3 projects, 6 towns, a cleaner Buzzards Bay: $575K in grants will reduce pollution from wastewater

Three Coalition-sponsored projects have received over $575,000 in federal grant money to seek new ways to solve Buzzards Bay’s nitrogen pollution crisis in six different towns, from Mattapoisett to Falmouth.

Wareham Water Pollution Control Facility outfall on the Agawam River

The Coalition is evaluating a plan to move the Wareham Water Pollution Control Facility’s discharge pipe from the Agawam River to a less sensitive location.

These projects were the top grants awarded by the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program with funding from the U.S. EPA’s Southeast New England Program.

All three of these projects center around reducing pollution from wastewater: Buzzards Bay’s biggest source of harmful nitrogen. Because traditional septic systems don’t treat for nitrogen, they’re a major offender against clean water in our coves, harbors, and rivers.

Two of the projects aim to connect more homes on septic systems to municipal sewer plants, which do a better job of removing nitrogen. For example, the Coalition is evaluating a plan to move the Wareham Water Pollution Control Facility’s discharge pipe from the Agawam River to Taylor Point. By moving the discharge to a less sensitive location at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the towns of Wareham, Bourne, and Plymouth could expand sewer lines to homes that now use septic systems and cesspools.

The third grant, awarded to the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), will help the Coalition keep working to clean up West Falmouth Harbor. Through this project, the Coalition will work with MBL and the Barnstable County Department of Health and the Environment to measure pollution from traditional septic systems versus innovative alternative systems that remove nitrogen.

Head over to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs website for the full grant announcement

Category: On the Bay

Current Issues

Nitrogen Pollution

Nitrogen pollution is the greatest long-term threat to the health of Buzzards Bay. We all contribute nitrogen pollution to our local waterways. Fortunately, we can all do our part to stop it.

Read More ›

Related Stories

The #1 thing you can do to save Buzzards Bay? Upgrade your septic system. Here’s how you can this fall.

Be part of the solution by applying to upgrade your septic system and reduce Buzzards Bay's biggest source of harmful nitrogen pollution.

Full Story ›
West Falmouth demonstration project reduces nitrogen pollution from 20 septic systems by 78%

Last year, 20 homeowners around West Falmouth Harbor signed up to upgrade their septic systems or cesspools to nitrogen-reducing technology as part of a demonstration project led by the Coalition and the town of Falmouth.

Full Story ›
Permanent boat waste pumpout service coming to Cuttyhunk in 2018

The Coalition is working with the town of Gosnold to install a free, permanent boat waste pumpout station in Cuttyhunk Harbor, which will begin service in June 2018.

Full Story ›

Working to Save Buzzards Bay

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a membership-supported organization dedicated to improving the health of the Buzzards Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.

We work to protect clean water on the Bay and on the land: