Street Sweeping Program
The City of Abilene is committed to keeping our community a beautiful place to live, work and play. As part of that commitment the Stormwater Services Division has an enhanced street sweeping program to serve our community.
The City of Abilene’s Stormwater Division provides a high level of service by:
- Providing high levels of drainage improvement
- Keeping roads clean
- Ensuring that operations have a minimum impact on the environment
By sweeping we:
- Improve the area’s aesthetics
- Eliminate trash and natural debris
- Reduce pollutants from entering waterways
- Prevent clogging of drainage inlets
The Stormwater Services Division is committed to enhance the street curb & gutter system with an improved and robust sweeping cycle. Regularly sweeping street curbs & gutters helps protect the water quality of local streams, creeks and lakes.
The weekly sweeping schedule for the City is available:
- By signing up for Stormwater weekly project notifications with NotifyMe
- By visiting the Stormwater Weekly Projects News Flash category
- By watching Abilene Television Network (Suddenlink Channel 2)
- Downtown/Central Business Districts comprising 23.5 miles are swept 1-2 times a week.
- Main streets, arterials and around schools encompasses 91.4 miles swept 3-4 times a year.
- Residential streets with curb and gutter are swept in a grid pattern on the north and south sides 2-3 times a year.
- Emergency spills take the highest priority and will be taken care of as needed.
- City owned/operated parking lots are swept once a year.
** Weather conditions and equipment availability has a major impact on the sweeping plan.
Curbs & Gutters
Curbs and gutters act as a drainage system for stormwater runoff and directing water away from the roadway. Runoff is the major contributor to erosion and damage to our street system. Curbs and gutters hold the pavement in place and collect runoff from the paved streets. Curbs and gutters are designed specifically to quickly convey water runoff away from the street to the storm drains. Keeping these clear of debris and vegetation helps maintain the health and longevity of your street. Water is the single most damaging element to street pavement.
- The City cleans only streets with curbs because the accumulation of debris at the curb is caused by the design of the street and vehicular movement. Streets are designed with a crown in the middle sloping toward the sides. Water and debris move toward the curb and gutter areas. Vehicle movement scatters debris to the edges of traffic lanes.
- Streets with no curbs are affected by the same factors as curbed streets, but with no curb the debris is dispersed onto areas adjacent to the paved surfaces. Uncurbed streets are, in effect, self-cleaning. Additionally, street sweeping with no curb and gutter can actually create more problems as the brushes pull the dirt and debris from the side of the street onto the asphalt.
As part of the street sweeping program a licensed and trained operator will apply herbicide to control weed growth in the curb & gutter system. A herbicide spray system has been installed on the street sweepers. Seconds after the sweeper has cleaned the gutter it is followed up with a metered spray of herbicide if it senses plants are growing in and around cracks or joints in curbs and gutters. We are combining two operations into one with no net increase in expense because the sweeper is already out cleaning. The herbicide treatment will focus on appearance, functionality and public safety. This new system allows for the minimum metered dose of herbicide necessary to do the job which will significantly reduce the environmental impact of chemical application. More details on the herbicide treatment can be found in the City’s street sweeping plan.
The sweeping program comprises of six (6) full-time employees and six (6) street sweepers. In 2018, our sweeping equipment and operators swept over 2,250 curb miles (or miles along the roadside) and removed 8,400 cubic yards of debris from the roadway. In 2019, our sweeping equipment and operators swept over 2,200 curb miles (or miles along the roadside). As a result of sweeping this many miles, the sweepers removed approximately 7,000 cubic yards of debris from the roadway. That is enough debris to fill 5 Olympic size swimming pools.