's open lands, especially forested and agricultural areas. The water quality issues facing the Upper Wolf Creek Watershed are similar to other rural areas in the path of urban sprawl. However, the watershed is unique because Barberton Reservoir is a drinking water source for the City of Barberton.


  1. Develop a plan to protect and/or restore the water quality of the Upper Wolf Creek and its tributaries to meet state water quality standards and ensure the health and safety of watershed residents.
  2. Preserve the water quality of the Barberton Reservoir which serves as the primary drinking water source for the City of Barberton.
  3. Raise public awareness, especially among the watershed's residents, of the pollution sources and solutions in the Upper Wolf Creek Watershed.
  4. Consolidate existing watershed information from previous reports and studies into a single user-friendly report; as well as, create a reporting format that can easily be updated when new information becomes available.

Fundamental Water Quality Goals

  1. barbertonProtect sections of Upper Wolf Creek that are currently meeting state water quality standards from degradation.
  2. Restore sections of Upper Wolf Creek currently not meeting state water quality standards.
  3. Protect and restore the riparian corridor.
  4. Preserve high quality natural resource, recreation, and open areas.

NEFCO, through an agreement with the City of Barberton, conducted chemical, bacterial and macroinvertebrate (bug) sampling in the Upper Wolf Creek Watershed, a tributary to the Tuscarawas River.  The purpose of this watershed monitoring study is to assess stream health and characterize nutrient and sediment concentrations originating in the watershed. Monitoring was conducted April 1998 through March 1999, and the report was approved by NEFCO's General Policy Board in July 1999.

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