Many residents have taken advantage of the recent warm weather in the St Louis area by walking their dogs and spending more time with their pets outdoors. Please help protect water quality by properly disposing of your pet’s waste. Pet waste left outdoors comes into contact with stormwater when it rains. The stormwater then becomes contaminated and carries pollutants into the storm sewer system, and this contaminated water then drains to area streams. You can help by properly disposing of pet waste. Acceptable pet waste management options include:
- Put the waste in a sealed bag and place in the trash
- Flush down the toilet (do NOT flush plastic bags or kitty litter)
- Bury waste in the soil at least six inches deep (do NOT bury in the garden)
- Minimize pollution by having pets defecate in tall grass located away from storm inlets. This acts as a filter and allows for natural decomposition
However, it’s not a good idea to place pet waste in compost piles or around vegetables gardens. Pathogens from the pet waste can contaminate food products. Dog and cat feces must be handled carefully because it contains bacteria, viruses and parasites that can infect humans and cause serious illness. Always wash your hands after handling pet waste.