What does dog poop have to do with water quality?
Not only is PUP is the law, dog poop contains a lot of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus as well as bacteria and other organisms like E.coli or parasitic worms. If it's not picked up, a rain event will wash all those nutrients, bacteria, and others into our storm sewers which lead directly to local creeks and waterways.
As dog poop breaks up, those nutrients dissolve, creating a prime environment for algal growth. Then, the algae uses up the dissolved oxygen in the water, which can be detrimental to aquatic life. Moreover, bacteria and worms can be passed through the water to other animals or humans.
Furthermore, in 1993, the US EPA reported that 95% of harmful fecal bacteria in the water came from non-human sources, the majority of which was from dogs. Dog poop has on average 100 times more harmful bacteria than wild animal poop. In Franklin County alone, there are approximately 277,000 dogs. Each dog creates an average of 0.75 pounds of waste each day. That's a lot of poop! Yuck, right? Well, here's some tips and tricks for practicing PUP during the dog days of summer.