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The original item was published from 11/22/2016 12:07:51 PM to 12/21/2016 12:00:02 AM.

News Flash

Natural Resources

Posted on: November 22, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Why the Storm Drain is a Bad Place for Pet Waste Disposal

A recent inspection of the pond in Legacy Park turned up a troubling find - several bags of dog poop were found coming from a pipe that goes into the pond. Follow the link to learn more...

The connection is not always obvious, but the stormdrain on the street or in the park or in your backyard is directly connected to a neighborhood pond, lake, or wetland.  This is why it is so important to dispose of materials properly and keep curbs and gutters clean; any materials left in curbs and gutters or deposited in stormdrains will be washed into neighborhood ponds during the next rain.

Pet Waste in Legacy Park Pond.pngThis connection was easily observed on a recent inspection of the pond in Legacy Park. Upon checking one of the pipes that flows into the pond, Public Works staff found dozens of dog poop bags at the mouth of the pipe (see picture).  The only way the pet waste could have gotten there is if someone had been purposely depositing it in the stormdrain or leaving it in the curb and gutter to wash into a stormdrain.  Even more troubling, there are multiple trash cans within the park where bagged pet waste can be deposited.

Some may question the impact of a few dog poop bags or “natural materials” ending up in a stormwater pond, but stormwater ponds can have surprising links to important resources.  The pond in Legacy Park is one such pond.  First, it has an immediate connection to all the people that visit the park and adjacent local businesses and residents that live on the park.  Indirectly, this pond is connected to other ponds in neighborhoods, shopping centers, and parks where we live, play, and do business.  Ultimately, the water in Legacy Park flows to the Vermillion River; a river with bacteria problems, a common pollutant found in pet waste.  And to seriously raise the ick factor, much of the water in Legacy Park Pond infiltrates into groundwater that the City wells draw drinking water from.

So please remember to pick up after your pets and properly dispose of the waste in the trash.  Piles of dog poo don’t belong in our parks, nor do they belong in our ponds.

See How the Stormwater System Works...
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