Why is pet waste a problem for water quality?
Pet waste is very easily washed into local waterways during a rain event. As it breaks down in the water, the nutrients and bacteria are released into the water. This includes bacteria and nutrients like E.coli, nitrogen, phosphorus, and even parasitic worms. If you've ever had a pet come down with worms or a bacterial infection, you know it is NOT an easy thing to deal with it and will cost you money. Picking up pet waste keeps these our of waterways.
US EPA reported that 95% of harmful fecal bacteria in the water came from non-human sources - the majority coming from dogs. Dog waste is much more concentrated in terms of bacteria and has an average of 100x more harmful bacteria than wild animal waste. That's a LOT. In Franklin County alone, there are approximately 277,000 dogs. Each dog creates three quarters of a pound of waste every day. That's about 207,750 pounds of dog waste every single day JUST in Franklin County.
The best way to dispose of pet waste is to bag it up and throw in the trash. Make sure to clean up your lawn before a rain event; it will be easier to clean up and won't wash into storm drains and local waterways. Don't compost it. Don't use it as a lawn fertilizer; it is way too acidic to be a fertilizer and can kill your lawn! When in doubt, bag it and throw in the trash.
Take our PUP pledge to keep pet waste out of our waterways, and you can receive a free dog bag dispenser that attaches to your leash!