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

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