Preventing contamination from dog waste in our yards, streams, and Puget Sound is a simple task:
- Scoop the poop.
- Place it in a plastic bag and seal it.
- Place it in the trash.
- Wash your hands
Cat litter should be placed in a plastic bag and disposed of in the trash.
If pet waste is left on lawns, streets, trails, or in parks, rainwater can carry it into roadside ditches or storm drains which often drain directly into lakes, creeks, rivers and eventually into Puget Sound. This untreated waste may contain E. coli and other harmful bacteria, viruses, roundworms, and other pathogens. Some of these contaminants can last in your yard as long as four years and can sicken adults, pets, and children who play in their yards. Bacteria and other disease-causing organisms in pet waste are also one of the top causes of contamination in our streams. This contamination can make people and pets sick if they contact the water. One gram of pet waste, approximately the size of a pea, can contain up to 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, as well as other pathogens. When carried into Puget Sound, these pathogens can end up in shellfish, sickening people who eat them and causing closure of recreational and commercial shellfish growing areas. This not only restricts our ability to gather shellfish for personal consumption, but can have a significant impact on our economy.