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The original item was published from 11/21/2018 8:22:59 AM to 12/7/2018 12:00:05 AM.

News Flash

Natural Resources

Posted on: November 21, 2018

[ARCHIVED] What are We Most Thankful for This Year? That You Pick Up After Your Dog! Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving! No one likes poo on their shoe. So we're sending out a big thank you to everyone who diligently picks up after their best friend after they've done their business.

Here are the stats:

  • 1700 - the approximate number of dogs licensed in Apple Valley.
  • 233 - the estimated tons of poop they excrete in a given year.  One ton is 2000 pounds.
  • 5.6 quadrillion - the estimated number of E.coli. bacteria in that poop.  E.coli. is a type of bacteria found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals: people, dogs, birds, and so on.  Some forms of E.coli. can cause serious illness.  If a waterbody tests too high for E.coli. it can lead to beach closures and be put on the impaired waters list, a list of waterbodies that don't meet state water quality standards.  Waterbodies that Apple Valley runoff drains to that are impaired for E.coli. or similar bacteria include the Vermillion River, North Creek, and the Mississippi River.
  • 2.25 - the estimated tons of phosphorus in that poop.  Apple Valley currently falls under the purview of remediation plans (TMDLs) for 5 lakes that are impaired for phosphorus.  As part of those remediation plans, Apple Valley must reduce the amount of phosphorus that drains to those waterbodies by 658 pounds (0.33 tons) per year.  Picking up after your dog gets us closer to our goals.
  • 675 - the tons of algae that can be produced from that phosphorus.  Too much algae in the water can turn the water pea soup green, reduce water clarity, and make recreation less enjoyable on lakes.  In some unpredictable cases, too much of the wrong kind of algae can produce toxins that cause bad odors, contact rashes, nausea/diarrhea, and respiratory stress.  Those same conditions have been known to kill dogs that ingest the water in rare cases.
  • 2 to 9 - the number of days that the Hookworm parasite needs to hatch from eggs into your dog's poop to then contaminate the soil.  Some parasites found in dog poop are more likely to spread to the soil and surrounding environment if they sit out for a period of time.  This is why it is a good idea to pick dog poop up immediately after it is produced; if the poop doesn't sit outside on the ground, it cannot transfer to the soil to infect children or pets that play in or eat the soil.  Other harmful parasites found in dog poop include Roundworm, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium,.
  • 0 - the number of people who like to step in dog poo.  We've not made a scientific study of it, but we're pretty confident that this is an accurate number.

Picking up after your dog doesn't need to be hard.  Here are some tips:

  • Use old sandwich, produce, newspaper, and plastic grocery bags if you don't feel like purchasing bags from the pet store.  If you need more, your friends will be more than happy to give you theirs.
  • If you run out of bags on your walk, don't be shy.  A homeowner would rather have you knock on their door to request a bag then to have you leave your pet's waste in their yard.  Seriously, we've done it.  People are so happy you've asked.
  • Keep a small, covered, lined trash bin nearby in the backyard along with a designated scooper to encourage immediate pickup after your dog poops.  Make sure the bin does not cause an odor problem; best to keep it some distance from your neighbors' yards.  You don't want bags to be too heavy to transfer to your trash, so keeping the bin and bag small is important.
  • Parks have trash bins for disposal if you don't want to carry your dog's waste all the way home.  NEVER throw poop bags down the stormdrain.  Stormdrains drain directly to the nearest lake, pond, or wetland - this water is NOT treated.  Bags can clog storm pipes, causing flooding.
  • Do NOT throw dog poop bags down your toilet.  They clog sanitary sewer pipes and lead to sewer backups in people's homes.  Yuck!
  • If you absolutely can't stomach picking up after your dog, hire a service.  They will come to your house and take care of it for you.  This applies to dog walking as well.

We appreciate everything you do to keep Apple Valley a safe and clean place to live.  We wish you and your best friend a very happy Thanksgiving.  

Information on Water Quality Protection at Home...
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