The latest threat to Meridian Township's lakes and rivers? Dog poop

By Erica Marra
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Unattended pet waste across Meridian Township is posing problems for the community, and not just because it’s an eyesore. With all of the melting snow, the animal waste left behind by pet owners is draining its way into the township’s storm water system, creating an environmental hazard. Thomas Voice, a Michigan State University professor within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said that the issue is a common occurrence that many cities face with the change of seasons. “In those first spring thaws, a huge amount of the pollutants that build up over the winter flush into the river and it typically has a significant impact,” he said. “Pet waste is fecal material and there’s certainly the possibility of diseases being transferred this way.”

Voice said that because Meridian Township’s drinking water supply comes from a system of deep wells separate from the storm water system, there is an unlikely chance that the township’s drinking water supply is harmed.

Dogs may pose threat to water supply, health

Capital News Service
LANSING – Environmentalists and public health experts want that new puppy to come with a lifetime supply of plastic bags, preferably biodegradable
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), the 78 million dogs in the United States create 10 million tons of feces annually, polluting waterways and posing a threat to public health. Michigan has 3,288 miles of coast line, the second only to Alaska’s, and all those beaches are irresistible to dog owners. “Pets can contribute fecal pollution to our waterways. This is mostly in the spring to fall when we are out enjoying the water with our pets,” said Joan Rose, the co-director of the Center for Water Sciences of Michigan State University. According to a survey by EPA, 40 percent of dog owners do not pick up their pets’ waste at all and all that waste pollutes waterways.