Topics: Groundwater protection

HARWICH – The town’s extensive review of the Cold Brook Eco-Restoration Project got underway with the filing of permit requests with the conservation commission. The project, a partnership between the town of Harwich and Harwich Conservation Trust, seeks eco-restoration and nitrogen mitigation of fallow cranberry bogs. The commission received its first presentation of the project on June 15. Commission members...

BREWSTER — Septic systems are the greatest contributor to groundwater and freshwater pond degradation, Susan Bridges, Brewster Ponds Coalition president, told about 100 residents attending the 2022 Ponds Summit June 17 at the Brewster Baptist Church. While Brewster has been very forward-thinking about protecting the watershed around town wells, portions of town not protected by land purchases – including most ...

ORLEANS – The local use of fertilizers and their impact on the town's water resources has been a subject of discussion among Orleans officials for years. Select board members last week said the time has come to take more forceful action. Following the lead of officials on Nantucket, the board voted 4-0 June 15 to draft an article for the special town meeting in October requesting that the town petition the sta...

CHATHAM — While officials say a town-wide study to pinpoint the source of contamination by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) isn’t feasible, the town is seeking a consultant to look for potential PFAS sources in the vicinity of three drinking water wells that have shown detectable levels of the pollution. PFAS have been identified at various times in three town wells. Well 4 at Indian Hill showed leve...

ORLEANS – With the aquifer still at a low level, the board of water and sewer commissioners unanimously voted April 20 to implement watering restrictions in town from May through September. With the vote, Orleans joins neighboring towns including Chatham, Harwich, Brewster and Dennis in adopting restrictions on non-essential water usage. “ We are not alone,” Sue Brown, the town’s assistant water superi...

Cedar Pond’s Health Improving Incrementally

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — The news from Cedar Pond isn’t all bad. “There have been some improvements since various management plans have gone into place,” marine and fresh water quality committee chair Judy Scanlon told members March 7. “The public needs to hear some of the positive developments.” They’ll have an opportunity to do that at the committee’s next meeting, on March 28, when the recent adaptive management monito...

CHATHAM — In the first three years that the towns of Orleans, Chatham, Harwich and Brewster have operated under a regional watershed permit, they’ve achieved around 75 percent of their five-year goal for controlling nutrient pollution entering Pleasant Bay. That’s the news from the Pleasant Bay Alliance, which issued its annual report to the member towns recently. “The good news is that things are pretty much ...

Celebrate Our Waters Returns After COVID-19 Hiatus

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS -- Water quality continues to be a cornerstone issue on Cape Cod, and for almost 20 years, the Orleans Pond Coalition has been doing its part to try and improve the region’s waterways. From piloting programs to conducting research into new ways to help keep the town’s ponds clean, the coalition has taken numerous approaches to addressing the issue of water quality since it began in 2003. Part of the co...

ORLEANS — Like many, she stayed close to home the last few months. She picked up a lot of information about Deep Pond, and made sure to get as much sun as she could. Now she’s taking a break before moving to Pleasant Bay for the summer and fall. She (that’s how her creators refer to her) is PEARL, aka Platform for Expanding AUV exploRation to Longer ranges (“Auv” stands for autonomous underwater vehicles). C...

McManus Takes Out Nomination Papers, But Not For Selectman

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Selectman Ed McManus will have served as a selectman for 14 years when his term ends in May and he says it’s time to change hats. He took out nomination papers this week to run for a two-year term on the new water/wastewater commission. “I think I can be of more use concentrating on water/wastewater projects,” McManus told The Chronicle last Wednesday. “I’ve had a fair amount of experience on lar...

ORLEANS — Sometimes, floating an idea means just that. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty member is testing an experimental solar-powered data buoy known as PEARL that's anchored in Deep Pond. Last month, Professor Olivier L. de Weck answered questions from the conservation commission about the device, which is a prototype of a larger version to be deployed in the ocean. The floating p...

HARWICH — The Harwich Conservation Trust is working with the Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts to put in place two conservation restrictions on properties located in the zone two of Contribution Wellhead Protection Areas to the town’s public drinking water supply. The properties are located in sensitive resource areas and are adjacent to protected conservation lands. One parcel, 6.65 acres on the nort...

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....