Designated off-leash areas with a stream include Shirlington and Glencarlyn dog parks.
Dogs must be on a leash in all other County parks.
Please take the following into consideration the next time you consider letting your pet into the stream.
Arlington’s streams receive the County’s stormwater runoff.
- Stormwater washes petroleum, bacteria, dirt, litter and anything else found on our streets, into our streams.
- Stormwater runoff is not treated or filtered before entering the streams.
Arlington’s stream volunteers monitor bacteria levels at 21 sites around Arlington once a month.
- Arlington data has shown higher bacteria counts within 72 hours of a rain storm throughout the County.
- Sites near Shirlington and Banneker dog parks have shown more instances of high bacteria levels over the course of the last year.
- You cannot see bacteria. Even if the water is clear, that doesn’t mean that it is clean.
- Learn more about the monitoring program and see past monitoring data.
Events like sewer breaks can result in sudden increases in bacteria levels.
- If a pipe breaks, the sewage will likely find its way into a stream. It may be several hours before crews are alerted and able to post warnings. Sign up for Arlington Alert to receive notifications of events like sewer breaks.
Broken glass, wire, and sharp metal are often along the stream bottom.
- These items are not easily seen when they are in the water and can easily cut your dog’s paws.
If a stream appears to be discolored, visit the Report Stream Pollution page. The images on this page may help you determine the cause of the discoloration and whether you should call the Emergency Communications Center (703-558-2222).