Dog waste has been declared a "nonpoint source of pollution" by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Believe it or not, this puts dog waste in the same category as oil and toxic chemicals.
Improperly disposed pet waste negatively impacts water quality in lakes, ponds, creeks and the river. Pet waste that decays in lakes depletes oxygen. The lack of oxygen combined with warm temperatures can result in fish kills. Nutrients in pet waste also encourage weed and algae growth further reducing water quality. Algae blooms are stinky and make the water green and ugly which results in fewer recreational users including swimmers, boaters, wind surfers and anglers.
Improperly disposed pet waste can also make water unsafe for swimming. Diseases and parasites that can be transmitted from pet waste to humans include cryptosporidium (causes diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and dehydration in humans), camplyobacteriosis (causes diarrhea in humans), and toxocariasis (roundworms in humans). While pet waste isn't the biggest pollutant to our water bodies, it is one of many small sources that add up to a bigger problem. Dog owners can help tackle this bigger problem by picking up after their hound.
This program is made possible by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the City of Minneapolis.