Pet Care and Waste

Did you know that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million bacteria, viruses, and/or parasites? Pet waste that is left on the ground decomposes and is either transported by water into the street and storm drain and can end up in our waterways, where it poses a variety of health risks to wildlife and humans:

  • According to the EPA, swimming in water bodies contaminated with fecal bacteria can cause a variety of illnesses including vomiting, diarrhea, and headache. Children are especially at risk. 
  • Pet fecal bacteria is also harmful to plants and animals living in our waterways.
  • Pet waste introduces excess nutrients into waterways that encourage excess algae growth that blocks out sunlight from the ecosystem and makes water unattractive for recreation. 

That’s why it’s so important to properly take care of your pet and their waste! Follow these pet care tips that can help protect our creeks and rivers:

  • Bag it! Always carry poop bags to pick up your pet’s waste when you go on walks. Promptly pick up after your pet and throw their waste in the trash.
  • Flush It: Alternatively, you can also flush your pet’s waste down the toilet where it will be treated in the sewer system.
  • Do not compost: It’s a common misconception that dog waste is fertilizer or can be composted. However, this is incorrect because dog and cat waste carry parasites that can cause diseases. It should not be incorporated into compost piles or left on the ground as “fertilizer”.

Bath time: When you bathe your dog, avoid letting the soapy wash water flow into the storm drain system. You can do this by giving your dog a bath in a bathtub or having it professionally groomed. If necessary to wash your dog outside, do so on an impermeable surface like grass that will absorb the water and filter out chemicals from the soap.