Bacteria pollution can be easy to control

Carolina Clear

Water quality is important in our part of the Carolinas. Whether it is water we drink, swim in or eat fish from, if the water is not clean, we can get sick.

One of the easiest ways to keep our water clean is to clean up after our pets.

Bacteria pollution is the one of the most common forms of water pollution in the Carolinas. The bacteria is usually swept into our waterways when it rains, producing polluted stormwater runoff.

Katie Altman is a water resources agent at Clemson Extension, and says “common sources of bacteria are septic tank failures, sewer overflows and pet waste, like dog poop. So the easiest way to keep bacteria out of the water is by picking up your dog poop. I mean that one is very cost effective, it is not like doing maintenance on a septic tank, all you have to do is bend over and pick up that dog poop and throw it away, and that keeps a good bit of bacteria out of our waterways.”

If you are not already in the habit of picking up after your pet, take advantage of the free bags available at pet waste stations at many dog parks. Or you can get your own personal bag dispenser.

If you are not in a dog park, and are walking at home, alot of organizations like Carolina Clear hand out little dispensers which you can just clip on your leash that have bags ready to go, so you know you always have one handy. 

This simple task of cleaning up after your pet can have a big impact on keeping our water clean.

To keep the bacteria out is going to help keep our shellfish beds open and keep our seafood markets thriving.

It is also important to keep septic tanks inspected and maintained. And if you ever notice a sewer overflow, report it to your local city or county municipality.

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