By David Vaughn, Engineer Program Specialist
With this being National Scoop the Poop Week, it’s an ideal time to remind you about why it’s so essential for you to clean up after your dogs when you’re out for a neighborhood stroll.
A single pile of pet waste may not seem like a big deal – until you consider more than 32,000 dogs live in College Station. Our furry friends produce about 24,000 pounds of waste daily.
All that waste takes an entire year to break down completely, and unless it’s disposed of properly, it can wash into our local storm sewer system and waterways.
That creates a significant health risk to pets and people.
Only one teaspoon of dog feces in an Olympic-sized pool makes the water unsafe for swimming. In addition, contaminated rainwater can introduce E. coli and other hazardous microorganisms and parasites into water bodies. The most common are Giardia, Salmonella, roundworms, and canine parvovirus.
The nitrogen and phosphorus in dog waste can also cause algal blooms and aquatic weed growth. As the waste decays, it depletes oxygen levels in the water and produces ammonia, which can kill fish and plant life.
So, when walking your pets, please clean up after them. Carrying small plastic bags is easy, especially in parks and other public areas. Just scoop the poop, invert, and seal the bag, then toss it into a solid waste container.
Removing pet waste from your yard is also good, especially before substantial rain.
Besides the health impacts, scooping the poop is practicing good manners and respect for your neighbors. It’s also considered littering if you allow your pet to defecate on someone else’s property or in public areas without removing it.
Please help keep College Station safe and clean – always Scoop the Poop!
About the Blogger
David Vaughn is in his third year as the engineering program specialist for Planning and Development Services. He worked as an environmental coordinator for FedEx Express from 2015-20. A native of Silsbee, David earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Sam Houston State in 2016.
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