The Root-Pike Watershed faces a long list of challenges. Chief among them is what stormwater run-off carries into our lakes, rivers, and streams. Soil, lawn chemicals, lawn debris and petrochemicals all result in highly polluted water. There is another factor threatening water quality that many people don’t associate with contaminated waterways – dog poop.
According to the American Pet Products Association 2017, there were an estimated 89.7 million dogs in the United States. That’s a lot of poop! When left to its own devices, it spells trouble for our watershed. As fecal matter is conveyed to our waterways via the stormwater sewer system, it can result in several undesirable conditions:
· Increased nutrient load
· Increased algae growth
· Decreased oxygen levels as fecal matter decays
· Fish die-off due to low oxygen levels
· Fecal coliform bacterial contamination
Luckily, all dog owners can prevent this kind of contamination just by cleaning up after their dogs. It is especially important if you live near a body of water. There are several ways to approach dog waste disposal. It can be flushed down the toilet, put in the trash or buried at least 5 inches deep.
You can enjoy your dog and protect our watershed!
Submitted by Nan Calvert, Program Manager, Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network
For more information contact Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network at 262-883-4018. Visit our web site at www.rootpikewin.org Find us on Face Book at Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network