The Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect, restore and sustain the Root-Pike basin watershed. The Root-Pike Watershed faces a long list of challenges. Chief among them is stormwater run-off into our lakes, rivers, and streams. Soil, lawn chemicals, lawn debris and petrochemicals all result in highly polluted water.

There is another factor threatening water quality that many people don’t associate with contaminated waterways: dog poop. And that is something residents can easily do something about.

According to the American Pet Products Association 2017, there were an estimated 89.7 million dogs in the United States. If left on the ground, fecal matter is conveyed to our waterways via the stormwater sewer system, it can result in several undesirable conditions:

  • Increased nutrient load
  • Increased algae growth
  • Decreased oxygen levels as fecal matter decays
  • Fish die-off due to low oxygen levels
  • Fecal coliform bacterial contamination

Luckily, all dog owners can prevent this kind of contamination just by cleaning up after their dogs. It is especially important if you live near a body of water. There are several ways to properly dispose of dog waste. It can be flushed down the toilet, put in the trash or buried at least five inches deep.

For more information contact Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network at 262-883-4018.