Pet Waste

Preventing Pet Waste Pollution

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Pet waste left on the street or lawn does not just go away or fertilize the grass. The bacteria and nutrients in dog waste are often washed by rainwater or snowmelt down storm drains and into ditches, streams, ponds, and lakes and can travel for miles in the water.

Kitty litter dumped outside can also be washed into our streams. The bacteria from pet waste can make it unsafe to swim in our waters. Pet waste also contains nutrients that promote weed and algae growth (eutrophication). Cloudy and green, eutrophic water makes swimming and recreation unappealing or even unhealthy.

It's been estimated that there are more than 110,000 dogs that live in Monroe County. Just think about the amount of pollutants that could be washed into our waterways from that much dog waste! In most communities, it is the law that dog waste must be picked up from sidewalks, roads, or the private property of another person.

Dog Owner Tips

  • Keep a supply of bags near your dog leash; tie bags on the leash if you don't have a pocket or pack

  • Reuse old bags

  • Purchase special bags where pet supplies are sold

  • Long-handled "pooper scoopers" available at pet stores make it easy to pick up after your dog without stooping over

  • Discard the bag in your outdoor trash can

  • Never put pet waste into a storm sewer– it will go directly into a stream

  • Need help? You can contract with a service to pick up the pet waste in your yard. Check in the Yellow Pages or use a search engine to find a service

Cat Owner Tips

  • Bag used kitty litter, tie securely, and place in garbage