Did you know that many of Alexandria’s streams exceed Virginia’s standards for fecal coliform bacteria? Fecal coliform bacteria are present in the intestinal tracts of all warm-blooded animals and are an indicator that a potential health risk exists for individuals exposed to the water.
Pet waste is a significant source of fecal bacteria in Alexandria. When pet waste is not properly disposed of, it can wash into nearby streams or be carried by runoff into storm drains. These storm drains do not connect to treatment facilities. Instead, they drain directly into our streams and eventually the Chesapeake Bay.
The nutrients and organic matter in pet waste can also cause significant water quality degradation. Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms that block sunlight and kill underwater vegetation. Decaying pet waste uses up dissolved oxygen in the water that fish and other aquatic species rely on to live.
Simple Ways to Love Your Pet and the Environment!
Always clean up after your pet – Dog droppings in parks, on the street and even in your garden can all end up polluting our streams. It may not be the most pleasant chore, but it can prevent water pollution and it’s the law. Failure to do so on public property is subject to a $100 fine (City Code§5- 7 -46).
Dispose of pet waste properly - Bag it and place pet waste in the trash; Flush pest waste down the toilet.
Never dispose of pet waste in a storm drain - These drains lead directly to local waterways.
Encourage other pet owners to be responsible - It is an important part of the responsibility of owning a pet. We all suffer the consequences of ignoring irresponsible pet owners.
Places to Know
Rules to Know
- Dog Park Regulations
- City of Alexandria Rules to Remember When Romping with Rove
- City Ordinance Related to Dogs (Title 5, Chapter 7)
- Dog and Cat License Application