BELLINGHAM – A dog trained to sniff out water pollution has detected human waste in many of the water samples taken from Whatcom County waterways.
A Whatcom County official, Erika Douglas, says the dog Crush found the presence of fecal coliform bacteria from people in about two-thirds of 58 sites. A lab confirmed the contamination.
The Bellingham Herald reported that officials are using the information to pinpoint the pollution source and to prioritize cleanup.
The water samples were collected and placed into bins. The dog is trained to lie down if it detects the presences of human waste.
Douglas says using poop-sniffing dogs is one of many tools being used to clean up waterways, and has some limitations.
The dog can’t detect waste from wildlife or livestock, or determine how much bacteria is in the water.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.