On March 13, 2023, the Zephyrhills City Council approved an ordinance establishing requirements for the proper disposal of pet waste.
Details of the new ordinance include:
- Pet owners must immediately collect and dispose of their pet’s waste
- Applies to pet waste on any public or private property not owned by the pet owner
- Law does not apply to people who own pets for disability assistance
- Law does not apply to agricultural activity
- In effect in all City of Zephyrhills incorporated areas
Some additional background on the decision:
In September 2018, Pasco County renewed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)'s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit No. FLS000032, Cycle 4 for the Pasco County Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), of which the City is part of.
As required in Part VIII.B of this permit, the City must comply with the adopted provisions of a Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP). The FDEP has identified specific water bodies in the County as "impaired" because of excess nutrients or bacteria under the Florida Impaired Waters Rule (Chapter 62-303, Florida Administrative Code).
The FDEP has mandated total maximum daily loads for impaired water bodies and has adopted the Hillsborough River Basin Bacteria BMAP within the Tampa Bay watershed.
Implementation of a pet waste ordinance is an approved stormwater best management practice, a component of the BMAP's, and part of the strategies implemented in other jurisdictions to achieve the required pollutant load reductions to meet total maximum daily loads and reduce nutrient and bacteria loading to the springs, Gulf of Mexico, and Tampa Bay.
For additional questions, please call the City of Zephyrhills Public Works Department at 813-780-0022.