A public education campaign in San Diego, California, called “Keep San Diego Doody Free,” was launched as part of a county-wide initiative known as Project Clean Water. It aims to encourage dog owners to pick up after their dogs and dispose of animal waste on their property regularly. Consistency is key.
The same goes for dog walking or hikes. If they defecate, you need to pick it up and dispose of it properly to help reduce bacteria from finding their way into public waterways.
“Picking up after your dog might not seem like a stormwater problem, but in reality, dog waste is one of the many seemingly small sources of pollution that can add up to big problems for water quality and even human health,” noted Chelsea McGimpsey of Project Clean Water.
Responsible Pet Parenting
“Dog waste left on the ground can be washed into storm drains that lead directly to our streams, lakes, and beaches. This waste carries harmful bacteria, which can affect the health of aquatic wildlife, ourselves, and our children,” she added.
It’s said that citizens in San Diego County have more than 600,000 canines as pets. It’s been estimated that all of their waste together amounts to approximately 136 million pounds of excrement each year. Dog feces contains bacteria, parasites, and viruses that, if allowed to enter, can pollute our waterways.
Proper Disposal of Animal Waste
“Unfortunately, dog waste is not fertilizer, and the bacteria in it do not stay in the same spot as it decomposes. If not properly disposed of it will get washed down storm drains where it is not treated before entering our waterways. This can make us sick and contaminate our environment, including the beaches and lakes we fish and swim in,” McGimpsey continued.
“Luckily, picking up after your dog is really easy! We ask all dog owners to carry poop bags with them, ensure the poop gets properly disposed of in a trash receptacle, and clean up your yard, especially before it rains.”
The campaign was launched in early May at San Diego Humane Society’s Walk for Animals. To learn more about Keep San Diego Doody Free and to educate yourself about the importance of proper dog poop disposal, you can visit projectcleanwater.org/doody.
Pollution & Public Waterways
A county-wide initiative, it’s dedicated to protecting water quality in San Diego County to instill greater awareness of everyday actions community members can take to reduce runoff and stormwater pollution.
Seeing as this is a world issue, you don’t have to live in southern California to get on board with the program. Practicing good pet parenting skills is important to water resources everywhere. You could even share the message at your next town hall or community meeting to spread the word in your neck of the woods.
For more information visit www.projectcleanwater.org