Your pets may be cute, but their waste isn’t. While it isn’t the most glorious task to pick up your pet’s leavings, it is an important and necessary part of being a responsible pet owner.
What’s so bad about pet waste?
Dog poop and other pet waste carries bacteria, parasites and viruses that can make people and wildlife sick. When it rains, animal waste that is left on lawns and in parks disintegrates and melts into runoff water that flows into nearby storm drains and waterways. When pollutants like pet waste enter into stormwater systems, it enters as raw, untreated sewage and creates a serious health risk.
Rivers, lakes, and streams that are used for fishing, boating and swimming can become contaminated by pet waste and closed for recreation. Shellfish beds that become contaminated with fecal coliform (from animal waste) can make people sick. Diseases and parasites in pet waste can also be transmitted to fish and wildlife that live in or drink polluted water.
How you can help
The best thing you can do to prevent your pet’s waste from contaminating stormwater is to pick up their poop, bag it, and put it in the trash. This is the easiest and most effective way to deal with pet waste because landfills are designed to handle that kind of waste. Other methods of dealing with pet waste such as composting, using a pet waste “digester,” or burying it still allow for pathogens and parasites in the waste to seep into waterways. Throwing your pet’s waste in the trash is simply the safest and easiest way to deal with it.
If you would like more information on this subject, follow the links or review the informational brochure and material we have available below: