Dog Feces Contaminating Water Supply as Snow Melts
RACINE COUNTY-- The end of winter leaves some unpleasant surprises at places like Johnson Dog Park in Racine County.
\"Obviously the snow's melting, so you're going to see a lot more of it,\" said Jack Klapthor, a dog owner.
Walk along the trail, and you'll find dog feces in the wood chips along areas once covered with snow.
\"There's people who clean it up, and some people don't,\" said Klapthor.
Courteous dog owners will pick-up their pet's waste, but those who don't could put their friends and neighbors (both man and beast) in danger.
\"People may not realize it, but as the snow melts, it carries the pet waste straight into our storm sewers and goes directly into the lakes and the rivers, basically untreated,\" said Allison Chernouski, Program Manager at the Root Pike Watershed Initiative.
Experts say dog waste getting into snow and water often leads to algae growth and lakes closing down.
\"You can get sick if you swim in these contaminated waters,\" explained Chernouski.
Chernouski says unlike horses and cows, dog waste is not a fertilizer and will not keep the grass in your yard green.
\"They have a high protein diet, and that waste is very acidic, so it will harm your lawn more than help it,\" said Chernouski.
A reason why dog owners should do their part and pick up after their pets.
\"Just be respectful, and clean up after your dog,\" said Klapthor.
Experts say dog owners should always carry a plastic bag to dispose their pet's waste, these bags should be tied off and thrown in a garbage can. They say animals can also get sick from any parasites found in dog waste.