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Permits are required to enhance the safety of City occupants, and are used by the City of Abilene to regulate construction. Following codes ensures that all construction in Abilene meets minimum standards. Inspections ensure compliance with applicable building, zoning, health, and safety codes.
A permit is required whenever an owner or authorized agent intends to do any of the following entailing the occupancy of a building or structure:
A permit is also required for any of the following concerning any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing systems:
The installation of these systems is regulated by City code.
Yes. Additionally, carports in the front of a house may require a special exception. Applicants should contact the Planning and Development Services department at 325-676-6382 for information.
It depends on the height of the fence, and the location's zoning requirements:
Yes, if replacing more than 5 squares (one square is a 100 square feet, or approximately three bundles of shingles).
It depends on the size of the unit, and whether utilities are included:
Yes. Owners may obtain the permit and perform the work on their own homestead. Permitting requires proof of a homestead exemption filed through the Central Appraisal District of Taylor County, located at:1534 S Treadaway BoulevardAbilene, TX 79602
They can contacted at 325-676-9381. Verification can be provided using a copy of your tax form.
If the work is to be performed by a contractor, the contractor must be a properly licensed plumbing contractor and must be registered with the City of Abilene.
It depends on deck height and construction:
A permit expires if work has either been suspended for more than 180 days, or if work has not commenced within 180 days after the permit was issued.
Yes, after all of the following requirements have been met:
For more information, contact Building Inspections at 325-676-6273.
Yes. The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) requires that, before renovation or demolition work begins, an asbestos survey must be conducted by an individual who has been accredited to safely and accurately collect representative samples. Contact the local DSHS office for assistance at 325-795-5863, or visit the Department of State Health Services website.
The City of Abilene's Asbestos Survey Verification form (PDF) must be submitted to obtain a permit.
Commencing construction without first obtaining a permit is a code violation, and violators are subject to receiving a citation.
Any construction requiring inspection that has been covered will be exposed to facilitate an inspection. Corrections may be necessary to meet the code requirements. Any associated cost is the responsibility of the contractor or owner.
For contractors performing re-roofing, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and irrigation work, a Stop Work Order will be posted, and an investigation fee equal to the amount of the required permit fee will be assessed. If a second violation occurs within 12 months, a ten times fee will be assessed.
For property owners, a Stop Work Order will be posted and an investigation fee equal to the amount of the required permit fee will be assessed. In addition, a Stop Work Order Release Fee will be assessed.
Contractor information may be obtained from the MyGov website or by calling 325-676-6273.
To become established, you must complete the necessary steps, depending on what type of contractor you are pursuing.
Certificates of Occupancy are coordinated by Building Inspection at 325-676-6232. An application may be obtained from our Applications page and then requesting a Certificate of Occupancy project on MyGov.
Contact the Water Utility Billing Office at 325-676-6405 to set up an account.
Contact Building Inspection at 325-676-6273 for the proper permit before scheduling the work. Only a licensed plumber can make a service connection to a City sewer main.
A construction inspection is a visual check of the construction work to ensure that structural integrity, safety, and adherence to code is maintained.
Contact Planning & Development Services at 325-676-6232, located at:555 Walnut StreetAbilene, TX 79601
You can also log on to MyGov and select the appropriate inspection.
City staff members perform inspections respective to the industry. The Building Inspections Department is staffed by professionally qualified licensed or certified:
House plans are kept on file for one year after a final inspection approval.
View the Building Inspections page for a full list of codes and amendments.
For information about mobile home permitting requirements, see the Mobile Home Inspection Checklist (PDF).
There is no charge for line locating services.
The City of Abilene Water Utilities Department locates water and sewer lines. Contact us at 325-676-6425.
For all other buried lines, dial 811. If 811 service is not available in your area, call 800-344-8377. For more information, visit the Texas 811 website.
You can come to City Hall in person or file a complaint by calling 325-676-6241. You can also make a complaint via the Report a Problem page.
Officers will try to perform an initial investigation within 2 to 5 days. Health and safety issues take first priority. The number of calls received may also affect response times.
You may choose to stay anonymous; however, the Code Compliance Officers will not be able to inform you of the actions taken. Leaving contact information is vital to a thorough investigation. Code Officers do not discuss the name of a complainant with a violator when a complaint is investigated.
Several factors may contribute to the amount of time required to respond to a citizen's report of a nuisance, including:
During the growing season, complaint inspections and abatement are significantly delayed due to the number of calls received for tall grass and weeds. From the initial inspection to owner notification, and to subsequent abatement, there may be delays due to the timelines set by the State, and by the property owner's willingness to comply.
Call the Environmental Enforcement Office at 325-676-3867 with as much as you know about the event such as the:
If the dumping is in the rights-of-way:
If the dumping is elsewhere, please provide as much information as possible to assist us in an investigation:
To report someone dumping items, you may:
The homeowner or tenant is responsible for maintaining the area between the middle of the street to the middle of the alley (or the back property line if there is no alley) free of litter, debris, and high weeds.
Residents are responsible for the trimming of trees located on their property, to the center of the alley, and in the parkway (the area which extends from the property line to the curb or street pavement edge). You may contact a professional landscaping or tree trimming service to assist you with the trimming. Tree branches and limbs may be taken to the Abilene Brush Center located at 2149 Sandy Street off of East Highway 80 for recycling. This service is free for Abilene residents. To report tree limbs touching electrical lines, call American Electric Power (AEP) at 1-877-373-4858; to report tree limbs touching telephone lines, contact your telephone service provider.
The City of Abilene will investigate complaints of dead, diseased, or insect-harboring trees, and will deem it a nuisance when its condition constitutes a hazard to life or property.
The City will issue a Notice of Violation giving the property owner 10 days to abate the nuisance. A re-inspection will be made 10 days from the date of the notice. If the property is still in violation, the City may abate the nuisance and the owner will be charged an abatement fee, an administrative fee, and a penalty fee. If the charges remain unpaid after 30 days from the billing date, the City will file a lien on the property and the debt will accumulate interest at 10% per year from the due date until paid.
The City cannot mediate other tree disputes among neighbors. If you wish to report a violation, call 325-676-6241.
Vehicles are not allowed to be parked in the yard of any residence.
Driveways must be constructed in accordance with the requirements of the Public Works Department, and an Approach Permit must be obtained prior to construction. For more information regarding the Approach Permit, call the Public Works Department at 325-676-6281.
No. Heavy commercial, heavy/light industrial vehicles, and commercial vehicles with a rated capacity greater than one ton may not be parked in zoning districts on any:
Contact Planning and Development Services for on-street regulations of specific locations If you wish to report a violation, call the non-emergency number for the Abilene Police Department at 325-673-8331.
If you operate a home business in a residentially zoned area, you may not:
For additional information, view the Home Occupation Brochure (PDF).
No. It is a violation of the City Code to post signs on utility poles or trees, or in the City right-of-way. Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $500 per day, per violation. If you wish to report a violation, call 325-676-6241.
Items that are not intended for use outdoors or are not made of a material that is resistant to damage or deterioration from exposure to the outdoors may not be stored on a porch, in a yard, under a carport, or within any area visible to the public.
Yes, on your own property. However, composting is effective only if the material is turned every 30 days. Otherwise, you have created a plant growth waste pile instead of compost.
Ask them where they dispose of your waste. Require that the contractor provide you with local landfill receipts or recycled material disposal receipts.
Federal regulations prohibit the widening or deepening of a creek that is identified as a "water of the United States", which all the creeks in Abilene are labeled. However, removal of sediment that has accumulated within the creeks may be removed as long as the original grade of the creek bed is maintained. Additionally, federal regulations prohibit the use of steel tracked vehicles and bladed vehicles (such as motor graders and bulldozers) within the boundaries of the creek. Therefore the City of Abilene is limited to the changes that can be made to the creeks.
Best Management Practices are the techniques (buffers, silt fences, detention ponds, swales, etc.), schedule of activities, prohibitions of practices and maintenance procedures to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants.
A detention pond is an engineered drainage structure designed to temporarily hold a set amount of water while slowly draining to another location. They a best management practice installed for flood control when large amounts of rain could cause flash flooding if not dealt with properly. Additionally, detention ponds act as a trap where pollutants picked up by the initial surge of stormwater settle out before leaving the detention pond.
When an area is paved, or covered with a building, water runs off the property much faster than when it is in a natural state. The total amount of discharge is the same, but the discharge happens over a shorter amount of time. A hydrologist will design a detention pond to temporarily detain the water and keep the runoff to the desired rate. When the rain ends, though, the detention pond will be empty shortly afterwards.
No. They are two completely separate drainage systems. Effluent in the sewer system receives extensive and thorough filtration prior to being discharged. The storm drain system on the other hand, receives no filtration whatsoever, and discharges directly into the local creeks and empties into Lake Fort Phantom Hill untreated.
There are miles of channels, creeks, and storm drains within the City of Abilene to maintain. Stormwater's maintenance crews clean out detention ponds, storm drains, channels, and drainage ways throughout the year as they are reported. Unfortunately, there are just too many drainage structures and not enough resources or crews to keep them all in proper functioning order at all times. The Stormwater maintenance crew performs maintenance operations on a day-to-day basis; however, it simply can not keep up with daily illegal dumping of debris into these open channels. Therefore, we rely heavily on the citizens of Abilene to assist in keeping us informed of clogged drainage ways, illegal dumping, and illegal discharges.
It sounds like a good idea. But during a rainstorm, trash is quickly swept to detention ponds and storm drains and any screen or filtration device placed in front of these structures would cause trash to accumulate and clog the grate, preventing proper drainage and end up flooding the street. With hundreds of miles of pipes and channels in the system alone, there would be far too many blocked detention ponds and storm drains to have crews cleaning them as the rain falls.
The City of Abilene manages the flood channels and, in fact, some do have a barrier or screen near the discharge point. Unfortunately, this only catches the trash that floats in the channels or detention ponds, leaving most of the toxins like pet waste, used oil, pesticides, fertilizers, etc. flow straight through into the local creeks.
Such a facility would be extremely costly to build and maintain. And, the massive amount of water coming through the facility during a rainstorm would easily overtax the system.
The following are but a few of the pollutants found in the system on a daily basis:
On a typical dry summer day, many gallons flow through the system. This flow comes from over watered lawns, fire hydrant pressure releases, and car washes throughout the city, just to name a few. In a heavy rainstorm, this flow can increase by many, many gallons.
The City of Abilene does not issue flood elevation certificates. You should consult a local phone directory for Engineers - Professional or Surveyor.
Design drawings for a variety of construction projects including typical street sections, alley design, residential and commercial concrete approaches and curb and gutter sections are available in either the Design Standards or the Drainage Standards.
The Owner/Contractor must provide the City of Abilene with a Street Contractors Bond in the amount of $1,000 in order to obtain a permit. The bond can be obtained from most insurance companies, and must expire December 31 of the current year. All work in the Public Right-of-Way (ROW) must be permitted through the Engineering Division of the Public Works Department. This applies to any sidewalk, curb and gutter or driveway, either new or repairing.
All concrete forms must be inspected and approved by Inspection Services Division. Call Public Works at 325-676-6281 to schedule an inspection. Call by 3 pm for an inspection on the morning of the next day. Call by 10 am for same day, afternoon inspections.
If all City standards have been met, a Blue Inspection notice will be placed on the forms. If standards are not met, a Yellow Correction Notice will be placed on the forms. After owner/contractor has made corrections, another inspection is required (no charge). All inspections thereafter for the same problem will be a re-inspection fee. See the Fee Schedule for re-inspection fee.
No. The adjacent property owner is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the sidewalk and curb. Reference: Chapter 29, Article III, Section 29-Municipal Code.
Call Environmental Health to initiate a complaint against the specific establishment. Be prepared to provide specific details about the name and address of the facility, the date and time the unsafe practice was observed, and the exact practice in question.
Contact Environmental Health to report any possible food borne illness. You will be asked to provide specifics such as:
It will first be necessary to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy by contacting Building Inspection. Then, contact Environmental Health and be prepared to answer specific questions regarding location, menu, time frame for opening, whether it's a new or used facility, etc.
Environmental Health will conduct an inspection for a permit. Environmental Health also offers a preliminary inspection for a $50 fee for businesses prior to getting their Certificate of Occupancy.
Permits are also available for mobile food establishments, snow cone stands, push-carts, and temporary food events. Contact Environmental Health for specific details on each one of these.
The Texas Food Establishment rules identify three different types of bed and breakfast establishments, depending on the number of rooms available and the types of meals served. Contact Environmental Health to determine the need for a permit.
No. The Texas Food Establishment Rules waive the need for a permit for non-profit, charitable fund-raising events. However, you must notify Environmental Health in advance of the event. They will issue a Bake Sale Letter to verify that the local health authority has been notified. Contact Environmental Health to request a Bake Sale Letter. Be prepared to provide specific information about the event.
Operators of public and restricted access (motels, hotels, apartment complexes, swim clubs, etc.) pools and spas are required to obtain a permit annually. Owners of residential pools and spas are not required to obtain a permit. Contact Environmental Health for more information.
Contact Environmental Health at 325-676-6291 to determine the need for a permit. An Environmental Health staff member will be assigned to inspect the pool/spa, and if it meets all code requirements, an application for permit will be issued. Environmental Health will issue a permit upon completion of the application and payment of the required fee (Code Compliance). Swimming pool/spa permits for public or restricted access pool or spa must be renewed annually.
Pools and spas must meet minimum requirements for:
If you believe a public or restricted-access pool is in violation, please contact Environmental Health.
Report the address to Environmental Health. An Environmental Health staff member will investigate the complaint.
You may report mosquito development in standing water at either a private or public location online and selecting Mosquito Problem in a Public Area or by contacting Environmental Health. The City of Abilene encourages personal protection at all times during mosquito season. We concentrate on Public Health significant mosquitoes.
Mosquito Problem in a Public Area
In the first half of 2017 (January through June) we had 24 sanitary sewer overflows, 20 of those caused by grease. If we don't cool it with all the fats, oil and grease, Abilene will be headed toward a drainwreck. These overflows create a large, stenchy mess in our roadways and lead to road closures. Closed roads prevent traffic from visiting businesses and affect commute times for residents. Finally, sewer overflows are expensive to fix - not just for the City, but for local businesses and residents.
So what does this ordinance mean for your business? The good news - if you are already pumping grease regularly and have trip manifest records on-site, nothing. You are in compliance and it will be business as usual. But for those food service businesses that are not, it is now a requirement.
From now on, the City of Abilene will be doing random inspections. Businesses that are in violation of the ordinance will have an opportunity for voluntary compliance - an option period to correct the violations. If violations are found during the follow-up inspection and with any future inspections, a minimum fine of $1,000 will be issued. The amount and course of action by the City are dependent on the severity of the violations. Extreme issues can even result in a stop work order.
An Open Records Request is the preferred method, but you may also contact Fire Prevention at (325) 676-6434 to obtain a copy of a fire report. Please provide the date and location of the fire.
Fire Code requires fire permits for various operations and activities. Contact Fire Prevention at 325-676-6434 for information or visit the Fire Marshal's Office to view various permit guidelines and submitting.
Call 911 if you think there is a fire or other emergency.
To report trash burning, please dial 911.
Exit the premises immediately and call 911 from another location.
An Open Records Request is the preferred method to request an environmental survey. You may also submit an inquiry in writing to:
Abilene Fire DepartmentFire Prevention250 Grape StreetAbilene, Texas 79601
The Abilene Fire Department has a free smoke alarm program for homeowners who cannot afford them. If you do not have a working smoke alarm in your home, contact the Abilene Fire Department at 325-676-6434 Monday through Friday from 8 am until 5 pm. We will be happy to provide one. Download the Smoke Detector application (PDF)..
State law requires landlords to provide smoke alarms in all rental properties.
It is telling you to replace the batteries.
The Abilene Fire Department is under the direction of the Fire Chief, who is appointed by the City Manager, and consists of 2 branches: Emergency Services and Support Services. Our Department is also fortunate to have a Fire Chaplain who spends time not only with our personnel but also those in need of emergency incidents.
All patch requests will be reviewed and answered. Email your request to the Fire Department.
The Abilene Fire Code is under the 2021 International Fire Code with local amendments. Copies of local amendments are available from Fire Prevention at 325-676-6676. Visit the Abilene Code of Ordinances to review local codes and amendments.
The City of Abilene's Public Protection Classification (PPC) rating is 1 (1 being best and 10 being worst). In 1998, the Texas Department of Insurance began using a Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, the system used in all other states, which grades fire protection on the basis of a city's actual fire exposure and water flow necessary to control fires wherever they occur. The detailed reports of inspections are now carried out by ISO, a private organization, overseen by the Texas State Fire Marshal.
View more information on the rating system.
FIRM stands for Flood Insurance Rate Map. A FIRM shows areas of land that are prone to flooding.
The city must regulate development in flood prone areas in order to be accepted in the National Flood Insurance Program. Acceptance in this program is necessary for property owners in the city to obtain flood insurance.
A floodplain is the area that may be covered with water during a significant rain event. The rain event used to define a floodplain is that which has a 1% chance of occurrence during any given year. This rain event is also called the "100 year storm".
A floodway is an area within the floodplain that must remain open for the flow of floodwaters. Construction in the floodway is generally prohibited.
A BFE is the elevation above sea level to which water will rise during a 100 year storm.
Generally yes. However, the finished floor must be elevated higher than the Base Flood Elevation and the structure must not be located in the floodway without special engineering analysis that has been reviewed and approved by the city.
You may review the FIRM panels in the Public Works office at City Hall, 555 Walnut Street, Abilene Texas, 2nd floor, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. You may also view Floodplain Maps Online or call 325-676-6313 for further assistance.
The maps are developed using statistical rainfall data for the Abilene area along with detailed ground surface information to calculate the rise and spread of floodwaters through the city's creek system. The maps have been reviewed by city staff and generally reflect what has been observed during actual flood events. However, it is possible that certain properties are shown to be in a mapped floodplain, but may not be at risk due to their actual location or elevation.
Questions may be answered by Public Works staff at city hall, or through emails to Larry Wright submitted.
The appeals and protest period for the preliminary maps ended November 11, 2009. After that date, no further appeals and protests will be accepted by FEMA related to the preliminary maps. Changes to the maps after that date must be by a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR), submitted in accordance with FEMA regulations.
The map has been prepared by FEMA.
The map was prepared using detailed ground surface elevation and topographic data collected in 2005. The spread and height of floodwater in the city's creeks were determined using hydraulic engineering methods.
The purpose of the revised map is to improve the accuracy of information related to floodwater elevation and limits.
The city provided funding for the surveying and modeling and provided input regarding actual experience with flood events in Abilene.
Most mortgage companies require flood insurance for houses that are in the floodplain. The City of Abilene does not require flood insurance.
If your house is in the floodplain according to the FEMA maps, you may be required by your lender to purchase flood insurance. If your house is in the floodplain but you do not have a mortgage, then it is your personal decision whether or not to buy flood insurance. There may be some advantage to purchasing flood insurance before the new maps become effective. Certain properties where the floodplain status has changed may be "grandfathered" and reduced rates may apply for insurance purchased before the new maps become effective.
Contact your insurance agent for more information.
The City provides analog (paper) plots for a fee as well as an interactive Internet site with the most frequently accessed mapping data. For specific information about fees, contact the GIS division at 325-676-6415.
The City can generate map plots in sizes up to 3 feet by 4 feet for a fee. You can print your own maps using the online mapping portal.
Yes. We are requiring all Immunization Services to be scheduled appointments at this time. Please call 325-692-5600 to schedule your appointment. Immunization hours are Monday through Friday, 9 until 11:45 am and 1 until 4 pm. In addition, immunizations are also given until 6 pm on the 1st Tuesday of each month. Be sure to bring any shot records you have for your child when you come to the clinic.
Due to COVID, services may be interrupted, delayed or closed. Please call for the most up to date information.
You may also contact the Health District at 325-692-5600 for information on the vaccination requirements for the areas you plan to visit.
The Health District investigates communicable diseases and can be reached at 325-692-5600. Doctors, hospitals, and laboratories are required to report certain communicable diseases to the Health District. Reported diseases are investigated in order to minimize risks of transmitting the disease to others, and to determine appropriate public health interventions to reduce risks to the community.
The health district accepts checks and cash only with the exception of online or in person kiosk ordering of birth and death records which accept debit and credit cards for a small fee.
Confidential testing for HIV is available at the MERCY Health Care Center located at 1902 Shelton Street. Rapid HIV testing is available to patients that qualify medically. Testing and treatment for other sexually transmitted diseases are also offered for a small co-pay.
Due to COVID, services may be interrupted, delayed or closed. Please call for the most up to date information.
For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call 325-676-6634, ext. 3.
The Health District provides medical care for uninsured men, women, and children through various grants and programs that are based on the financial eligibility of the individual/family. Your level of coverage and types of services provided are dependent upon the program you qualify for. Please come to the clinic with proof of income such as one month of pay stubs, social security award letter or taxes, and a valid ID to apply. If you do not have these items please speak to our eligibility specialist to see how we may still be able to help you. Please apply at MERCY Health Care Center located at 1902 Shelton Street, and call 325-676-6634.
MERCY Health Care Center provides medical care for family planning services through various grants and programs based on the financial eligibility of the individual/family. MERCY Health Care Center also has a self pay option available.
Costs for medical care may vary depending on the service you need and the program you are eligible for. While some programs cover costs completely others may require the patient to pay a portion of their charges according to their income. You will be fully informed of your financial responsibility prior to receiving services.
Family Planning services include a physical exam, education, STD screening and selected method of contraception. LARCs (IUD and nexplanon) are available for insertion at the time of your appointment. We also offer preconception counseling and early prenatal appointments. Call 325-676-6634 for more information about eligibility or to schedule an appointment. MERCY Health Care Center is located at 1902 Shelton Street. Monday through Friday 8 to 12 and 1 to 5. Call 325-676-6634 for more information.
Online ordering for Birth and Death Certificates is now available using our Vital Records Portal. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 325-692-5600 or visit our Vital Statistics page.
If you need to make corrections to a birth certificate, applications may be obtained from the Vital Statistics office. You will need to:
You'll be notified within four to six months about the correction. If you need to add a father's name, you can either file a paternity form or obtain a court order. The forms you need are available at the Vital Statistics office, and our staff is available to assist you. Please call 325-692-5600 to set up an appointment.
Vacancies that are open for recruitment are announced on the City of Abilene Employment Opportunities website. Once a job is posted, you simply build an applicant profile and then you can apply for as many positions as you are interested in.
You may apply for jobs on the City of Abilene Employment Opportunities website. We do not accept paper applications since launching our online process. If you are having difficulty with the online process, please visit Human Resources at 555 Walnut, Room 103, and we will help you explore the job opportunities at one of the kiosks located in the lobby.
After the closing date for a position, the supervisor for the position will review all applications to determine which persons will be interviewed. Only the applicants who are scheduled for interviews will be contacted.
Once the interview process is complete, the Department contacts Human Resources with a list of the top applicants. Applicants will then receive an email letting them know the status of selection. Since Human Resources completes all background checking and driving records prior to notification of the applicants, the timeframe for notification can be a week or more after the interview process.
When all information is completed, the selected applicant is contacted and conditionally offered the position, and a date is set to begin employment with the City of Abilene upon satisfactory results from the pre-employment drug test.
Yes, the profile you create for yourself online stays in the application system. You can update as you like, and continue to apply as you like.
Positions for Abilene Fire Fighter and Abilene Police Officer are civil service positions. Therefore, applications are only accepted during an open recruiting period. For more information, you can visit their recruiting page or call 325-676-6347.
Yes, you do. If you have already created a profile online, you may review it and update the information as necessary when applying for a position.
To verify employment with the City of Abilene, contact The WorkNumber at www.theworknumber.com, (800) 367-5690, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information more extensive than dates of employment, please fill out a Public Information Request through the City Secretary's Office
To file a claim against the City for damages, please contact the Risk Management division at 325-676-6316. Each claim is reviewed on a case by case basis. Because of the complexity of some cases, research time varies.
If there are no injuries in the accident, please call non-emergency police at 325-673-8331. If there is an emergency situation, please call 911. Police will contact Risk Management and the claim process will begin.
To report a City employee driving recklessly, contact the Risk Management division at 325-676-6316. Please provide information in as much detail as possible including the time, a vehicle number, the location, and a short description of the incident.
Yes, provided your wireless provider has local service in our coverage area, can complete your call, and they can locate you. Currently, Verizon (formerly Alltel) ClearTalk (Flat Wireless), AT&T Mobility, Nextel Partners, Sprint, and T-Mobile have service in our District.
Our District area is the City of Abilene (including the part of Abilene in Jones County) and all of Taylor County, including all communities, incorporated, and unincorporated areas of Taylor County. Location information is displayed at the emergency call centers for our telecommunicators to dispatch assistance. However, you should always try to know your location to be able to tell the 911 operator.
Yes, however, he must have a current $1,000 Street Contractor's Bond, obtain a permit from the City Engineer's Office and comply with the City of Abilene Construction Standards.
No, if a sidewalk is in place and in bad condition it is the property owner's responsibility to repair or replace it.
No, driveway approaches must be constructed at all access points to the property.
No, sackcrete itself does not meet City of Abilene Standards.
For materials released more than a year ago, you may request the item(s) through Interlibrary Loan to borrow the item/s from a library outside of Abilene. This generally takes 2 to 3 weeks to arrive.
Library cards are free for City of Abilene residents, active duty military, military retirees and military dependents holding a valid and current Department of Defense ID card. Visit our Get a Library Card page for details.
All Texas residents not residing in the City of Abilene may acquire a library card at an annual fee of $10. Learn more on our Get a Library Card page.
There are no age restrictions; however, minors will require a parent/legal guardian present to acquire a library card unless the individual is married or is an emancipated minor.
The Abilene Public Library sends out notifications to patrons via email, not postal mail. Such notifications include alerts on available holds to pickup, overdue items, pre-overdue notices to alert you 48 hours before item/s are due, etc. If we do not have an email on file, you will not receive alerts from your library.
Contact the Abilene Public Library and staff will verify we have your correct email address on file. Additionally, you may want to check your spam/junk email folders to see if our notices are being sent there so you may make them as being safe to receive.
A Personal Identification Number (PIN) is established when you register for a library card. PINs are at least 4 digits/characters in length and allow you to access your account online, use our self-checkout stations, etc. If you did not register for a PIN, or don't remember your PIN, contact the Abilene Public Library and staff may assist you.
All library cards are valid for 1 year. If needing to renew your library card, contact us or visit any branch library location and staff will ask to verify your contact information, as well as collect the $10 annual fee if you have a non-resident library card.
Depending on the item, you keep them for the corresponding amount of time:
Effective October 1, 2018 there are no late fees for materials you checkout from the library. All items will continue to have a due date. If you have three or more items on your account that are overdue, you won't be able to checkout again until the overdue items are returned.
Library fees may be paid in person at any public library branch location. Acceptable forms of payment are cash, check, or debit/credit card. You may also pay public library fees at any of the three private university libraries (Abilene Christian, Hardin-Simmons, McMurry).
Please note, if paying fees for lost/damaged materials, these fees must be paid at the location the item originated from. The public library does not accept payment for university items, and university libraries do not accept payment for public library items if they're damaged or lost.
You may also pay your fees online with a valid debit/credit card by accessing your library account. Please note there is a convenience fee added to each payment for processing. Below are steps for paying online:
Once paid, your account will be updated automatically in our system, but please feel free to retain your confirmation email if needed.
Contact library staff to assist you further. We may look towards renewing the item to provide you with additional time to locate it. If needing to pay for a lost/damaged item, you will be charged for the price of the item and a non-refundable processing fee.
If you have paid for a lost item, and locate it at a later time, bring it back to the library with your receipt and library staff will provide you with a refund (minus the non-refundable processing fee). Refunds are not available for damaged materials.
If you have lost an item belonging to Abilene Christian, Hardin-Simmons, or McMurry University libraries, you will need to contact the university library the item belonged to in order to pay for these materials. The Abilene Public Library does not accept payment for lost/damaged university items since they do not belong to us.
Contact the branch library you returned the item to and library staff will access your account to renew the item and check all library branches for the title. If unable to locate the item, we may place an internal search to continue to look for it.
Branch phone numbers are as follows:
Yes. We will require a valid photo ID. If you're a minor, library staff may verify your information to access your account. If needing a replacement card, they're offered for $1 at any branch library.
Yes. Materials may be returned to any location including university libraries at Abilene Christian, Hardin-Simmons, and McMurry.
Yes. All locations offer a 24-hour book drop for returning library materials.
Visit your library and staff will ask to see your library card to access your account and renew the items requested. You do not need to have the items present to renew them.
Contact the Abilene Public Library during our normal business hours and library staff will ask for your 13-digit library card number to access your account and renew the items in question.
You may renew materials online 24/7 by visiting the Abilene Public Library website. You will need access to your 13-digit library card number and PIN to access this feature.
You will not be able to renew library materials if:
The maximum number of items that can be checked out are as follows:
Visit a library branch or contact the Abilene Public Library and staff will ask for your 13-digit library card number to place a hold on an item for pickup at any of our three branch locations. Available holds are held for 8-days once they arrive.
Visit our Interlibrary Loan page to make a request (you will need your 13-digit library card number and PIN). You may also visit or contact the Abilene Public Library and staff may place the request on your behalf. Available Interlibrary Loan materials come with a set due date and the library will hold these items until they are due back to the lending library.
You may place a hold online on our catalog for items. You will need your 13-digit library card number and PIN.
Yes. The online catalog and databases are accessible remotely from any Internet-enabled computer or device. You will need your 13-digit library card number to access most databases; however, the AncestryPlus database is only accessible inside the library.
Contact the Abilene Public Library and staff will assist you. Some of the common reasons may be due to having a fine in excess of $3, an expired library card, or our system being temporarily down.
Yes. Both the Main Library and Mockingbird Branch offers access to meeting rooms at a rate of $10 per hour. These rooms are free for non-profits, however.
The South Branch Library also offers access to a meeting room at a rate of $50 for the first two hours with an optional $25 fee for use of advanced audio/visual equipment. This room is also free for non profits.
For more information, view our Meeting Room section on our Policies page.
Yes. We offer a wide range of programming and adults can take advantage of our book club and various workshops hosted over a variety of topics on a regular basis. View our Events Calendar to see the current program listings.
All locations offer access to:
We do not offer faxing services, but we may refer you to nearby businesses if requested.
Effective May 2020: We will no longer be accepting donations of materials until 2021 (time to be determined). Due to our closure during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Annual Friends of the Library Book Sale will not be conducted to relieve us of the items we’ve collected in 2020. As we will not have a place to store a second year’s worth of donations we are asking that you hang on to them for the future, or look at local agencies that may be able to benefit from your donation.
Yes. We accept donations at the Main Library, located at:202 Cedar StreetAbilene, TX 79601
Items may be dropped off inside the library, or you may do so by the double doors in the alley way (near the outside book drop). By ringing the doorbell, staff will help you unload your donations. This service is offered between 9 am to 4 pm on weekdays.
All locations are available to provide tours to school groups, organizations, clubs, etc. Contact the branch location of your choice and library staff will connect you with the proper employee to handle your request.
Yes. WiFi is available at all library branch locations during normal business hours.
Yes. Internet access is available at all library branch locations. You must have a valid library card to sign on. Guests/visitors may see library staff to inquire about signing on as a guest.
Yes. Librarians at each location may serve as proctors. This service is offered at no charge; however, we do ask that you contact the Abilene Public Library and speak with staff so we may acquire some information and answer your questions.
Although this service is free, charges may apply if requiring library staff to mail in a test. In this case, students will be responsible for mailing fees.
Please call 325-676-6094 for more information about available plots.
View an online map of the City Cemetery.
For specific information on block numbers, contact the Cemetery Office at 325-676-6094 or come by our office at:633 Walnut StreetAbilene, TX 79601
To locate a gravesite at the City Cemetery, visit Find a Grave and follow the on screen prompts. You may also contact us at 325-676-6094 for help with locating a grave.
The City Cemetery is located at:1133 Cottonwood StreetAbilene, TX 79601
The Cemetery office is located at:633 Walnut StreetAbilene, TX 79601
The fees for burial plots are as follows:
Yes. You may purchase spaces for future use, but grave opening and closing may be paid only at the time of need. Please call 325-676-6094 to set up an appointment to view available pre-need spaces.
Yes, although there are restrictions on the size of the marker. For more information, contact us at 325-676-6094 or come by our office from 8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday, except for on City holidays. The office is located at:633 Walnut StreetAbilene, TX 79601
There is a permit fee that must be paid prior to the placing of any markers. For fee information, visit the Fee Schedule page.
Vases, wreaths, flowers or ornaments must be placed on the grave marker or in a piece of pipe in the ground in line with the row of grave markers. We reserve the right to remove any decorations that may become unsightly or interfere with the maintenance of the cemetery.
No construction is permitted on cemetery lots, including such items as:
These items interfere with mowing and other Cemetery operations. For further information, contact us at 325-676-6094.
Yes, the following are approved for planting:
Please contact the Cemetery Office at 325-676-6094 to arrange for help with placement, prior to planting.
Visiting hours are from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week.
Yes, we offer two Activity Buildings, four Recreation Centers, the Aquatic Center (Adventure Cove) and Festival Gardens, which is 100% outdoors.
Reservations for our facilities are done in person at the Parks & Recreation office, located at:633 Walnut StreetAbilene, TX 79601
You can also reserve a spot online at the Parks and Recreation website.
Reservation cutoff is on Wednesdays at noon.
You can locate a pavilion at the Parks and Recreation website.
Yes with a valid bounce house permit from the Parks and Recreation office. No water or splash inflatables are allowed.
A 7 day notice is required in order to cancel or transfer a reservation. There will be a $5 charge for cancelling or transferring a reservation.
You can make donations through joining Parks Bucks by adding $1 to your water bill.
The following forms of payment are accepted:
Park hours are 5:30 am to midnight.
View a list of parks in the Facilities module.
The City of Abilene prohibits the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages inside any buildings, facilities, and parks (Section22-2) Violations could result in fines, penalties, and/or arrests. Use of alcoholic beverages at Festival Gardens is allowed under certain provisions. Call 325-676-6217 or email the Parks and Recreation Department for more information.
Parking on the grass at any of the parks is prohibited (Section 22-13).
The City of Abilene buildings, facilities and parks are “Smoke Free” areas (Ordinance 41-2014). Violations could result in fines, penalties and/or arrests.
Yes. Please be courteous of other park patrons, remember to be safe when conditions are windy, and dispose of coals properly after they have cooled. No grills within 100 feet of splash pads, playgrounds or other public activity areas. Trailer mounted grills must be parked in a marked parking space in the parking lot. No vehicles anywhere other than improved roads or parking lots.
Per Section 22-8, no person shall build any fire in any park area except in a proper container, which container shall be so constructed that it will not damage any park property, including grass, or will not be apt to cause the spread of fire.
Per section 22-7, no person shall operate, manipulate, fly or cause to be operated, manipulated or flown any model airplane with a motor driven propeller in the public parks of the city, except in areas designated for such activity by the Director of Parks & Recreation. Contact the Abilene RC Society for information about requirements for flying at Seabee Park which is Abilene Parks only designated area for such activity.
Yes, all waters within our park boundaries are considered public waters and fishing is allowed. There are restrictions in some areas to allow for boat traffic and other activities for safety reasons. Any person actively trying to capture fish must have a valid fishing license issued from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. State fishing guidelines must also be adhered to when fish are taken from public waters. Please see Texas Parks and Wildlife for more information.
Walking Distances are as follows:
City-owned Seabee Park and Johnson Park at Lake Fort Phantom Hill provide for a primitive camping environment. Maximum time allowed for primitive camping is 48 hours.
The Abilene State Park is located in nearby Tuscola. For reservation information, contact State Parks, or call the local number at 325-572-3204.
The City ordinance requires dogs be on a leash or at heel, walking by your side and under voice command. You should also bring pet litter bags to remove pet waste.
Many City parks have practice backstops. While they aren't reserved, particular leagues have historically used the sites. Check with your league for direction. Many of the school sites also have backstops. The game fields are under contract with the sports leagues. Check with the school administration for more information.
Advance reservations are considered on a first come, first served basis for up to one year advance. Reservations are subject to any price increase approved by the City Council. The person renting the City facility must be 21 or older. For more information, please call 325-676-6217.
To request the use of a park facility ballfield, see our Facility Rental and Use page.
These are the dog park guidelines:
1. The dog park is open dawn to dusk.2. Dogs must be licensed and have current rabies vaccinations on their tags or the owner must have a current rabies vaccination certificate in their possession while using the park.3. Dogs belonging to City of Abilene residents must display city license tags.4. Dogs must remain on leash while entering and exiting the park gates. Both the small dog and large dog areas are double gated and the exterior gate must be closed before opening the interior gate. Dogs should be unleashed while they are between the inner and outer gates before they are allowed to enter the park.5. Owners must remain inside the enclosures at all times while their dog is in the park.6. Any dog exhibiting aggressive behavior must be removed immediately.7. Owners are responsible for damage or injury inflected by their dogs.8. Owners must have a visible leash with them at all times.9. Owners are responsible for removal and proper disposal of feces of their pets."10. All children must be under strict supervision and children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.11. There is a limit of two dogs per person per visit.12. Puppies under 4 months are not allowed.13. Dogs in heat are not allowed.14. The small dog area is for dogs less than (30) pounds only.15. Food is not allowed in the park area. Dog treats are not allowed in the park area.16. Spiked collars are not allowed in the park.
Registrations can be done from any device at the My Parks and Recreation website. or use the MyAbi app on your mobile device.
Registration for summer camp begins in March. Registration for the After School program begins in July.
The City of Abilene offers both adult and youth sports. Additional league resources can be found at:
Any Activity/Event cancellations must be made 14 days prior to the event/activity start date. Any Camp cancellations must be made within the first 2 days of the camp start date. There will be a $5 charge for cancellations.
The City of Abilene does offer scholarships for Winter Break Camp, Spring Break Camp, and Summer Camp. Availability is limited. Determinations on awarding assistance will be based on annual household income. The City of Abilene has the final discretion on any and all scholarship approvals.
To discover information regarding Senior Services Division, please visit the Seniors page.
To volunteer at Rose Park Senior Activity Center, please call 325-734-5300.
For all other volunteer opportunities, please call the Retired Senior Volunteer Program at 325-793-3520 or visit the West Texas Rehabilitation Center website.
The City of Abilene no longer offers transportation. However, the City of Abilene Senior Services encourages seniors who are in need of transportation services to contact City Link. Their number is 325-676-6287, and select option 2 for ADA Van Service.
The Tennis Centers hours are as follows:
Yes. The rate per hour varies. To reserve lesson times please call 325-676-6292.
At the Rose Park Tennis Center, we teach players from 4 years old to adult, at all levels of play from beginner to advanced. Contact Rose Park at 325-676-6292 or visit the Facility Rentals page for further details.
The public right-of-way refers to the land area dedicated to public use, typically for pedestrian and vehicular movement. The public right-of-way is controlled and generally maintained by a public agency, such as the City, County, State, or Federal government. Public rights-of-way can include:
The parkway is the portion of the public right-of-way between the curb or edge of street pavement and the property boundary of the adjacent private property. Landowners are required to maintain the parkway, including sidewalks and landscaping, located adjacent to their property. This area often includes:
Landowners are required to maintain the parkway, including sidewalks and landscaping, located adjacent to their property. The parkway is the portion of the public right-of-way between the curb or edge of street pavement and the property boundary of the adjacent private property. The parkway often includes:
Generally, easements establish a portion of private property where someone other than the landowner has legal property rights. Utility easements provide space for utilities such as water, sewer, electricity, and cable. Drainage easements allow water to flow to an area designated for detention.
Access easements allow public access across or to a particular area. No structures are allowed to be built over an easement, including swimming pools. For easement locations on a particular property, call the Planning Department at 325-676-6237.
If there is not enough space in front of the house to build a carport and comply with current setback regulations, the homeowner can request a special exception from the Board of Adjustment. Special exceptions are granted based primarily on compatibility with surrounding land uses. View the Glossary page for more information and to apply.
Please review the Fences, Walls, and Hedges in Residential Areas (PDF) for more information.
Please call 325-676-6237 for more information.
Please review the Home Occupations Brochure (PDF) for more information.
Setbacks vary depending on zoning, street classification, and the surrounding zoning districts. Information on individual properties must be obtained from the Planning Department. Please call 325-676-6237.
If all options have been explored and there are no feasible alternatives within the regulations of the ordinance, a property owner can request a variance from the Board of Adjustment. They must demonstrate that the request has no negative effects on public health, safety, or welfare and that there is some unique characteristic of the property that does not allow compliance with the current regulations. The property owner must also demonstrate a non-financial hardship if they were not granted a variance to the regulations.
Building permits are required for any structures that will have electricity. If there is no electricity, a permit is only required if the building will be over 200 square feet. Building permits are not required for fences 7 feet or less in height or decks lower than 30 inches in height.
Building permits can be obtained from the Development Service Center on the first floor of City Hall. Contact Building Inspections for specific details. Also, see the Fences, Walls, and Hedges in Residential Areas (PDF) for details on fencing requirements.
Please review the Plat Handout (PDF) for more information.
Site plans are required for all new structures except detached single-family dwellings and duplexes. Additions to do not require site plan review if they are attached and less than 50 percent of the value and square footage of the existing structure. Review the Site Plan Application and Checklist (PDF) for more information.
Garage sales are only permitted in residential districts and are subject to the following guidelines:
An Itinerant Business Permit is required:
A permit is not required for garage sales in residential zoning districts, businesses that are operated or owned by the same person or entity that owns the property, or businesses that hold a lease term on the property of at least one year. For more information on Itinerant Businesses visit our Applications page. For more information, call the City of Abilene Planning Division at 325-676-6237.
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:
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.
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.
Permit fees are not required for religious groups, charities, farmers' markets, and educational organizations.
Upon completion of the application, the city licensing officer shall issue a permit to the applicant within five business days, unless grounds for denial exist. For questions call 325-676-6208 or 325-676-6202.
If West Nile virus is detected in the city limits, the Environmental Health's Mosquito Controls initial response will be to intensify its efforts to reduce mosquito breeding sites and increase its levels of larviciding in those areas in which West Nile virus has been found. Reducing the adult mosquito population with pesticides (adulticide) approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be done if necessary to prevent human illness or to suppress a heavy nuisance infestation of mosquitos.
The decision to spray, by truck mounted sprayers, will be based on surveillance information or the documentation of West Nile virus activity at a level that indicates a threat to human health. Spraying will be concentrated in areas most at risk for disease occurrence and will be conducted by certified and licensed applicators. The program's aggressive campaign against mosquito larvae is intended to minimize the need to use adulticide.
When necessary, we will use the ground application of pesticides to kill mosquitos that pose a low health risk to the residents of Abilene and our environment. In the case of an adulticide, only targeting adult mosquitos, we would use botanical insecticides (plant-derived compounds) or synthetic versions of, which include pyrethrins and synthetic pyrethroids, as well as piperonyl butoxide. In an emergency situation, we may use malathion or sumithrin.
All of the products we use are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and applied according to label directions by our trained and certified technicians. Mosquito adulticides are applied as ultra-low volume (ULV) sprays. ULV applications involve small quantities of the active ingredients in relation to the size of the area treated, typically less than 2 ounces per acre, which minimizes exposure and risk to people and the environment.
The spraying will take place in areas of concern, as determined by our mosquito and disease surveillance programs. Our trained and certified technicians use a variety of surveillance techniques and treatment criteria to ensure effective mosquito control with the least amount of risk to our residents and our environment. We will spray within a 1 mile radius of the positive West Nile sample.
There are several factors that go into a determination by Environmental Health to use an adulticide to control mosquitos, they are:
Generally, there is no need to relocate during mosquito control spraying. The pesticides have been evaluated for this use and found to pose minimal risks to human health and the environment when used according to label directions. Although mosquito control pesticides pose low risks, some people may prefer to avoid or further minimize exposure. Some common-sense steps to help reduce possible exposure to pesticides include:
Since the spray dissipates in a few minutes, it is not necessary to wash off outdoor furniture or playground equipment before use.
Stormwater runoff is precipitation from rain or melting snow that "runs off" across the land instead of seeping into the ground. This runoff usually flows into the nearest:
Collectively, the draining water is called stormwater runoff and is not treated in any way.
Water from rain and melting snow either seeps into the ground or "runs off" to lower areas, making its way into streams, lakes and other water bodies. Stormwater runoff becomes a problem when it picks up and carry's debris, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants as it flows or when it causes flooding and erosion of stream banks. Some - like pesticides, fertilizers, oil and soap - are harmful in any quantity. Others - like sediment from construction, bare soil, or agricultural land, or pet waste, grass clippings and leaves - can harm creeks, rivers and lakes in sufficient quantities.
In addition to rain and snowmelt, various human activities like watering, car washing, and malfunctioning septic tank can also put water onto the land surface. Here, it can also create runoff that carries pollutants to creeks, rivers and lakes.
Polluted runoff generally happens anywhere people use or alter the land. For example, in developed areas, none of the water that falls on hard surfaces like roofs, driveways, parking lots or roads can seep into the ground. These impervious surfaces create large amounts of runoff that picks up pollutants. The runoff flows from gutters and storm drains to streams. Runoff not only pollutes' but erodes stream banks. The mix of pollution and eroded dirt muddies the water and causes problems downstream.
Polluted stormwater runoff generally happens anywhere people use or alter the land. People going about their daily lives are the number one source of stormwater pollutants. Most people are unaware of how they impact water quality. Some common examples include:
Developed areas in general, with their increased runoff, concentrated numbers of people and animals, construction and other activities, are a major contributor to Non-point source pollution, as are agricultural activities. Other contributors include forest harvesting activities, roadways, and malfunctioning septic systems.
Polluted stormwater runoff is the number one cause of water pollution in Texas. In most cases in Texas today, stormwater either does not receive any treatment before it enters our waterways or is inadequately treated. Polluted water creates numerous costs to the public and to wildlife. As the saying goes, "we all live downstream." Communities, such as Abilene, that use surface water for their drinking supply must pay much more to clean up polluted water than clean water.
Polluted water hurts the wildlife in creeks, streams, rivers and lakes. Dirt from erosion, also called sediment, covers up fish habitats while fertilizers can cause too much algae to grow, which also hurts wildlife by using up the oxygen they need to survive. Soaps hurt fish gills and fish skin, and other chemicals damage plants and animals when they enter the water.
The quantity of stormwater is also a problem. When stormwater falls on hard surfaces like roads, roofs, driveways and parking lots, it cannot seep into the ground, so it runs off to lower areas. To give you an idea of the difference a hard surface makes, consider the difference between one inch of rain falling onto a meadow and a parking lot. The parking lot sheds 16 times the amount of water that a meadow does!
Because more water runs off hard surfaces, developed areas can experience local flooding. The high volume of water also causes streams banks to erode and washes the wildlife that lives there downstream.
The City of Abilene is preventing stormwater pollution through a stormwater management program. This program addresses stormwater pollution from construction, new development, illegal dumping into storm sewer systems and drainage ways, and pollution prevention and good housekeeping practices in municipal operations. It will also continue to educate the community and get everyone involved in making sure that only thing that stormwater contributes to our water resources is: water.
"Best Management Practices (BMP)" is a term used to describe different ways to keep pollutants out of runoff and to slow down high volumes of runoff. Preventing pollution from entering water is much more affordable than cleaning polluted water! Educating City residents about how to prevent pollution from entering waterways is one best management practice. Laws that require people and businesses involved in earth disturbing activities -like construction and agriculture - to take steps to prevent erosion are another way to prevent stormwater pollution. There are also laws about litter, cleaning up after pets and dumping oil or other substances into storm drains.
Education and laws are just two best management practice examples. Some BMPs are constructed to protect a certain area. Some are designed to slow down stormwater, others help reduce the pollutants already in it - there are also BMPs that do both of these things.
Detention ponds, built to temporarily hold water so it seeps away slowly, fill up quickly after a rainstorm and allow solids like sediment and litter to settle at the pond bottom. Then, they release the water slowly. These ponds are one constructed BMP example. Other examples include:
Streams and creeks feed into rivers, lakes and eventually the ocean. We all drink water, so we are all affected when our water is polluted. When water treatment costs rise, the price of drinking water goes up. If you like to fish, swim or boat, you may have heard or been affected by advisories warning you not to swim, fish or boat in a certain area because of unhealthy water or too much algae. Shellfish like clams, oysters, and shrimp cannot be harvested from polluted waters, so anyone that enjoys these foods or makes a living from the shellfish industry is affected.
Money made from tourism and water recreation can also be impacted, as are businesses and home flooded by stormwater runoff. When we pollute our water, everyone is affected!
The Federal Clean Water Act requires large and medium sized towns (Abilene meets the large criteria) across the United States to take steps to reduce polluted stormwater runoff. The law was applied in two phases. The first phase addressed large cities. The second phase, often referred to as "Phase II," requires medium and small cities, fast growing cities and those located near sensitive waters to take steps to reduce stormwater.
These laws require chosen cities to create a Stormwater Management Plan to meet the requirements in the City's permit.
Polluted stormwater runoff is a leading cause of impairment to the nearly 40% of surveyed U.S. water bodies which do not meet water quality standards. Over land or via storm sewer systems, polluted runoff is discharged, often untreated, directly into local water bodies. When left uncontrolled, this water pollution can result in:
The regulatory definition of an MS4 (40 CFR 122.26(b)(8)) is "a conveyance or system of conveyances (including roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, or storm drains): (i) Owned or operated by a state, city, town, borough, county, parish, district, association, or other public body (created to or pursuant to state law) including special districts under state law such as a sewer district, flood control district or drainage district, or similar entity, or an Indian tribe or an authorized Indian tribal organization, or a designated and approved management agency under section 208 of the Clean Water Act that discharges into waters of the United States. (ii) Designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater; (iii) Which is not a combined sewer; and (iv) Which is not part of a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) as defined at 40 CFR 122.2."
In practical terms, operators of MS4s can include:
The Stormwater Phase II Rule added federal systems, such as military bases and correctional facilities by including them in the definition of small MS4s.
The federal Clean Water Act mandates that cities must comply with stormwater regulations; however, funds are not provided to these subject municipalities for the required stormwater management. Therefore, stormwater fees are one method municipalities can choose to raise funds to oversee these mandated requirements. Cities can levy fees based on a variety of standards, but one of the most common methods is to base them on the amount of impervious surfaces (surfaces like concrete and roofs, where water can't seep into the ground) on a property. In these cases, property owners with more impervious surfaces pay more than those with less impervious surfaces.
When our water is polluted, we all pay in one way or another. Damage from urban flooding can raise merchant prices and insurance rates. Sediment and pollution laden water takes more money to treat before it can be used for drinking water. Tourism and recreation businesses suffer along with residents when swimming, fishing and boating are curtailed. Shellfish become more expensive and harder to harvest when shellfish beds close. And the list goes on.
Because everyone plays a role in creating the pollution in stormwater runoff, we all have a role in cleaning it up.
In August 2003, the Abilene City Council approved the creation of the Stormwater Services Division and passed a stormwater fee to fund the new division. The fee is based on how much runoff surface (Hard Surface Area) exists on a piece of property, not the actual or theoretical stormwater runoff.
Please see the Stormwater Services Fee Rates for more information.
There is no way to measure stormwater from each property; therefore, Hard Surface Area (or impervious cover) is a good "indicator" of the amount your property will generate. Most cities in Texas that have a stormwater fee are using Hard Surface Area as the basis for the fee.
Please see the Stormwater Service Fee Rates for more information
To fund the Stormwater Services Division, this includes:
The weekly sweeping schedule for the City is available:
There are a number of factors that affect the sweeper not being able to remove debris from your street. Most often it’s because large items are blocking the roadway, these items include:
Keeping the roadway in front of your house free of large objects and obstructions is the best way to assist street sweeping crews’ clean-up efforts. You can do this by:
Often times, vehicles are parked too close to each other for the sweeper to maneuver between them (one parked car equals nearly three car lengths of space that can’t be swept because the street sweeping equipment must maneuver around it, which can result in debris build up.
Contact the Abilene Police Department's non-emergency number at 325-673-8331. Please provide the location of the sign, the type of sign (stop, yield, speed limit, etc.), and the type of damage.
To report problems or concerns, contact the Traffic Sign Shop at 325-676-6065.
Contact the Abilene Police Department's non-emergency number at 325-673-8331. Please provide the intersection name, the direction of travel and the nature of the malfunction.
The City of Abilene does not maintain street lights except at signalized intersections. Either Taylor Electric or AEP maintain street lights within the City of Abilene.
For a detailed description of which agencies support specific lights, see Street Lighting.
If a tree or tree limbs are causing an obstruction for vehicles please contact Traffic and Transportation at 325-676-6065 or submit an Overgrown Trees or Vegetation report.
The City has an official Road Hump Program that sets forth the road hump request process:
For more information, read about the Road Hump Program (PDF) or contact the Traffic Engineering Division at 325-676-6281.
A Construction Parking Permit can be used to allow certain vehicles associated with a job site to park on the street without regard to a posted parking time limit. For additional information, contact the Traffic and Transportation division at 325-676-6281.
The City’s Trap Program will concentrate on high-risk rabies carriers (Foxes, raccoons, coyotes, and skunks) and some nuisance animals in targeted areas. Citizens will come to the shelter to pick up traps and sign a trap agreement.
Animal Service field officers will pick up trapped high risk animals and citizens will bring in their nuisance animals. Citizens can drop off trapped animals for impound between 10:30 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday excluding observed holidays at:925 S 25thAbilene, TX 79602
No. Citizens can choose to purchase or borrow their own trap to collect nuisance animals and then bring them to Animal Services or they may contact a service provider to have nuisance animals removed. (Animal Services does not maintain a list of such service providers).
Yes, Animal Services does expect there to be a waiting list for traps as we have a high number of high risk rabies carrying mammals inside our city limits.
Yes, any High Risk rabies carrier (Foxes, Skunks, Raccoons, and Coyotes) will be serviced as normal Monday through Friday between 9 am and 4:30 pm Traps set on weekends to capture animals will result in a citation being issued and the animal being released on property. No Saturday drop offs are allowed for trapped animals.
Nuisance animals such as feral cats, squirrels, opossums, or other small rodents and mammals will require the citizen to bring that animal to Animal Services between 10:30 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday excluding observed holidays. No Saturday drop offs. Animal Services is located at:925 S 25th StreetAbilene, TX 79602
A humane trap is a cage with a door on one end which can be lifted up and set in place with a small hook. The door is connected to a flat metal trip plate on the bottom of the trap. The trap is baited by placing food at the back of the trap, past the trip plate.
When an animal enters the trap, the weight of its paw on the trip plate triggers the door to shut behind it. The trip plate is far enough away from the door so that the animal is not harmed.
Yes, feral cats on a targeted area basis; however domesticated cats will not be trapped by the City of Abilene. There is no ordinance requiring a person to restrain their cat only to have the animal licensed and currently vaccinated with a rabies vaccine.
Yes, an Animal Services field officer will place a trap in an area where feral dogs have been roaming and attempt to live trap the animal.
A protective order is a civil court order that is designed to stop violent and harassing behavior and to protect you and your family members from an abuser. Abusers who violate certain parts of a protective order can be arrested.
The purpose of a protective order is to prevent future assaults by your partner. The protective order will usually make it illegal for him to be near you, your children, your home, your workplace, and your children's school. Then you can call the police for help when he is where he is not supposed to be and the police can intervene before he assaults you or your children again.
A protective order may order your abuser to:
You can apply for a protective order if your abuser is one of the following:
A person who has a divorce pending is eligible for a protective order. The protective order must be filed in the court in which the divorce is pending. You may also be able to get a protective order against someone who has sexually assaulted you even if they are not a family or household member (like a co-worker or neighbor).
Nothing, a protective order is free. You cannot be charged a fee for filing, serving, or entering a protective order. The court may order that your abuser pay any attorney fees (if applicable), and all other fees, charges, or expenses incurred in connection with the protective order.
In Texas there are three types of Orders of Protection:
A Magistrate's Order of Emergency Protection (what most people call an Emergency Protective Order). These are called different things in different parts of the state. They are good for 31 to 61 days. If your partner has been arrested for a family violence assault, you must ask for this before he is released from jail.
A Temporary Ex Parte Order is a court order designed to provide you and your family members with immediate protection from your abuser. In order to get a Permanent Protective Order, you need to have a full-court hearing with your abuser present. A Temporary Ex Parte Order will protect you from the time you file for the Permanent Protective Order until your full court hearing.
You may receive a Temporary Ex Parte Order without your abuser present. The court can issue a Temporary Ex Parte Order if it decides that the information given in your application for a protective order presents a clear and present danger of family violence to either you or a family member. A Temporary Ex Parte Order lasts for the period of time specified in the order, usually until the date of your full court hearing. In most places the court will schedule a date for a formal hearing no later than the 14th day after the date the application is filed
A Permanent (Or Final) Protective Order is a court order that is designed to stop violent and harassing behavior and to protect you and your family from the abuser. A Permanent Protective Order is effective for the time period specified in the order up to a maximum of 2 years. If there is no time period specified in the order, then it expires on the second anniversary of the date the order was issued.
If the respondent is still incarcerated on the date that the protective order is set to expire, then the expiration date is extended for one year from his date of release. For more information regarding Protective Orders, call the District Attorney's Office at 325-674-1296, or call the Noah Project at 325-676-7107.
Reading times are based on geographic location. To request information on when your meter will be read, please contact customer service at 325-676-6405. A representative will be able to tell you the date when it is normally read.
Sometimes it becomes necessary to estimate consumption, for reasons such as non-access to the meter. Customers who feel their bill has been estimated may call and request a reread. It can take up to four business days to reread meters. Once the access to the meter is cleared, we will obtain a reading and send a corrected bill if appropriate.
Please call the Water Utility Office at 325-676-6405 to obtain information regarding:
Please visit our Water Meter Replacement Project page for up-to-date information.
Typically the cause is water staying in the water heater too long. This causes the water to turn stagnant. Single-handle type water faucets are typically being used in these situations and are not being fully turned to the cold position. This can occur when a water heater is too large for the amount of hot water typically used. It can also occur when the dip tube (cold water inlet) in the water heater deteriorates.
Flushing out the water heater will provide an immediate temporary solution. Long-term solutions for low usage are to decrease the size of the water heater, or to use more hot water. If the dip tube has deteriorated, it must be replaced.
Hardness refers to the calcium and magnesium carbonate content. Water hardness in the City of Abilene varies depending on the water source being used. Currently the hardness averages about 240 milligrams per liter calcium carbonate. This equates to about 14 grains per gallon.
In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission set forth regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in drinking water. Our water is below all state and federal primary drinking water maximum contaminant levels (MCL). In addition to being less than federal or state MCLs, the majority of listed contaminants are not detected at all.
Regulations require routine monitoring for approximately 75 chemical or radiological substances. Our water is routinely tested for over 170 substances. In addition, regulations require routine monitoring for bacteria in the distribution system.
Frequency of testing is set forth in the drinking water regulations. Bacterial testing is performed on a daily basis. Chemical testing is performed on a quarterly to annual basis. Radiological testing is performed every four years.
Bacteria testing is performed by the City of Abilene Health Department Laboratory. The Texas Department of Health Laboratory performs all required chemical and radiological tests.
Yes. The City of Abilene Environmental Laboratory performs biweekly analyses of samples taken from the water treatment plants and the distribution system. Approximately 40 substances or parameters are measured to assure the quality of the drinking water in the system. Area lakes are sampled monthly with approximately 20 substances measured. The water treatment plants also do continuous testing of the water as it is being treated.
The citizens of the City of Abilene approved by referendum to add fluoride to its drinking water supply. Fluoride is a water additive that promotes strong teeth, especially in growing children. The American Dental Association recommends a concentration of 0.7 parts per million (PPM). The City of Abilene's public water supply maintains a fluoride level of about 0.7 PPM.
The City of Abilene uses chlorine dioxide, free chlorine, and chloramines to disinfect our drinking water. The City of Abilene public water supply utilizes water treatment processes including disinfection to meet or exceed all applicable federal and state regulations for public health and safety.
The City of Abilene Water Department sponsors a variety of free educational programs. Educators are encouraged to take advantage of these quality programs. For program information, call 325-676-6041 and ask for the Laboratory Manager.
The Water Department also offers tours of its water treatment plants and the wastewater treatment plant. Please call Water Administration at 325-676-6419 for more information and scheduling.
AMI stands for "Advanced Metering Infrastructure." It is a method of using communication technology to read meters remotely without having to access each and every meter located inside meter boxes in the ground.
Advanced meter systems are quickly becoming the standard for utilities around the country. These new devices allow for more accurate and faster collection of water usage readings than the current manual method and improve safety conditions for City staff. Introducing automatic meter reading as the standard for Abilene is one of the ways we can better serve our customers and improve the overall efficiency of the utility department.
No. The radio transmission operates in compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations to avoid interference with other electronic devices.
Yes. Data transmitted from the meter through the system is encrypted through the entire process.
Verification of the transfer will begin with photographic documentation and data recording. Before the existing meter is removed, the technician will take a photograph of the old meter dial and record the actual accumulated consumption numbers, as well as the serial number and property address. The new meter will then be installed.
The bar codes on the new meter and transmitter will be scanned linking that meter with the property address and customer account. Duplicate bar code stickers will be included with the other old meter data in each property file. Once the new meter is activated, usage will begin recording automatically.
Your new meter does not require any maintenance by the homeowner. As before, the City will take care of all maintenance. Please note that your new meter has transmitting technology which automatically sends usage information to our offices. Damage to the transmitting equipment will send an alert to the Water Utilities department prompting an inspection. Please take precaution when caring for your lawn near the lid mounted transmitter.
Chapter 32 Utilities Section 32-6, Section 32-7, and Section 32-13 outline the City ordinance regarding utility property. Residents should not technically access the City's meter box, and if there is an issue or if you need access, please contact 325-676-6000. Tampering with the new meters can cause interruption of service or fees for damage.
The new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system will provide customers the ability to see and manage their water consumption data in real time. Billing representatives at the Customer Service Center will also have access to real time usage data allowing them to answer questions and resolve billing issues quicker and more comprehensively.
Other benefits include customizable leak alerts, an interactive dashboard, and cost saving advice.
At this point in time, the City and Pedal Valves crews are working solely on the installation of the meters and data collection system. Once we've tested to insure hardware and software is working properly, we'll make the data system and all its resources available to the public. We do not currently have an estimate for when this will launch, but information will be provided when we do.
In the meantime, the newly installed water meters will work with our current system, and residents can expect water billing to continue as usual.
You can find more information on our Water Meter Replacement Project page, as well as a "What to Expect" video. We will continually update our website and social media outlets as we progress into new districts and neighborhoods. Check this page to find out what area we are currently servicing.
We are happy to answer any additional questions or concerns you may have. You can call our Water Meter Project Customer Care Line at 325-676-6311 or email Water Meter Project staff.
The costs for new or transferred connection are as follows:
The charges will appear on your first bill.
Please allow at least 1 business day for service to begin. Customers submitting applications online or via email will receive an email confirming when service will begin.
To report water leaks or sewer stops, call 676-6000, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A real person will answer your call, and friendly field staff will come to help.
You can pay your utility bill in a variety of ways. Click here to see all the ways you can pay your bill or visit our "Pay Your Bill" page for more information.
For current rates and fees, visit our Billing Structures page.
Visit our Customer Service Center page for more information.
The City of Abilene offers same-day service for requests received by 1 pm at no extra charge. The primary name on the water account must come by the Water Office located at:4595 S 1st StreetAbilene, TX 79605
They must bring their drivers license and social security number information with them. Payment must be current at the present address before a transfer can be completed.
A $17.50 fee will be added to the first bill at your new address.
Please call the Water Office customer service center at 325-676-6405 to obtain information regarding your account balance, the due date for your payment, or any other billing inquiries.
WIC, the Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children, is an important resource in improving the health and nutrition of women, infants, and children during pregnancy and early childhood. Some of the services WIC offers include:
Pregnant women are encouraged to apply as soon as they find out they are pregnant. Dads, grandparents and foster parents raising children are also encouraged to apply on behalf of their children. Families that qualify for Medicaid, SNAP (Food Stamps) or TANF automatically qualify for WIC services and must show proof of enrollment in at least one of these programs. All other families must meet the income guidelines.
WIC works with local stores to provide these items.
Yes, WIC works. Children lead healthier lives because WIC provides supplemental foods and emphasizes nutrition education during pregnancy, lactation, and early childhood. National studies show that WIC has a positive impact on reducing low birth weight, saving on Medicaid costs and encouraging pregnant women to seek early prenatal care. Studies also show WIC participants consume larger amounts of important nutrients such as iron, protein, calcium, and vitamin C. Children participating in WIC are better immunized and more likely to have a regular source of medical care.
Start the application process at Texas WIC. From there, you can give us a call at 325-692-1680 to make an appointment at our local office. You will be asked to bring the following items to your appointment: