Monday, August 07, 2006

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pat said...

Professor Cricket is a cutie. As a dog owner, I'd like to know an ecologically friendly way to clean up after him when he does his business.

naomi said...

Hello Pat, This is something I have been re-pondering. You don't want to leave dog doo on the ground because ends up in runoff and it pollutes our water. I have been using biodegradable bags which I purchase either at the Coop, Green Mercantile or Petco. But after researching how landfills don't let things degrade, I have been wondering about this more. I may contact an expert and wrtie about this in the future.

naomi said...

The Duluth News Tribune had a very good article on Sunday, Aug, 6 about fecal mater polluting our water:

Posted on Sun, Aug. 06,

Animal waste, storm runoff contribute to contamination
Bacteria contamination of lakes, streams and rivers is caused by several factors, according to local experts, including human and animal waste and storm sewer runoff.

The city's storm water, said Marnie Lonsdale, project coordinator with Duluth's Storm Water Utility, flows into catch basins, down the street, into rivers and creeks, taking with it salt, waste, fertilizers and other contaminants. All of the storm water has one destination: Lake Superior.

"People don't realize that storm water is never treated," Lonsdale said.

Two weeks ago, for example, city workers discovered that restaurant employees were dumping waste into a storm drain, believing it was a sewer drain. Lonsdale declined to name the restaurant, saying the employees didn't know what they were doing and "promised never to do it again."

Another problem, said Tim Tuominen, a chemist with the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District, which cleans Duluth's sewage and waste water, is that people like to walk their dogs along the creeks but don't clean up after them.

Storm water then pushes that waste, along with other bacteria and contaminants, into the water.

His suggestion about outdoor swimming in Duluth?

"Swimming after a rainfall is not the best time to swim," he said.

Tuominen knows this first-hand. Two years ago WLSSD tested nine creeks in the middle of Duluth near their mouths -- where they go into Lake Superior and will have the highest amounts of bacteria.

Each creek tested for higher-than-acceptable amounts of fecal coliform several times. All but one of those tests were done after a rainfall.

Tuominen said the public wasn't warned about the high bacteria levels.

"It's not information we considered we had to tell anyone about," he said. "It'd be great if we had tons of money to do (a testing program) ... but our primary function is wastewater treatment."

Prof. Cricket said...

For cat owners

Also check out this link: