Every time it rains, thousands of pounds of pet waste left outside wash down storm drains and into local waters. Pet waste can harm water quality in lakes, rivers and streams, making the water unsafe for drinking. Bacteria and nutrients from pet waste can turn fertile waters green from weed and algae growth, making the water to unattractive and unsafe for swimming, boating and fishing.
Viewer Tip: According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are about 78 million owned dogs in the United States and 24 percent of dog-owners own two dogs. If you are a dog owner, always pick up after your pet to protect our water quality. There are easy and safe ways to dispose of waste:
- Flush pet waste down the toilet (flush only the waste…not the bag!). Toilet water undergoes treatment that removes most of the pollutants before reaching a lake or a stream.
- Bury pet waste in the yard. Dig a hole or a trench about five-inches deep. Keep pet waste away from vegetable gardens, drinking water sources and wells.
- Put pet waste in the trash (if allowed locally). Make sure it is wrapped carefully so it does not spill during trash collection.
- When taking your dog for a walk, try to stay away from streams and other waterways. Walk your pet in grassy areas instead.
Broadcast-quality (1920×1080 jpg file)
Web-quality (640×360 jpg file)
(Source: U.S. EPA, “Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution”, http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/standards/criteria/nutrients/index.cfm)