Believe it or not how you handle pet waste affects New Albany’s water quality. During rain events, dog poop left on the ground can wash away through the sewer systems and end up in our lakes and rivers, polluting our freshwater supply. The water that goes through these storm sewer systems is not treated, so what goes into a drain exits straight into our waterways. Nutrients in dog poop, like nitrogen and phosphorous, dissolve and can contribute to algal growth once they’re washed into a waterway. While dog poop contains nutrients common in fertilizers, it’s also incredibly acidic so it does NOT make good fertilizer like some people think. Any benefits of the nitrogen and phosphorous are cancelled out by a low pH that kills grass and leaves bare or brown spots in turf.
Even more concerning is the fact that dog poop contains billions of bacteria such as antibiotic-resistant E. coli and Giardia that end up in the environment and can spread through water to other animals or humans, causing a negative impact on both environmental and public health. Research shows that dog waste is the third largest contributor of harmful bacteria to urban waterways. Do your part and Pick Up Poop, always be prepared with bags when walking your pup, and dispose of them in the trash.