Unsafe Drinking Water

It’s rainy season here in Kentucky.

Last night, a thunderstorm rolled through our area resulting in flash flooding on the roads and creating rivers running from our backyards.

When this happens, I am reminded about why it is so important to clean up dog waste.

MYTH: Dog waste is good fertilizer for my lawn.

FACT: Because dog waste is rich in excess nutrients like nitrogen, it can actually cause lawn burn.

I’m sure you’ve seen it. I’ve seen it a number of times this spring. Yellow circular patches of grass scattered throughout your yard. Dog urine is the usual suspect but dog feces can also cause lawn burn. Lawn burn is dead grass. To repair it, you have to dig it out, put down fresh soil, and plant new grass. It’s much easier to pick up dog poop and to create a dog-friendly landscape with a designated potty area.

MYTH: Dog waste decomposes so I don’t have to clean it up.

FACT: It can take up to 1 year for a pile of dog waste to decompose. While it sits on your lawn, it is subject to weather.

When heavy storms rush in, the rain erodes dog waste. As it does, it carries contaminants from the dog waste into streams that enter into storm drains. The sewage system is not effective for purifying contaminants from dog waste; therefore, according to the EPA, 20% of bacteria found in Seattle waters were traceable back to pet dogs. The 2001 report said that cryptosporidium could end up in our drinking water because of pet wastes.

MYTH: Dog waste is safe.

FACT: All dog waste should be considered an unsafe biohazard. 1 gram of dog waste contains over 26 million bacteria harmful to people. Dog waste might also contain parasites that could infect children and pets.

Dog waste contains E. coli and Salmonella. Both are capable of causing illness in people.

One of our Facebook followers pointed out that other sources of contamination exist besides dog waste. He said rain is likely to carry antifreeze, oil, and pesticides into storm drains affecting drinking water. Very good point.

PetCorps helps pet owners in north central Kentucky limit their source water contamination by cleaning up and disposing of dog waste. For more information and to check availability in your area, call 877-402-4427 or visit http://bit.ly/Pt786C.


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