With so many of us at home, one winner is the family dog who may be getting more walks than ever.

But Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has a reminder for dog owners going walkies: if you don’t pick up your dog droppings, you could wind up watching it floating in your local creek, river or even in Port Phillip Bay.

Chief Environment Scientist Dr Andrea Hinwood says EPA monitors water quality at waterways around the state and recent testing found dog droppings are one of the common sources of beach water contamination around Port Phillip Bay.

“We test around the bay and a few of the routine samples for the different sources of contamination, and found signs of animal droppings from pets,” Dr Hinwood said.

“That testing certainly confirmed what anyone would think; that whatever washes off the streets in a rain storm will wash down the storm drains and waterways and eventually wind up in the bay, and that includes what some dogs and their owners have left behind,” she said.

“Exposure to animal droppings can cause a variety of complaints, including stomach upsets and skin irritation.

“And of course, every dog owner who cleans up after their four-legged friend is doing their bit to keep the bay in good shape,” Dr Hinwood said.

Other common contaminants in beach water include; litter, plastics, cigarette butts and detergents.

If you see pollution, call EPA on 1300 EPA VIC (372 842)
 

Reviewed 15 May 2020