Scoop the Poop: An Act of Love for our Waters ♥
It is spring for sure, we are full-on into the season, and with the warm days and raging streams come the rivers of pup poop as well. Yuck.
What’s a responsible dog owner to do? Why, scoop, of course! Scoop the waste into a bag and put it in the trash can; you could also flush pet waste down the toilet, but we at the wastewater treatment plant are cautious about that route- don’t do it if the waste includes potential clog-causers like sticks, dirt or litter.
Lake Superior Streams has a great page dedicated poop scooping and its importance in our region. To summarize, the high population of pooping pets in the urban environment, combined with the increased run-off of rain and melt water due to impervious surfaces (parking lots, roads, compacted soils around buildings, etc.) results in what we might call a perfect poop-storm.
Our urban streams function as storm drains, directing that run-off to Lake Superior. Our topography sends lots of water down the hills FAST, and the good bacteria in the water that naturally serve to break down wastes don’t have the time or conditions to completely break down the sheer volume of pet waste and other pollutants that may enter the streams during this time of year.
Naturally, this impacts the water quality of the streams as bacteria and pollutants are present in greater numbers, and so increases the risk of contracting a waterborne illness if you come in contact with (and don’t wash up after splashing in) contaminated waters. And there’s the rub: in springtime, it’s pretty hard to know exactly what has washed into your street’s best puddle.
“Guys, we can do this.” Image credit: OregonLive.com
So do your part, pick up your pet waste. It smells better and looks better, and the little biker gang pedaling through the alley’s puddles- spraying water up their backs and all over each other- will be sweeter and safer for it.