Scoop the Poop!

An important part of being a responsible pet owner is cleaning up after your dog. Dog waste left on the ground is a source of major pollutants and poses a significant health risk.  Animal waste, especially from dogs, contains bacteria and parasites, such as E. coli, giardia, and salmonella. Waste washes from private property, streets and parks into our waterways and groundwater, which pollutes our watershed.

A common culprit associated with water contamination is fecal coliform bacteria, a type of bacteria commonly found in human and animal waste. Although most types of fecal coliform bacteria do not pose direct health risks to people, these bacteria are considered “indicator” organisms that can be measured to assess the general quality and health of a water body. The detection of fecal coliform in a water sample indicates the presence of human or animal waste and the potential for the existence of other harmful waterborne pathogenic diseases, like typhoid fever and hepatitis A, that are commonly transmitted through waste and can make people very sick.

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

What can you do about pet poo?

There are many sources of water pollution that impact our rivers, lakes, and oceans, that require expensive, complex actions and policies to remedy. Dog waste is not one of them. The solution is simple: Do your ‘doody’ and pick up after your dog.


City of Eugene Public Works. (August 2020). Dog Waste and Waterways. Retrieved from

Halifax Regional Municipality. Picking Up After Your Dog. Retrieved from

University of Washington College of the Environment. (April 2018). Scoop the Poop: It’s Your Environmental Doody (Pun Intended). Retrieved from