Topics: Groundwater protection

“ Tiny bubbles Make me warm all over With a feeling that I'm gonna Love you till the end of time.”                - Leon Pober ORLEANS — The Orleans Pond Coalition may not be prepared to aerate Sarah's Pond “till the end of time,” but it's all in on backing a two-year demonstration project using “tiny bubbles” to restore the pond's health. On Nov. 6, the conservation commission decided unanimou...

Experts Survey Muddy Creek Vegetation

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Environmental technicians found themselves up the creek last week, looking at marsh grass and other vegetation. Consultants from the Horsley Witten Group spent Thursday and Friday examining and photographing the vegetation just inside Muddy Creek as part of an effort to track changes in the waterway's flora following the installation of the Route 28 bridge two years ago. While the results from t...

Selectmen Battle Over Issuance Of Cold Brook Contract

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — As the town moves into another funding phase for the Cold Brook nitrogen attenuation project, selectmen are raising a number of questions about design, consultant funding and defining the goals of the public/private relationship with Harwich Conservation Trust. On a split vote, selectmen Monday night approved a $119,800 agreement with consultants CDM Smith, Inc. to continue technical team participati...

Conceptual Design In Place For Cold Brook Project

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The Cold Brook project is at about the 50 percent design stage, Harwich Conservation Trust Executive Director Michael Lach informed selectmen in a presentation on the ecological restoration initiative at the Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve. The Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, HCT and the town are working together in the planning, design and permit...

HARWICH — There is a proposal in the works to restore oyster beds in the Herring River that could also serve to improve estuary's health. The oyster reef proposal would be a cooperative venture between the town's natural resources department and the conservation commission. Oysters have become a recognized source of filtration for the ability to process carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus at high rates, byprodu...

ORLEANS — For more than 15 years, townspeople have been taking the fate of their estuaries into their own hands. They've done this literally, by diligent collection of water samples from Nauset Marsh/Town Cove, Upper Pleasant Bay, Rock Harbor, and Namskaket and Little Namskaket marshes. The data were used by the Massachusetts Estuaries Project (MEP) to assess the health of these water bodies and played a par...

Culminating years of work, lawmakers last week passed legislation that would extend the hotel-motel tax to short-term rental properties, boosting town coffers and raising funds for expensive wastewater treatment projects. But one day after the legislative session ended, Gov. Charlie Baker sent the bill back to committee for more work. Despite the current uncertainty about the bill’s future, most agree that the...

Resorts Threatened With Lawsuits Alleging Pollution

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Alleging that the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club and the Wychmere Harbor Club are responsible for significant nitrogen pollution of coastal waters, the Conservation Law Foundation has put the owners of the resorts on notice of its intent to file suit under the federal Clean Waters Act. Under the law, citizens and organizations can sue alleged violators after first providing 60 days notice. Last Thur...

Progress Made On Cold Brook Conceptual Design

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Progress has been made on the conceptual design for the Cold Brook Ecological Project being worked out between the town and the Harwich Conservation Trust. But there remain a number of questions over financing and the actual amount of nitrogen that will be removed through the town's proposed attenuation project. “We're now in transition from conceptual design to trying to put meat on the bones,” Dr. ...

Expect To Pay More For Water

By: Tim Wood

Revenue Needed To Fund Infrastructure Improvements CHATHAM – A proposed change in the way water use is billed will increase the cost of town water between 10 and 37 percent for most households and businesses. The rate changes eliminate the current allowance of 1,000 cubic feet of water use in the basic residential minimum charge, substituting a lower minimum charge that covers the operating costs of the wat...

Sennott Bog Purchase Tied To Cold Brook Restoration

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, working with the Harwich Conservation Trust, has purchased the 7.9-acre cranberry bog along Bank Street formerly owned by John and Paula Sennott. The purchase is instrumental to the Harwich Conservation Trust's ecological restoration plan for the Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve, which the bog property abuts, giving the trust control of the water flow f...

Trust And Town Seek Agreement On Cold Brook Restoration

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — While funding and technical details relating to the design alterations of the Harwich Conservation Trust's Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve are still being discussed, town officials, consultants, state and trust representatives are confident they are getting close to a final plan. “We're actually getting close and I can't think of a more exciting project to address the nitrogen issue,” said David ...

ORLEANS — The town's science experiment in Lonnie's Pond is one step closer to becoming a self-supporting commercial enterprise. At an extraordinary Saturday meeting, the board of selectmen asked its consultants for a management plan for a private grower to take over the effort in 2019, when three years of town funding will end. Members were encouraged by the amount of nitrogen removed from the pond so far b...

ORLEANS — Uncle Harvey's sick, and those who care are discussing what to do about it. The 7.5-acre pond south of Pochet Road has been flagged for harmful algal blooms by the state Department of Environmental Protection, and the state Department of Public Health has issued advisories to avoid contact with the water. Since the turn of the century, volunteers have been monitoring water quality in Uncle Harve...

ORLEANS — Selectmen will invite the finance committee and the Orleans Water Quality Advisory Panel (OWQAP) to their Jan. 10 meeting for the unveiling of a revised financial model for paying the capital costs of a downtown sewer system. That decision came at the end of a discussion Dec. 13 on whether the consensus-building OWQAP process, which brought eight community organizations together as stakeholders for...

ORLEANS — For a while Saturday night, Mother Nature just didn't want summer to end. A heavy blanket of moist air descended on Nauset Beach, where thousands had lined up to face a towering stack of pallets destined to become a glorious bonfire. As Orleans DJ Tom Tuttle spun (appropriately) the long version of “Light My Fire” (“The time to hesitate is through”), the throngs waited patiently for the pyrotechnic...