Pet Wastes

"It's your duty to pick up their doody" banner with dog picture
Pet waste washes into storm drains, polluting our rivers, lakes, and drinking water sources. Scoop, bag and can the poop!

Dog waste that isn’t picked up hurts us all. It does not sink into the ground. Pet waste left on streets, yards, and trails washes into storm drains or streams when it rains. This damages our local streams and rivers.


Each gram of dog waste contains 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. It also contains nutrients like nitrogen, which can lead to too much algae growing. When the alga dies, it decomposes and takes up all the oxygen in the water. Many fish kills in North Carolina rivers have happened because of low oxygen.

Dog poop in our water can lead to beach closures at local lakes, fishing bans, and having to pay more to clean water before we can use it in our homes.

Scoop the Poop

While walking your dog, you should always be prepared to “scoop the poop.” This means keeping your dog on a leash and carrying a bag to clean up after your pet. Dispose of the waste in the household trash after securely wrapping it.

Top 5 Reasons to Pick Up After Your Pet

  1. To Protect Our Water: Pet waste left on the ground gets washed by rain into drains and ditches that flow into our local waterways. This water is not treated. All the bacteria, viruses, and parasitic worms in the waste get into our water. The same water we swim in, fish from, and drink.
  2. To Stay Healthy: Dog waste can contain bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Leaving it in your yard means bacteria is likely to get tracked into your house. Wastes can also attract flies and rats which carry additional diseases.
  3. Dog Poop Isn’t Fertilizer: It is very acidic and will burn plants and grass. Extra nutrients don’t sink into our clay soil. Instead they wash away into our creeks and streams and cause alga to grow.
  4. Your Neighbors Will Like You Better: No one likes dog poop. Your neighbors don’t want to see, step in, or to smell dog poop. They will appreciate you picking up after your pet.
  5. It’s Not Going Anywhere: Poop does not magically disappear. Dog waste can take up to a year to break down. An average dog creates almost 100 pounds of waste a year - that is a lot to leave lying around.

Durham County Canine Waste Ordinance