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Time is a precious commodity, and of all of the things on the average homeowner’s to-do list, picking up after the pooch is probably down there towards the bottom. For some, the solution to their pet waste problems is to eradicate the waste by simply chopping it into bits while mowing the lawn. Pet owners, take note: This is not an effective solution.

Many don’t realize it, but dog waste is more than just a gross and unsightly mess – it is an environmental pollutant and a human health hazard.

In 1991, dog waste was labeled a non-point source pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency. Moreover, the EPA estimates that, two or three days worth of droppings from a population of about 100 dogs can contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay and all watershed areas within 20 miles to swimming and shell fishing.

Unlike other common sources of pollution, such as rinse water from driveways and motor oil, doggie deposits often carry disease-causing parasites and bacteria that can be transmitted directly to humans and make them sick. Roundworm, for example, is one of the most common parasites found in dog doo and it can remain infectious in contaminated soil and water for years.

Running doggie deposits over with a lawn mower may seem like the perfect doo doo disappearing act, but just because you can’t see the waste anymore doesn’t mean it is not there. In reality, lawn mowers spread the waste around and make it more difficult to properly clean up, if not impossible.

Instead, the best action people can take for their family and community is to make sure their pets are always picked up after. Those who are too busy to deal with the mess should consider hiring a local pet waste management service.

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