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COLUMBIA CITY â€” Pet waste, especially dog waste, can mean trouble for the water quality in Columbia City.
Gene Haskins with Whitley County Soil and Water said this is usually not a problem with cats.
â€śCats use liter, which is disposed of in the trash,â€ť said Haskins, â€śThatâ€™s no problem because it goes to the landfill.â€ť
For dogs, Haskins said the problem is twofold when owners walk their dogs and do not clean up after them, and when the dogs are fenced in a yard.
According to Haskins, there are nearly 2,212 dogs dropping an average of 1,659 pounds of waste every day. Much of the waste is cleaned up, but some is not.
â€śWhen it rains, it washes all that waste away,â€ť said Haskins.
This pollutes the waterways, making it a health hazard.
â€śNot all of it will reach the waterways, but it can be a problem,â€ť said Haskins.
To help resolve the problem, Haskins said dog waste stations on the Blue River Trail or down in Morches Park are being considered.
â€śWeâ€™re still moving on that project,â€ť said Haskins. â€śThere are not any plans made for that yet.â€ť
In the mean time, Haskins encourages owners to clean up after their pets to ensure cleaner, healthier water.