If you have a dog, then you have a chance every day to take a simple action that will help keep our streams and the James River safe from harmful bacteria. It’s easy…scoop the poop!

Some people think pet waste is natural, so just leave it to fertilize their lawn. Well, it is “natural”, but so is human poop and over the years we have created waste water treatment plants and septic systems to manage it safely.

Pet waste contains high levels of bacteria, such as E. coli. When it rains, this bacteria is washed into local waterways and storm drains, ultimately making its way into the James River. Bacteria in waterways can negatively impact wildlife and be detrimental to human health. Pet waste is not the only culprit, but it makes up a big chunk of it and it is something that pet owners can do something about. Other sources of bacteria are agricultural runoff, leaking sanitary and storm sewers, and urban runoff.

If you already cleanup after your pet or plan to after reading this, then you have taken the first step in becoming a River Hero Home!

Easy as 1…2…3!

When you let your dog out to do his or her business, follow these 3 steps:

  1. Take a bag with you
  2. Use the bag to pick up the waste
  3. Toss it in the trash!

So simple! This is one of the easiest things that we can all do to help out our waterways.