Recently, Midwest City opened a beautiful addition to its park community, the Fred Quinn Happy Tails Dog Park. With a brand new dog park comes plenty of waste left behind. The Stormwater Quality Department wants patrons to realize the importance of their new initiative, “PUP” (Pick Up your Poop) which will not only maintain beautification of the park, but water safety as well.
When left on the ground, pet waste can be washed by rain into the storm sewer system where it is then carried to local creeks and eventually to area lakes. Many people do not realize pet waste carries bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Whether it is on the ground or in the water these can make humans and other animals sick when they come into contact with it.
“We want people to recognize and understand that their dog’s feces are not just gross and ugly, but extremely damaging to the other animals, people, park and waterways,” Trish Morris, Stormwater Quality Department Intern.
A common misconception is that pet waste can be used to fertilize lawns. Although pet waste contains both protein and nutrients, it can actually do more harm than good. The nutrients may not be suitable to grow plants in your yard, but the algae found in our local waterways love them. When found in high concentrations these nutrients cause algae to grow more rapidly. The increase in plant life can consume the oxygen needed for aquatic wildlife to thrive. Proteins found in pet waste are actually quite acidic, making the waste not suitable as a manure-fertilizer.
With the opening of new dog park the Stormwater Quality Department thinks it is important to get the word out about the “PUP” campaign. Please do your part in helping keep the local waterways and new park clean, be sure to “PUP” when you visit the park.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
by Kay Hunt