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States report that nonpoint source pollution is the leading remaining cause of water quality problems. The effects of nonpoint source pollutants on specific waters vary and may not always be fully assessed. However, we know that these pollutants have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries, and wildlife.
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This is another term for polluted runoff and other sources of water pollution that are hard to pinpoint. The term "nonpoint source pollution" (NPS) comes from the federal Clean Water Act of 1987. There, it is used as a catch-all for all kinds of water pollution that are not well-defined discharges (point sources) from wastewater plants or industries.
NPS pollution, unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, comes from many different sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into:
We all play a part. NPS pollution results from a wide variety of human activities on the land. Each of us can contribute to the problem without even realizing it.
We can all work together to reduce and prevent nonpoint source pollution. Some activities are federal responsibilities, such as ensuring that federal lands are properly managed to reduce soil erosion. Some are state responsibilities, for example, developing legislation to govern mining and logging, and to protect groundwater. Others are best handled locally, such as by zoning or erosion control ordinances. And each individual can play an important role by practicing conservation and by changing certain everyday habits.
Participate in the next community or creek cleanup in your area. Storm drain stenciling events - where the destination of storm water is clearly marked on the drain - are a fun way to let your neighbors know the storm drain is only for rain. Attend public hearings or meetings on the topic so you can express your concerns. Quickly report stormwater violations to the City of Abilene when you spot them. Keep learning about polluted stormwater runoff and tell a friend!
If you notice a foreign substance flowing into a storm drain inlet (especially motor oil or anti-freeze) or see someone pouring something into a storm sewer, please call the Stormwater Services Division at 325-676-6280 to report the location.
Dumping used oil is illegal. One gallon of motor oil can pollute 250,000 gallons of drinking water. Contact the City of Abilene Stormwater Services Division at 325-676-6280 to report incidents of illegal dumping.
To properly dispose of your used, but uncontaminated (not mixed with other fluids) motor oil, dispose of it through your recycling program with the City of Abilene. For more information on the recycling and waste collection in Abilene, call 325-8672-2209 or visit their Recycling Center page. Check with local automotive shops to see if they accept automotive fluids.
Storm drains are for the sole purpose of rainwater overflow. Dumping trash, pollutants and debris in the catch basins is illegal and is a federal violation of the Clean Water Act of 1972 as well as the City of Abilene Municipal Code. If it's a neighbor, they may not understand the catch basin's direct connection to local creeks. If you have an amicable relationship with him/her, it may be just a matter of informing and making them aware of its environmental impact.
If it is someone who you feel is knowingly violating and repeatedly dumping into storm drains, please contact the City of Abilene to report incidents of illegal dumping.
The City of Abilene Environmental Recycling Center accepts all types of waste. We encourage you to review the Environmental Recycling Center page for more information.
There are varieties of educational programs on how to prevent stormwater pollution. The City of Abilene Stormwater Services Division offers many type's educational brochures that can be found on the City of Abilene's Stormwater Services Division page and are also available at City Hall in the first floor foyer located at 555 Walnut.
You can contact the Stormwater Services Division for more information.
It is illegal to knowingly dump or discharge hazardous materials or pollutants into drainage channels; the City of Abilene can impose stiff fines on the perpetrators. Illegal dumping of the following into storm drains is against the law:
The best place to wash your car is to use a full or self service car wash. They are designed to recycle used water and filter out many of the harmful chemicals and pollutants washed away from your vehicle.
Although we highly recommend going to a full or self service car wash, an alternative is to park your vehicle on the lawn or gravel. Use biodegradable soaps to wash your vehicle, using as little water as possible. Shut off water while washing your car, then rinse. Remember not to leave your car on the lawn.
Grass, leaves, and yard clippings that are repeatedly swept into drainage structures can clog drains, which may result in flooding and can become a breeding ground for rodents and insects. Additionally, grass and leaves decompose and may contribute to new plant growth (blooms), which can deprive aquatic life of their oxygen.