Pet Waste

Pet waste is one of the many contributors of stormwater pollution that can degrade water quality. During rainfall, pet waste left on lawns, beaches, trails, and sidewalks washes into storm drains or into water bodies.  The waste and the pathogens it contains (nutrients, bacteria, parasites, and viruses) end up flowing directly into streams, lakes and the Chesapeake Bay where they can harm human health and the environment. It has been estimated that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans.

So picking up after your pet is a simple thing you can do to help keep bacteria out of your local waterways (not to mention keeping your neighborhood and backyard clean)!

Remember to Pick Up Pet Waste

Pet waste station, Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center. Image courtesy: Chesapeake Bay Program.

Picking up after your pet is easy! When walking your pet, just make sure to bring a bag, clean up the waste, and then dispose of it in a trash receptacle.  Some parks provide pet waste stations which contain bags and a place to dispose of the bagged waste.  At your own home, make sure to clean up after your pet.  You can set a schedule – such as once a day or once every other day. Just make sure you definitely clean up before a big rain!

There are also services available, such as Doody Calls, for removing pet waste at your home or in your community.