Stormwater Pollution Prevention

Stormwater pollution can have serious impacts on your neighborhood. Litter and animal waste in the streets and storm drains makes any neighborhood look bad and can contribute to flooded streets during the rainy season. Pollution also increases health risks, degrades the appearance of your neighborhood and can lower property values.

What is an Illicit Discharge?

Any material not entirely made up of stormwater that is dumped into a storm drain (either by accident or on purpose) is an illicit discharge. Spills on roads or parking lots can turn into illicit discharges if not properly cleaned up. Examples include:

  • Soaps & detergents
  • Automotive fluids
  • Household chemicals
  • Paints
  • Sediment
  • Raw sewage
  • Leaves & grass
  • Cooking oils & grease

To report a spill or illicit discharge, please call the City of Abilene Stormwater Hotline at (325) 437-4937

Inspect and maintain your car regularly to prevent fluid leaks. Take motor oil, antifreeze, etc. to an automotive center with a recycling program or the City’s Environmental Recycling Center. For oil spills use a product such as cat litter to absorb the oil, then sweep up the litter and place it in your trash. Never hose down spills into the gutter, curb, or street as streets are considered a water conveyance for the City’s drainage! Remember when it rains, these chemicals can turn into stormwater pollution!

Washing Your Car

Washing your car at home not only uses more gallons of water than a commercial car wash, but it also introduces soap, oil, and engine grime to the environment. The dirty water and soap washes off your car, flows down your driveway, down the street, into a curb inlet, and ends up in a nearby creek. Detergents in our creeks and ponds pose a very real threat to our fish. Use a commercial car wash instead, it doesn’t matter if it’s automated or self serve, the wastewater generated at these facilities is sent to the wastewater treatment plant where it is thoroughly cleaned before being returned to the City’s water source. However, if you must wash your car at home, these tips will help minimize pollution:

  • Try using just water and a rag
  • Use only minimal amounts of soap
  • Use a spray release nozzle for your hose to reduce water use and runoff into the street
  • Wash your car on the lawn - your yard acts as a sponge and prevents soapy water from flowing down the curb


Repair Vehicle Leaks