The Problem of Pet Waste

We love our pets but their wastes can be a public health concern.

For instance: did you know that...?

  • Pet waste significantly contributes to pollutants in the Neponset River and local streams such as Pine Tree and Unquity Brooks. It carries bacteria like E. coli and salmonella that can make our water bodies unsafe for recreation.
  • Waste dumped or washed into catch basins (stormwater drains) is carried directly to rivers through the stormwater drain system.
  • Even pet waste left in the street, far from a catch basin, can get washed into the drains during storms.
  • Pet waste can carry viruses and bacteria that are extremely harmful to humans.
  • Pet waste contains nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients that accelerate growth of damaging algaes and aquatic weeds.
  • Pet waste is damaging to trees.

So, how can you help?

  • Always clean up after your pet and dispose of the waste in the trash, in a sealed or tied plastic bag, or in a toilet.
  • Encourage your neighbors and other pet owners to be responsible; it's not hard, and it's part of the responsibility you have in owning a pet.

And here's what you shouldn't do...

  • Don't dispose of pet waste in a stormwater drain. These systems go directly to local rivers.
  • Don't add pet waste to a compost pile. (The pile will never get hot enough to kill disease-causing organisms.)
  • Don't use pet waste as a fertilizer. Bacteria in pet waste does far more harm than good.

Thanks for your cooperation!

Pet waste can contaminate our watershed.