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Pollution in stormwater is #1 urban water quality problem

According to the Washington State Department of Ecology, stormwater from runoff is a major threat to the state’s urban waters. It carries a toxic stew of pollution downstream into the state’s lakes, rivers, and marine waters. Dog waste is a large component of what is essentially raw sewage than can affect public health and water quality. When it rains, dog waste gets washed down the storm drain and into the nearest stream or lake. The organisms in dog waste then harm water quality. Children or pets that drink or play in the water can become sick; wildlife and fish are also affected.

A King county study found that nearly all fecal coliform bacteria in Juanita Creek was of animal origin, with dog waste as a major source. Pet waste also adds nitrogen and phosphorus to the water encouraging rapid growth of algae and aquatic weeds.  Watch the State Department of Ecology public service announcement.

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