Topics: Groundwater protection

EAST HARWICH — While they’ll be taking steps to keep themselves healthy during the pandemic, a group of dedicated volunteers will be protecting the health of local waterways once again this summer. This week, a coalition of groups led by the Pleasant Bay Alliance held a training session for volunteers who will be sampling local waterways several times this summer to help paint a picture of water quality trends...

ORLEANS — There’s disagreement about the medicine to make Uncle Harvey better. The marine and fresh water quality committee met last week with consultants to review a proposed timeline for treatment of the pond, which is subject to blooms of cyanobacteria, as soon as June. The committee has endorsed an application of alum to bind with the culprit substance, phosphorus, and drop it out of the water column; mone...

Next Big Challenge For Orleans: Stormwater

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — Water is a blessing and a challenge for the town. The beauty of the bays, the peace of the ponds, and the freshness of the drinking water are balanced by the need to manage wastewater and stormwater and to deal with erosion and flooding. With a decades-long plan to address wastewater in place, attention is turning to a possible long-range plan for another pollutant, stormwater runoff. There’s exten...

APCC: Immediate Action Needed For Water Protection

By: Alan Pollock

More than two-thirds of the Cape’s coastal waterways and more than a third of its freshwater ponds are suffering from poor water quality, according to the “State of the Waters” report recently released by the Association to Preserve Cape Cod. But they acknowledge that Lower Cape towns have made important strides toward reducing nutrient pollution, and that it will take time for that work to start showing results....

'Celebrate Our Waters' Turns 10 This Weekend

By: Alan Pollock

ORLEANS — If you haven’t had a chance to get out on the water this summer, or even if you have, you won’t want to miss the 10th annual Celebrate Our Waters weekend. It’s a series of fun events for families and individuals, and it’s a strategy by the Orleans Pond Coalition to build public involvement in initiatives that protect the town’s watersheds, estuaries, ponds and lakes. The public is invited to help kic...

Alum Treatment Approved For Hinckley's Pond

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — While the heavy nutrient loading in Hinckley's Pond that has caused serious algae blooms and fish kills in recent years needs to be addressed, the conservation commission made it clear it wants long term monitoring of the pond's health after the chemical remediation is applied. The town had hoped to employ aluminum sulfate/sodium aluminate – also known as alum – to the pond this past fall to address ...

Judge Rejects Motion To Dismiss Wychmere Pollution Suit

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — A federal judge has ruled a lawsuit filed by the Conservation Law Foundation charging Wychmere Beach Club with discharging pollutants into Nantucket Sound can move forward. Conservation Law Foundation filed two suits in August, one against Wychmere Beach Club and the other against Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, charging the waterside resorts with illegally discharging nitrogen from sewage disposal ...

CHATHAM — By order of selectmen, town groundskeepers will no longer use glyphosate, the active ingredient in herbicides like Roundup, to control weeds in parks, athletic fields, mulch beds and along walkways. The board’s vote Monday came at the request of Laura Kelley of the group Protect Our Cape Cod Aquifer (POCCA), who has argued against the use of pesticides that might contaminate the region’s shallow gr...

“ 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...