Managing pet waste properly is something that everyone can do to make a difference in their respective watersheds. Truly, proper individual actions result in significant water quality improvement when carried out by the majority. Unlike some forms of stormwater pollutants, pet waste can be easily and economically managed by the individual.
Pet waste contains bacteria and parasites, as well as organic matter and nutrients, notably nitrogen and phosphorous. In addition, the organic matter and nutrients contained in pet waste can degrade water quality. When pet waste is washed into a surface water body, the waste decays. This process of breaking down the organic matter in the waste uses up dissolved oxygen and releases ammonia. Low oxygen levels, increased ammonia and warm summer water temperatures can kill fish.
Excess phosphorous and nitrogen added to surface waters can lead to cloudy, green water from accelerated algae and weed growth. Decay of this extra organic matter can depress oxygen levels, killing organisms. Objectionable odors can also occur.
Flies and other pest insects can also increase when pet waste is disposed of improperly, becoming a nuisance and adding another vector for disease transmission.
Places to Know
- Animal Adoption: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/animal/adoption.htm
- Shelter Volunteer: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/animal/volunteers.htm
Rules to Know
- Dog Licenses:
- Application Instructions: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dta/dog_licenses.htm
- Town of Herndon, Storm Water Management: http://herndon-va.gov/Content/Town_Services/Storm_Water_Management/default.aspx?cnlid=889