(ABC4) – When it comes to embarking outdoors, the adage of “leaving things better than you found it” is quite applicable.

With folks journeying into nature, park officials are reminding visitors to clean up their waste — that includes human waste.

Bureau of Land Management Utah (BLM) officials say improperly disposing of human waste can pollute natural water sources and spread diseases. Campers should plan ahead, especially when nature calls.

Every campground should have rules regarding proper disposal, but generally when in forest locations, human feces can be buried. Officials say you can create a six to eight inch cat hole for burying. If you’re in an alpine or desert area, you’ll likely need to dispose of waste in a Waste Alleviation and Gelling (WAG) bag or other portable toilet equipment that safely holds waste until it can be properly disposed off-site.

Some areas have designated restroom facilities which should be noted when spending a prolonged time in an outdoor recreational area.

When nearby rivers, visitors should be equipped with a washable, leak-proof toilet system that allows for properly carrying out and disposing of human waste. BLM officials say it’s important to bring enough containers for the size of your group.

“All solid human waste, including bags, must be contained in a leak-proof, animal-proof, hard-sided container with a screw-on or ratchet-locking lid,” says BLM. “Leaving solid human waste on public lands or dumping it into vault toilets at Bureau of Land Management facilities is prohibited.”

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