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The County has selected pet waste as a high priority stormwater issue. Pet waste is known to contain high volumes of bacteria. The 2016 305(b)/303(d) Water Quality Assessment Integrated Report identified bacteria as a cause of impairment for numerous receiving waters downstream of the County’s MS4 service area in both the Potomac River and Rappahannock River basins, therefore the County has placed an emphasis on reducing pet waste pollution within the MS4 area through the “Scoop the Poop” initiative. 

Scoop the Poop

Why should you pick up your pet’s waste?
When pet waste is not properly disposed of, it is carried by rain and runoff into storm drains and nearby waterways. Untreated animal fecal matter is a source of harmful bacteria and nutrients in water, such as E. Coli.
People are also at risk of getting sick from drinking or swimming in water contaminated by pet waste. Dogs can be significant hosts of disease-causing organisms, including giardia and Salmonella, which are protozoan, and these bacterial infections can be transmitted to humans by animals.

What can you do to reduce pet waste pollution?
When walking your pet, always carry plastic bags. Use a bag to pick up dog waste, tie the bag closed, and throw it in the trash. Follow the same steps at home with indoor pet waste and kitty litter as well. Don’t place bagged or un-bagged pet waste in a storm drain and do not hose the pet waste towards storm drains since they drain directly to a stream, river, lake or other water body

View & Download the When Nature Calls, Please Pick Up After Your Pet brochure

Photo appears to be a public walkway with a station with resources for pet waste removal such as plastic bags and a trash can