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The Real Scoop on Dog Poop


Photo ©thepaperlesspages.com

No one likes seeing, smelling, or stepping in dog poop, but did you know that unscooped poop presents serious issues for water quality and human health?

The Facts

  • Pet waste is raw sewage. It can transmit bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens to humans and other animals, including tapeworm, roundworm, E. Coli, giardia, salmonella, and more.
  • Four out of ten U.S. households have at least one dog, and four out of ten of those dog owners don’t pick up after their dogs.
  • Unscooped poop in yards, parks, and sidewalks gets into our lakes, streams and rivers, even into groundwater.
  • Nutrients in pet waste cause excess algae in lakes and streams. This limits the light available to aquatic plants. Also, as algae decays it uses up oxygen needed by fish.
  • Nine waterways in Salt Lake County have unhealthy levels of E. Coli: Emigration Creek, Parleys Creek, lower Mill Creek, lower Big Cottonwood Creek, lower Little Cottonwood Creek, Rose Creek, Bingham Creek, Midas Creek, and the Jordan River.*

What You Can Do

  • Scoop weekly to keep your yard clean. Backyard poop is a big problem.
  • Keep your dog on leash. Then stoop and scoop that poop. Every time.
  • Bring baggies when you walk your dog, plus extras to share.
  • Seal the bags and toss them in the trash.
  • Never use pet waste in your garden or compost. It is not a natural fertilizer.

To all dog owners who keep their dogs on leash and scoop the poop, we say “thank you”! You are protecting water quality, wildlife, and the well-being of your fellow humans. Keep up the good work and give yourself a nice pat. You deserve it.

*per Salt Lake County Watershed Planning & Restoration water quality sampling program, samples collected monthly since 2010