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Jul 8, 2013 10:56 AM by Ryan Haarer

Desert rain could mean dirty water this summer

TUCSON- When rain falls it's generally pretty clean. But, when it hits the street it's a different story, picking up all the pollutants that have been sitting in the desert sun, waiting to be washed away.

We all know that neighbor who refuses to pick up after their pet, thinking what their furry friend leaves behind will magically disappear. The fact is it doesn't.

"It collects flies and gnats. People don't want to step in it. Which is the worst thing. and the odor!" said dog owner, Rhoda Geisel.

But even worse is what you cannot see.

"It carries e-coli and other viruses and bacteria that are harmful to human beings. It's also harmful to the animals that are out in the desert as well," said Marie Light, principal hydrologist for Pima County.

And if you don't pick up the mess the rain will.

"It's washes like this that are a concern during heavy rain. When it does rain all of the pesticides, herbicides, bacteria and even the oil from your home and street flow into this wash and through the city," said Light.

Each present your pet leaves behind can potentially carry billions of bacteria.

Also, don't forget about those pesticides you use in the garden and store any pesticide in a dry area in the container it came in.

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