Did you know there are more than 16,000 registered dogs on the South Shore, from Weymouth to Kingston?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average dog produces approximately ¾ pound of waste per day. If you do the math, that’s more than 12,000 pounds of poop per day and 4.5 million pounds of poop per year–just on the South Shore!

Too much of this waste washes into our storm drains that flow directly to nearby creeks, fish and wildlife habitats, downstream recreational areas, and into our drinking water supplies. NSRWA and WaterSmart are working to change this. If you own a dog, please help us keep our waters clean by spreading the word–Scoop the Poop!

What’s wrong with dog poop?

Scooping the poop is not just about the mess – it’s about clean water and the health of our community.

  • Dog waste is unhealthy for people, other dogs and the environment. It is raw sewage with twice as much bacteria as human waste–a breeding ground for infection.
  • A 40-pound dog produces 7.8 billion fecal coliform bacteria per day.
  • Pet waste left on the side of the road or in the woods releases bacteria that can end up in our water supply where humans and other animals can be exposed.
  • Giardia, Salmonella, and Campylobacter are just some of the diseases that can be transferred to humans from pet waste.
  • The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also confirmed that pet waste can spread parasites including salmonella, tapeworms, roundworms and hookworms.
  • Children are particularly vulnerable to these bacteria, since they often play in the dirt and put things in their mouths.

How can I help?

Join thousands of other responsible South Shore dog owners and Scoop the Poop–whenever and wherever–even in your own yard, in the woods and at the beach, even in the snow and even if you have a small dog.

  • Always bring dog-waste bags and put filled bags in a trash can.
  • Never put dog waste in a recycling bin.
  • Never use dog poop was a “natural” fertilizer in your yard or garden–it can be toxic to your soil and your family.
  • Never leave dog-waste bags on the roadside or dump them in storm drains–these are not connected to wastewater treatment facilities or septic systems.
  • Pick up a Scoop It! pet waste information card at your town clerk’s office (where you get your dog license) or download it online.

WaterSmart is a nonprofit partnership between the NSRWA and 12 towns on the South Shore: Cohasset, Duxbury, Hanover, Hingham, Hull, Kingston, Marshfield, Norwell, Pembroke, Rockland, Scituate and Weymouth. Our programs are based on the belief that education is key. Since its creation, WaterSmart has educated thousands of local school-age children, adults, and businesses on water conservation, stormwater pollution, where their water comes from, and how to care for it.

For more information, contact WaterSmart Program Manager Lori Wolfe, at lori@nsrwa.org or (781) 659-8168.