Pollution Prevention Tips


You can help prevent storm water water pollution in your own backyard by following these easy tips. To report any illegal dumping into our storm drainage or waterways, contact the City at 830-598-8741.

Don’t Wash Your Car in the Driveway

Washing your car at home not only uses more gallons of water than a commercial car wash, but it also introduces soap, oil and engine grime to the environment. The dirty water and soap wash off your car, flow down your driveway, down the street, into a curb inlet and end up in a nearby creek. Detergents in our creeks and ponds pose a very real threat to our fish.

Try using a commercial car wash instead. However, if you must wash your car at home, these tips will help minimize pollution:

  • Try using just water and a rag
  • Use a spray release nozzle for your hose to reduce water use and runoff into the street
  • Use only minimal amounts of soap
car wash

Use Household Chemicals Wisely

Pesticides and fertilizers pollute our neighborhood creeks, rivers and lakes when they are applied incorrectly, disposed of improperly or run off into curbs and storm drains during heavy rains or over-watering. To protect our water:

  • Consider less toxic alternatives to pesticides, cleaners and other items
  • Correctly dispose of leftover garden chemicals by taking them to the Annual Household Hazardous Waste collection events in Burnet and Llano Counties.
  • Don’t use garden chemicals when rain is expected
  • Follow directions carefully; using more than recommended won’t work any faster
  • Never pour garden chemicals down a storm drain, manhole, toilet or household drain or let them run off your lawn into the street
  • Use pesticides and herbicides that relate only to the bug or problem you’re trying to correct

Practice Dry Cleanup

Instead of hosing down your driveway or sidewalk, use a broom to sweep up waste. For oil spills use a product such as cat litter to absorb the oil, then sweep up the litter and place it in your trash.

Don’t Dump It

Never pour paint, used oil or other chemicals into the street or down a storm drain. If you have usable leftover items, share them with family or neighbors. Used oil, old paint and other household chemicals may not be placed in your trash for collection.  Correctly dispose of these chemicals at the Annual Household Hazardous Waste collection events in Burnet and Llano Counties.

Clean Up After Your Pets

Pet waste left on the ground will wash into creeks and lakes the next time it rains, contributing harmful bacteria, parasites and viruses to our waterways. It’s important to clean up after your pets whenever they make the waste in your backyard or while out on a walk. Flush it down the toilet or wrap it in a plastic bag to be disposed of with the normal trash.

Every Little Bit Hurts

Litter is a significant source of storm water pollution. Litter and debris cause storm drain blockages that lead to flooding, impair water quality as well as the aesthetic and recreational value of waters, and may also be a hazard to wildlife. Litter washes down the street during a rain shower, goes into the storm drain system and ends up in our neighborhood creeks, rivers and lakes. And it stays there a long time.  

Recycling Statistics

  • Cigarette butts can take 25 years to break down because of the plastic filters.
  • Plastic 6-pack rings can take 450 years to break down.
  • A glass bottle will take 1,000 years to break down.

Keep a litter bag in your car and make sure that cargo in the bed of your pickup is secured. Never sweep or blow leaves or lawn clippings into a storm drain inlet. Sweep them up and bring them to the City of Horseshoe Bay Recycling Center located FM 2831 (Blue Lake Road) or bag them and dispose of with normal trash.

A pile of used cigarettes that have been put out in an ash tray with black dirt