Can wildlife contribute to high fecal bacteria levels in water?

Yes, wildlife may contribute fecal bacteria to water.

Wildlife, including birds, can contribute fecal bacteria to our waterways. Examples may include waterfowl that seasonally visit agricultural fields in Whatcom County and potentially contribute fecal bacteria pollution to water that drains from the fields. Wildlife such as raccoons or rats can be a pollution problem when animals become concentrated in unnaturally high numbers in an area due to food sources made readily available by people (e.g. pet food outdoors or unsecured garbage).

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1. How does fecal bacteria pollution get into water?
2. Why do we test for indicator bacteria instead of pathogens to determine if water is healthy?
3. Are wastewater treatment plants polluting the Nooksack River?
4. Is pollution from the Lummi Reservation causing high fecal coliform bacteria levels in Portage Bay?
5. Can wildlife contribute to high fecal bacteria levels in water?
6. Do agencies use DNA testing to identify sources of fecal bacteria?
7. What can I do about fecal bacteria pollution?
8. Who can help me prevent manure-related pollution?
9. Who can help me prevent pollution from my septic system?
10. Has the state’s surface water quality standard for bacteria changed recently?
11. How does Whatcom County decide when to sample water?
12. Can wood waste (decomposing wood or vegetation) contribute to bacteria pollution?
13. Can Klebsiella be harmful to people?
14. Who enforces codes and laws related to protecting water quality?
15. What does “non-regulatory technical assistance” mean?