Waller Creek Rapid Visual Litter Assessment Method and Baseline Results

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Jackson, Todd

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City of Austin


The Watershed Protection Department has developed a method to assess litter in creeks and provide a way to evaluate the success of litter management efforts in the lower Waller Creek watershed over time. A rapid visual litter assessment method was applied at ten sites on Waller Creek in downtown Austin, Texas, to describe the abundance and type of litter present at each site in addition to identification of possible sources of litter. Surveys were timed to provide an estimate of staff time necessary to conduct future litter surveys using this method. On average, to complete the survey at one site took between 6.7 and 7.5 minutes. Surveys concluded that there was a significant presence of litter in lower Waller Creek. Beverage containers were identified to be the most prevalent type of litter. Surveys identified a few point sources of litter. Additional data points at each site may be needed to more accurately describe baseline conditions in Waller Creek.


This short report surveyed 10 different Waller Creek sites using a litter index field sheet that they designed. These scores were then assigned to each survey site.

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