UUA Green Sanctuary Small changes made by many people make big changes for our world. Be part of it!
Green Living Idea: Easy – Clean Water – Make your runoff cleaner – Part I-A – by Connie Hester
The greatest threat to our water quality is polluted runoff. We can make a big difference!
Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey estimate that animal waste is to blame for 20 to 30 percent of water pollution in America. There are 80 million dogs. They each make half a pound per day of waste. It really adds up. And, that is just the dogs.
When animal waste is left on the ground, rainwater or melting snow breaks it down and washes it into our storm drains or directly into our creeks. This contaminated water, which contains disease-causing bacteria and worms, is unsafe for everyone and causes larger environmental issues. Pet waste increases algae blooms and excessive aquatic plant growth, which robs the water of vital oxygen need for fish and other aquatic life. 2
1) Clean up after your pets.
- Bag it! When going for dog walks take a compostable baggie or a plastic bag. After your dog does its business, turn the baggie inside out over your hand and use it as a glove to pick up the waste
- Treat pet waste like human waste. Flush it down the toilet so it can be treated appropriately. Be sure not to flush the baggie!
- If you can’t flush your pet’s waste, throwing the filled bag in the trash is an alternative. Never put waste into storm drains!
- Check to see if your neighborhood and local parks have baggies available. If not, talk to your local civic association about installing a pet waste station to reduce “poo-lution” in your area.
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