Philadelphia Water Department wants dogs to speak, speak

    Utility wants to draft canines to bring attention to problem of waste infiltrating city’s water supply.

    The Philadelphia Water Department is seeking a couple of canine ambassadors to become their new spokesdogs. Their job will be to help guard the water supply from pollution.

    The problem is two-fold. First, dog waste dumped into corner sewers results in bacterial pollution in the Schuylkill River. Second, homeowners pour concrete in their front yards to discourage Fido from leaving a deposit.

    Laura Copeland, a spokeswoman for the water department, says that’s an indirect problem.

    “Paving increases stormwater runoff. We want to have a more green environment. We want people to plant trees and use native plants on their properties,” says Copeland. “It will help our waterways. It will help mitigate flooding. There are so many benefits to a green city as opposed to a paved city.”

    Two spokesdogs will be chosen, one from East Falls and one from the Roxborough-Manayunk area. Each winner will have a year to attend three community events to hand out bag dispensers and tip cards. The dog owners will receive a $200 gift card to a pet supply store.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.