National News

Dog poop is poisoning the waters of Tampa Bay

Posted October 9

— After Hurricane Irma, and other major storms, environmental scientist Andy Lykens, from Tampa Bay Watch, says something funky pollutes our waters:

"Dog poop," he says. "That's a really big problem. That introduces nitrogen into the water and fecal matter into the water. That's a reason why beaches get shut down."

"When you get a lot of rainfall at one time," he adds, "it pushes everything at once into the bay. Everything drains into the bay."

Dog ownership is up 29 percent, even more so with millennials. As a result, more local companies are being created -- and hired by neighborhoods -- to patrol dog-poop scofflaws and even do canine fecal analysis and DNA testing. It's a hot-button issue.

There's even a self-policing movement on social media, especially the Nextdoor app, where neighbors are vigilant about making sure other neighbors clean up after Fido.

Diane Bradley, who owns four dogs and lives in a newer Land O' Lakes community, says homeowners with pooches are kept honest with hefty fines starting at $250. Being lazy is one thing; writing a check because you didn't want to poop-scoop is another.

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