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Letter: Pick Up After Your Pet

Many dog owners are completely unaware of the impact of not picking up after their pet. Some common misconceptions from pet owners are: It’s completely natural and leaving it on the ground to decompose is fine if it’s left where someone can’t step in it.

According to the EPA, pet waste is 57% more toxic than human waste, and in 1991 it was placed in the same health category as oil and toxic chemicals. The EPA also estimates that in two or three days, 100 dogs can produce enough bacteria to close a small bay with a 20 square mile watershed to swimming and fishing. Dog feces contain high concentrations of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and pathogens (bacteria, viruses, worms and parasites) that can cause serious illness in humans and pets. Dog feces can take up to a year to break down in the environment. Some fecal bacteria can even become airborne. The deposit site can become toxic to both dogs and people. Some pathogens can survive for years; for instance, roundworms and Giardia survive up to four years, E. coli can live up to four months, and salmonella up to six months.

Once on the ground, feces become a non-point source (NPS) pollutant. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt running over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away the nutrients and pathogens, and deposits them into groundwater, storm water run-off, streams, rivers and lakes. Unlike most NPS pollutants, pet feces contain pathogens that make people and/or pets sick. Feces from yards and urban areas enter storm water run-off. Feces left in wooded or shoreline areas, such as parks, almost always bypass storm water run-off systems and directly enter waterways.

Nature can easily handle the feces breakdown of wildlife and maintain a balance. Our environment cannot handle and effectively process high concentrations of pet waste, which create an un-natural balance.

If it is buried, it still leaves pathogens on site below the surface, and nutrients and pathogens can still enter the groundwater. Flushing it down the toilet works well (feces only but not a plastic pick-up bag) if you’re on a city sewer system where it can be treated, but septic systems can’t handle the load. Scooping, bagging and disposing of feces in the garbage is the most ecological and responsible way to clean up after your pet. Landfills are specifically designed so that wastes are contained and do not leach into groundwater.

If you care about your community, your home and health, pick up after your dog and dispose of it properly, so you don’t pollute the soil, and keep it out of our waters.

David Paterson

 

News

Philip D’Aguanno, 79, of Melville, passed away on Oct. 15. Loving husband of Maria. Devoted Father, father-in-law and grandfather. A funeral mass was held at S.t Kilian R.C. Church. Interment Holy Rood Cemetery. Funeral arrangements entrusted to the McCourt & Trudden Funeral Home, Inc.


The Citizens Campaign for the Environment, a Farmingdale-based advocacy group, recently joined state lawmakers and Massapequa water district officials for a press conference calling on New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the proposed Navy Grumman Plume Remediation Act (A9492), which has already passed both the state Assembly and Senate, in an effort to protect Long Island’s drinking water and the Great South Bay from the Grumman-U.S. Navy underground plume of toxic chemicals. 


Sports

Nassau County ASA President Keith O’Donnell and Chief Umpire Vincent Donnelly recently presented a $2400 check to Over the Hill Gang President Jim Reilly. The donation will be added to the funds the men’s softball league raised on behalf of Sal Pugliese Jr. as the young boy battles a rare hip disorder. The OTHG would like to thank the ASA for its generous contribution to a fantastic local cause.

—Submitted by the Over the Hill Gang


Farmingdale runners Theresa Gannon, Chris Bartlett, Patty Baker and Jenine Cottone each came home with an award from the Blue Ribbon 10 kilometer and 5 kilometer runs for Prostate Cancer at Syosset-Woodbury Community Park. 


Calendar

Thanksgiving Eve - November 26

Altheas Boutique Opening - November 29

Tri-Centennial Tree Lighting - December 2


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1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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