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We have more than 125,000 dogs and 60,000 outdoor cats in Seattle! That amounts to about 50,000 lbs of pet waste every day!
Left on streets, curb strips and in yards and parks, pet waste can be carried by rainwater to storm drains and into our creeks, lakes and Puget Sound without treatment. It is one of the leading causes of bacterial contamination in our streams and causes other water quality problems just like livestock manure and fertilizer.
There are bacteria and micro-organisms in pet waste such as Roundworms, E. coli, and Giardia that can make people sick if they’re ingested. Some can last in your yard for as long as four years if not cleaned up. Children who play outside and adults who garden are at greatest risk of infection. If pet waste is washed into the storm drain it ends up in lakes, streams or marine water, and people can accidentally swallow bacteria and other disease-causing organisms while swimming or playing in the water. These bacteria also end up in shellfish and can make the people who eat them very sick.
For questions contact the Seattle Public Utilities EPT Resource line at (206) 684-7624 or by email at SPU_EPTResources@seattle.gov.
Seattle Animal Shelter
Public Health of Seattle & King County – Infectious diseases spread from animal to humans
Puget Sound Starts Here – Get involved in improving the health of the Puget Sound