Pet Waste


What's the problem?

Like many cities, Arcata has its fair share of pets. There are currently more than 625 dogs registered in Arcata. That's a lot of dogs and even more waste! According to the Environmental Protection Agency, pet waste is a significant pollutant and is in the same category as oil and other toxic chemicals. 

Pet waste that is left on our streets, sidewalks, yards, and parks has the potential to be washed away by rainwater and into Arcata's storm drain system. Storm water flows directly into our local waterways with no treatment. It may not seem like it, but pet waste is a threat to both water quality and human health. 

Water Quality

Did you know that pet waste contains excessive nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus? These nutrients encourage the growth of algae, which reduces oxygen in streams that fish and other aquatic organisms need to survive. 

Human Health

Pet waste is also known to carry harmful bacteria and micro-organisms such as Roundworms, E. Coli, and Giardia. These pathogens can make our waterways unswimmable, unfishable, and can cause severe illnesses in humans. Those especially at risk are young children and the elderly. 

Do your part: Scoop-the-Poop

Cleaning up after your pet isn't just courteous, it's the healthy and environmentally sound thing to do. Let's work together to keep pet waste out of our water resources and recreational areas. 

Dog Owner Tips 

  1. Pick up pet waste daily from your yard and dispose of it in a garbage can or toilet. 
  2. Make sure your pet(s) are up to date on their vaccinations. 
  3. Carry disposable bags when you walk your pet. 
  4. Keep pet waste out of compost piles and yard waste bins. 
  5. Ensure you have extra bags in your car, so you are always prepared. 
  6. Take advantage of parks and recreational areas that have courtesy bags and disposal boxes. 
  7. Avoid letting your pet do his/her business within 200 feet of a water body. 
  8. Encourage your friends and neighbors to clean up after their pets!