Doggie doo doesn't go down the storm drain
July 7, 2009

The Water Environment Federation, an industry trade group comprised of a large share of the municipal wastewater treatment community in the United States, is encouraging its member utilities to distribute flyers to their customers reminding them to keep pet waste out of the nation's storm sewers. Pet waste might seem like a silly or trivial matter until one realizes that there are an estimated 163 million domestic dogs and cats in the United States, each of which goes through the same natural bodily functions as their human owners. And when those pets relieve themselves, the waste needs to be retrieved and disposed of properly so that it doesn't make its way straight into rivers and streams. Even if it took five pets to produce the same amount of waste as an average human, that would still represent the equivalent of the populations of Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Left to flow into storm sewers, where it generally returns untreated to rivers, lakes, and streams, that represents a massive environmental and public-health risk.

July 2009
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last revised July 2009