No time like the present: Let’s talk about (dog) poop - My Edmonds News

People love their dogs, but their poop … not so much — especially when Fido’s waste is left behind on a sidewalk, beach or park trail. Abandoned poop is smelly, messy and violates city codes. 

And it can be harmful to human health and our environment. Dog waste contains viruses, bacteria (E. coli and salmonella) and parasites (giardia, roundworms and tapeworms), said Laura Reed, stormwater program manager at the City of Mountlake Terrace.  Abstract Metal Wall Art

No time like the present: Let’s talk about (dog) poop - My Edmonds News

When it rains, orphaned pet waste washes into ditches and storm drains. Unlike sewage which is scrupulously filtered and treated through a multi-step process, stormwater rushes through miles of underground pipes unchecked into nearby water bodies. 

In our region, that means dog waste gets a free ride to Lake Ballinger, Lake Washington and ultimately, Puget Sound.

Once in waterways, decomposing waste depletes oxygen and releases excessive nutrients, degrading water quality and jeopardizing the health of fish, invertebrates and humans. And in the Puget Sound, it can harm sea mammals like whales, orcas and seals. 

When fecal coliform levels are too high, beaches must be closed to swimmers, fishing and shellfish collection. 

“People don’t realize that something that seems ‘natural’ like animal waste can wreak havoc on our environment,” says Kayla Grattan, surface water technician for the City of Lynnwood. “It’s a bigger issue than just the ‘ick’ factor and optics of it.” 

Snohomish County estimates that the county’s canines generate up to 63 tons of waste daily. That translates into a lot of “ick” and potential pollutants, so local municipalities are raising awareness about the positive impact every-day actions can have on local water quality. 

“The more we can get the message out, the better we’ll be off as a community,” according to Patrick Johnson, senior stormwater engineering technician at the City of Edmonds. “Let’s be courteous to our neighbors and fellow dog owners and prevent pollution from hitting our waterways.”

Information booths about pet cleanup are showing up at local events, incorporating humorous slogans (like King County’s “Stop Poo-llution” signs) and fun poop-toss games to catch people’s attention and destigmatize the topic.

“A lighthearted and playful approach to education can help take away the fear and dread around scooping,” Grattan said.

Mountlake Terrace partners with the Snohomish County Conservation District to teach school kids about how poop-scooping helps protect human and water health.

Edmonds has installed pet waste stations, which include free waste bags and a dedicated pet waste container, at all of its city parks. 

“We know they work. If people see the stations, they use them. It’s like the saying, ‘If you build it, they will come,’ ” Johnson said.

Pooper scooper tips for dog owners:

Learn more about preventing poop pollution at these sites:

It’s not hard, people. I have two dogs and I pick up more than their share of poop. The lazy, irresponsible idiots that can’t be bothered to clean up after their dog don’t deserve a dog in the first place. I hope they step in their own dogs poop with brand new shoes on.

We have to do whatever is necessary to protect our marine life. Dog owners please be responsible and deposit your dogs waste properly so the salmon, Orcas and sea snails can live.

Dog owners also need a reminder that after bagging their dog’s pooh, to deposit in a trash bin. Please don’t leave your pooh bag on my curb or hiking trails. We see it all the time. Who’s supposed to pick it up?

This is a great posting for the environment. I also have 2 dogs and pick up more than their poop, quite a bit more. I’m always surprised that someone will leave it. This posting might help others understand why it is important to be responsible and ultimately protect our wildlife, our environment, and our ground water. Don’t be the same, be better!

As Master Gardeners we are aware that rats can live entirely on a diet of dog poop. Another incentive to remove it!

Laziness comes easy for some! Entitled, they don’t have to pick up waste. Look if you have a pet and do not clean up after if surrender your pet! Let’s make it law!

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No time like the present: Let’s talk about (dog) poop - My Edmonds News

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