Pet Waste

Dog Waste Facts

Did you know that one gram of dog waste contains 23 million fecal bacteria?

  1. Dog waste is a significant contributor to water contamination

    Dog waste often contains harmful bacteria and parasites such as; E. Coli, Salmonella, Heartworms, and Parvovirus.

    How does dog poop end up contaminating our waterways?

    When left to decompose, toxic material from the droppings seep into the soil. These contaminents are also carried by runoff through storm drains and creeks, which then end up in our lakes, beaches, and even drinking water! High quantities of bacteria contaminate the water used by surfers, swimmers, boaters, and sea life.

  2. Dog waste can harm your health

    Bacteria and parasites in dog waste can be transmitted to humans through contaminated soil, water, or even through direct contact. Children who play in parks or streams have an even greater risk of coming in contact with these diseases.

  3.  Dog waste is an environmental pollutant

    According to the EPA, dog waste is considered a non-point source pollutant along with: 
    - herbicides and insecticides
    - oil, grease, and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production
    - salt from irrigation practices-acid drainage 
    -acid drainage from abandoned mines

What Can You Do?

  1. Bag-it! Always bring plastic bags to pick up after your dog. Don't forget to throw the bag into a garbage receptacle- leaving bags along trails or in parks is considered littering and is subject to fines. The longer dog waste stays on the ground, the greater the contamination becomes, so be sure to pick up the droppings promptly! This applies to parks, along trails, and even backyards. Contrary to popular belief, dog waste is not recommended as a lawn fertilizer.

  2. DO NOT COMPOST PET WASTE! "While animal manure can make useful fertilizer, parasites carried in dog and cat feces can cause diseases in humans and should not be incorporated into compost piles" (EPA, 2001). A secondary option is to flush pet waste down the toilet. Doing so allows waste to be treated at a local water treatment plant.

    Dog and Cat

  3. Don't forget about your other pets! Make sure to clean up after your dogs, cats, horses, and other household pets. Help keep our waterways and communities clean!

Dog Bag Dispenser Giveaway!

Unfortunately, the free dog bag dispenser supplies have run out. Thank you for your interest and dedication to keeping San Mateo County clean!

State Parks:

  • Butano State Park
  • McNee Ranch State Park

Local Trails:

Dog Friendly Parks and Areas:


  1. County of San Mateo Parks Department
  2. Environmental Protection Agency: Office of Water
  3. Environmental Protection Agency: Sourcewater Protection 
  4. Doody Calls: Pet Waste Management
  5. James V. Fitzgerald ASBS: "Get the Scoop on Pet Poop"