Bag It! Trash It! Dog Waste Program
An estimated 8,700 dogs live in Titusville households, and over 100,000 dogs live in Brevard County.
On the average, a dog produces almost a pound of waste each day. All this waste has to go somewhere. The problem is when that somewhere is our local waterways.
Dog waste gets into waterways when it is left on the ground and gets washed into the curb by rain or irrigation. Once in the curb, it ends up in a stormdrain and the stormwater system carries the waste to either the Indian River Lagoon or the St. Johns River. Dog waste also get into waterways when pet owners deliberately dump it into stormdrains, detention ponds, lakes, or creeks.
Why Waste Harms Waterways
- Algae Blooms. Fecal waste contains both nitrogen and phosphorus. When it ends up in waterways, it overloads them with nutrients that cause algae blooms. Algae blooms block the sunlight needed by aquatic plants; Algae blooms and their subsequent decay rob the water of oxygen, which kills plants, fish, and wildlife; Algae blooms can trigger respiratory issues in people, as well as look and smell bad.
- Health Issues. Bacteria and other micro- organisms in waste can make people sick if they come into physical contact with or ingest the water. One gram (453.592 grams equal one pound) of dog feces can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. Fecal coliform bacteria are indicators of other disease causing microorganisms such as giardia and cryptosporidium. The most common form of fecal coliform is E. Coli. Even the waste from healthy, well-cared for dogs has these bacteria.
- Degraded Appearance. Just like on the ground, animal waste in waterways looks bad and smells worse.
What You Can Do
Dog waste needs to be picked up, placed in a bag, and dispose of in the trash. It’s not a perfect solution but it will reduce the amount of waste going into local waterways and landfills are designed to prevent contaminants from leaching into groundwater.
When walking your dog always be prepared with doggie waste bags and pick up waste immediately. At home, dog waste in your yard should be picked up on a regular schedule.
About the Program
The Bag It! Trash It! Program was created by the Conservation Program to increase education about the need to pick up dog waste and to change Titusville pet-owner behavior. The program focuses on encouraging Titusville pet owners to pick up after their pet through the distribution of educational materials and tools to assist owners in disposing of the waste properly. The program includes the distribution of waste disposal bags with dispensers that are designed for convenient use whenever a dog is on a leash and includes a velcro tie that attaches the dispenser to a leash handle or a belt loop.
Over 6,700 dispensers have been distributed under the Bag It! Trash It! Program. This program, managed and design through the Water Resources Conservation Program is an integral part of our efforts to help protect the water quality in our local waterways.