Educational Materials: Bacteria

Bacteria found in local waters usually comes from human, pet, livestock, or wildlife waste, and it is often transported by stormwater. The following resources offer education and outreach solutions for reducing bacteria contributions to stormwater.

When pet waste is not disposed of properly, stormwater carries that waste along with its bacteria and other pathogens straight to our local waters.

DID YOU KNOW? The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 100 dogs can produce enough bacteria-laden waste in 2-3 days to shut down a beach to swimming and shellfishing.


Pet Care(page within RI Stormwater Solutions)

Install A Pet Waste Station(page within RI Stormwater Solutions)

Do You Scoop The Poop?(factsheet)

Only You Can Prevent POO-lution(Jamestown, RI brochure)

Clean Water Campaign(poster)

New Hampshire Pet Waste Outreach Campaign(external website)

When a septic system is not regularly inspected and pumped, it can cause the system to fail. That can be very unpleasant for a homeowner, and it also can contribute bacteria to surface and ground waters.

DID YOU KNOW? Improperly maintained septic systems are a top contaminant of Rhode Island waters.


Septic Care (page within RI Stormwater Solutions)

How Healthy Is Your Septic System(factsheet)

The New England Onsite Wastewater Training Program(related URI website)

While most lawn care practices do not usually contribute bacteria, thinking about lawn care and its role in stormwater pollution is still worthwhile. Keeping water (both rain water and water used for irrigation) on your property allows it to soak into the ground rather than flowing across pavement, and thereby could indirectly reduce bacteria contributions from stormwater.

DID YOU KNOW? The amount of rain that flows off an average roof, over the course of a year in Rhode Island, would fill more than 500 bathtubs!


Yard Care (page within RI Stormwater Solutions)

Turf Grass Madness(external website)

Pets are not the only ones contributing bacteria through their waste. Large animal manure can be a problem when not properly managed, and wildlife (especially waterfowl such as geese) can contribute significant amounts of waste to local waters.

DID YOU KNOW? Canada geese prefer to congregate in areas with low vegetation near water. Creating buffers on coastal properties is an effective solution to deter them. Any modifications to lawns that reduce the amount of low grass also will deter geese.


Livestock (related URI website)

Why Is It Bad To Feed The Birds?(PDF)

Dealing With Canada Geese(external website)