Waste from pets, livestock, and wildlife are significant sources of water pollution in some areas. Animal waste contains high concentrations of nutrients as well as bacteria.
If used properly some animal waste can be a great fertilizer, cow and horse manure for example. However, when untreated animal waste gets into our water ways it can cause problems with the nutrient build up and the bacteria that it contains.
A number of water-borne diseases can be transmitted to humans from animal waste. The bacteria levels in rural and urban areas are usually higher than those in commercial or industrial areas. The animals kept in these areas might be a cause of the higher bacteria counts.
High level of nutrients such as phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium that make it a good fertilizer can also cause problems when it gets into our waterways. These elevated nutrient levels can cause excessive plant and algae growth which can cause further problems.
Things You Can Do
Dispose of wrapped waste in the trash or unwrapped waste in the toilet.
Do not feed wild animals such as geese and ducks in public areas.
Many municipalities have laws to enforce the clean up of pet waste.
Many municipalities have rules against the feeding of wildlife.
Never discard pet waste into the storm drain.
Try to use newspaper or some other biodegradable material to pick up the waste, or use a reusable item like a pooper-scooper or shovel.