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Washington Waters  Ours to Protect

pet waste What you can do...

Manure management

Manage manure.
Collect, cover and compost.

If you keep livestock, even just one or two, you have a special role to play in keeping our state’s waters clean.

Bonus points!

Good manure management also helps you:
  • Prevent parasite re-infestation.
  • Keep groundwater clean.
  • Build goodwill with your neighbors.
  • Support a healthy watershed.
  • Reduce mud.

Livestock manure can be great fertilizer, but when it’s exposed to the weather, it also can be a source of water pollution. Water running off manure carries nutrients and bacteria that cause problems when they enter Washington’s waters.

Bacteria from manure can make shellfish unfit to eat and water unsafe to drink or to swim in. Nutrients from manure can promote excessive algae and aquatic plant growth. As the plants decay, they deplete the oxygen that fish and other aquatic life need.

Just as manure can pile up quickly, runoff from even small piles of manure can add up to big problems. Many livestock owners may not be aware that manure in their yards and pastures is polluting waters miles away.

Manure doesn’t have to be a problem.

What will you do to help?

  • Use downspouts to direct runoff from buildings away from manure.
  • Pile manure and keep it under cover in a convenient site that’s sheltered from heavy winds.
  • Pick up manure from farm yards and paddocks at least every 3 days.
  • When using a tarp for a cover, use a durable, heavy-weight one large enough to fully cover the pile. Secure it well.
  • Work with the local conservation district office to make a plan and learn how to best handle your manure. You may be eligible for cost sharing to put your plan into action.
  • Build a compost system or have an off-site compost facility collect the manure.

When you leave manure out in the rain, remember
you’re not just leaving it out in the rain.

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Protecting Washington’s Waters from Stormwater Pollution

Working for Washington's Future: Healthy Watersheds, Healthy People