Stormwater Management & Water Quality

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Pick Up Poop (PUP) Campaign

Did you know that there are 277,000 dogs in Franklin County that produce 104 tons of dog poop a day? During rain events, nitrogen and phosphorous in dog poop can contribute to algal growth in our waterways and also deplete oxygen for fish and other aquatic life.

The Pick Up Poop (PUP) campaign encourages residents to clean up after their pets to protect our waterways and promote a healthy community. We reach out to community members at local events and spread the word about the possible impacts of pet waste on clean water.

Remember, PUPing is our law!


Doggy Doo’s and Don’ts:

  • Doo: Pick up after your dog, and use a bag!
  • Don't: Leave the bag on the ground. Dispose of it in a waste receptacle.
  • Don't: Forget your bags when you take your dog on a walk!

Did you know?

During rain events, dog poop left on the ground can wash away through the sewer systems and end up in our lakes and rivers, polluting our freshwater supplies. The water that goes through these storm sewer systems is not treated, so what goes into a drain exits into our waterways.

Nutrients in dog poop, like nitrogen and phosphorous, dissolve and can contribute to algal growth once they’re washed into a waterway. As dog poop breaks up, it uses oxygen, depleting the amount of oxygen in the water for use by fish and other aquatic life.

Dog poop also contains bacteria and other organisms like worms that end up in the environment and can spread through water to other animals or humans, causing a negative impact on both environmental and public health.


What should I do with my doggy doo?
Pick it up! Use a bag or a poop scooper, and throw your waste in the trash. Not only is it environmentally healthy, but it is the courteous thing to do. There are also emerging options for diversion of dog waste from landfills. Check to see if you have a local option to come pick up and compost dog poop in a heat-controlled compost pile (Do not compost dog poo in a home compost pile!), or consider using an in-ground waste composter that uses micro-organism tablets to break down the poo.

Is it better to bag waste, or leave it on the lawn?
It is better to bag your waste! It will still end up in a landfill, but the overall negative impact is lessened as fewer bacteria are left in the environment.  

Isn’t poop good lawn fertilizer?
No, not all poop is good lawn fertilizer. Due to the protein filled doggy diet, dog waste is acidic and leaving it on your lawn will kill the grass and leave dry brown spots! Not all poop is created equal.

Does dog poo really affect stormwater that much?
In 1993, the US EPA reported that 95% of fecal coliform found in urban stormwater was of non-human origin (Alderiso et al., 1996 and Trial et al., 1993).  Much of this waste is from dogs, as they are concentrated in urban areas (unlike wildlife, which moves around freely).

Are there other options other than disposing of pet waste in the trash?
You can install in-ground pet waste composters; flush the waste down the toilet; or hire a pet waste pick up service that has new uses for pet waste such as a source for energy.