Pollution Solutions

Below you can learn about ways to reduce or eliminate stormwater pollution sources around your home.

Managing Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)

Recycle or properly dispose of household products that contain chemicals, such as insecticides, pesticides, paint, and solvents, and automotive fluids like used motor oil and antifreeze. Never pour HHW products on the ground, down the drain, or into a storm drain. The City of Lubbock has four Citizen Convenience Stations that accept used oil, oil filters, and antifreeze. You can also schedule an appointment to drop off other HHW. See the Solid Waste Management website or call 775-3000 for more information.


Container for used oil recycling at citizen convenience station

Lawn Care

Pesticides, fertilizers, grass clippings, and other yard waste are all sources of stormwater pollution. It's important to remember that when you're working on your lawn that your actions can directly affect water quality. Here's some tips for keeping your yard looking good without polluting our playa lakes:
 
  • Mowing
    • Sweep it up - Sweep grass off of paved areas and back onto the lawn. Blowing grass clippings and other yard debris into the street is a violation of City Ordinance.
    • Let it lie - Leave grass clippings on your lawn or compost them. Grass clippings are a natural source of fertilizer.
  • Watering
    • Don't over water - Excessive runoff can carry pesticides and fertilizer off your lawn, and wastes water.
  • Fertilizer & Pesticide Application
    • Use sparingly - Use fertilizer and pesticides only when necessary or not at all. Only apply the recommended amounts. 
    • Watch the forecast - Don't apply fertilizer or pesticides before a heavy storm event because the product will just wash away.

Auto Care

Washing your car at home and changing your own oil is a great way to save money, just be sure to follow these tips so that pollutants found in and on your car don't end up down the storm drain. 

  • The best way to reduce pollution from car washing is to wash your car at a commercial car wash facility. They are required to recycle or collect and properly dispose of wash water.
  • If you do wash your car at home, do it on the lawn. That allows the water to soak into the ground, filtering out many of the pollutants.
  • Never pour oil or antifreeze onto the ground! Recycle your used motor oil, oil filters, and antifreeze at one of the City's four Citizen Convenience Stations.
  • If you spill any fluids on the ground, clean them up using dry methods. Soak fluids up with cat litter or other absorbent material.
  • Care for you car. Keep your car tuned up and running efficiently and check often for leaks.

     



Oil spill cleanup


Logo for Scoop the Poop - dog with speech bubble

Pet Waste - Scoop the Poop      

Stormwater runoff washes pet waste left on the ground into our storm drainage system and into our playa lakes. Bacterial pollution in water can be a serious issue, and it's estimated that 20-30% of feces in water comes from dogs. With more than 50,000 dogs in Lubbock that together produce 10 MILLION pounds of dog poop per year, cleaning up after your pet becomes very important.

  • Carry disposable bags with you while you walk your pet. Throw the bagged poop in the trash.
  • You should always clean up after your pet, even in your own yard. You can flush waste down the toilet or bag it and throw it away with your regular trash.
  • As a responsible pet owner, you should encourage others to pick up after their pets.

Many of our City parks have pet waste stations with free pick-up materials for you to use. The Stormwater Management Department has pet waste bag dispensers that can be clipped onto your pet's leash. If you're interested in receiving a free bag dispenser call 775-3162. 

Residential "Green" Landscaping

Changing the way you landscape your home can have a positive effect on stormwater management. By installing rainwater harvesting infrastructure and planting water wise plants or rain gardens, you can have an impact on the quality and quantity of stormwater runoff that leaves your lawn.

Rain Barrels & Cisterns

You can capture rainwater from your rooftop in a rain barrel or cistern. These storage containers are installed underneath a downspout and the water can be used to water your lawn or plants. Even if you don't have a gutter system on your home, rain barrels can be strategically placed to function effectively. Rain barrels can be purchased at most home improvement stores, or if you're handy you can make one yourself. See the Rainwater Harvesting with Rain Barrels guide, a publication of "Take Care of Texas" for instructions.

 Xeriscaping
Xeriscaping at the National Ranching Heritage MuseumXeriscaping is landscaping and gardening that reduces  or eliminates the need for supplemental irrigation watering. 
If you're concerned about the scarcity of our water resources, consider planting a xeric garden. West Texas’ xeric plants can make for an earth-friendly yard while still giving your home curb appeal. For more information about what water wise plants are appropriate for Lubbock, visit the City of Lubbock Water Department. For additional information about planning and planting xeric landscaping, visit Xeriscaping: How to Make a Drought-Tolerant Landscape.





Permeable Surfaces
 
Traditional concrete and asphalt don't allow water to soak into the ground, resulting in stormwater runoff. Permeable pavement contains void spaces that allow stormwater to soak through, which can improve water quality by infiltrating or slowing runoff and filtering pollutants. You can use permeable surfaces for walkways, patios, and driveways. Permeable options include interlocking pavers, open spaced grids, or poured-in-place permeable asphalt and concrete. 

Rain Gardens
Rain gardens are specially designed areas planted with native plants designed to absorb and filter runoff from impervious surfaces like roofs and driveways. Rainfall from impervious areas can be diverted into rain gardens, rather than into the street. Even in a semi-arid climate like ours, rain gardens can be successful if you choose the right plants. Native, drought tolerant plants will be the best choice, but avoid plants that need exceptionally well-drained soil. Fill in areas around your plants with much or stones to retain moisture and discourage weeds. The Texas AgriLife Extension Service has published this guide to help you design and install your rain garden.
 How a Rain Garden Works