Pet Waste Management
Besides being a nuisance, when pet waste is not properly disposed of, it can wash into the stormwater conveyance system. In Winnetka, stormwater is ultimately drained directly into either Lake Michigan or the river. Untreated animal feces can become a significant source of runoff pollution. As pet waste decays in a water body, it uses up oxygen; sometimes releasing ammonia. Low oxygen levels and ammonia combines with warm temperatures can be detrimental to the health of fish and other aquatic life. Pet waste also contains nutrients that promote weed and algae growth, which ca render a water body unsuitable for recreational activities. Pet waste also carries bacteria, viruses and parasites that can pose risks to human health and threaten wildlife. Pet waste can be managed in several ways. Two preferred methods of disposal are either to throw away in your regular trash or flush it down the toilet.
Trash and Recycling Management
Trash and floating debris in waterways, in addition to being a visual pollutant, poses a threat to wildlife and human health. One way to ensure that trash and debris never make it to the waterway is to manage its disposal.
This article is a joint effort between the Winnetka Park District and the Village of Winnetka to promote Best Management Practices (BMP’s). These practices reduce the impact of non-point source pollution. Homeowners and businesses can incorporate BMP’s into their daily activities to improve water quality and reduce runoff.