Buzzards Bay Coalition Releases Wastewater Study

BOURNE – The Buzzards Bay Coalition has released its Upper Bay Regional Wastewater Feasibility Assessment, finding that a regional wastewater solution through expansion of Wareham’s wastewater treatment facility could have a beneficial impact on water quality.

According to the report, the Wareham Water Pollution Control Facility currently reduces nitrogen pollution by over 90% and could be expanded to meet the current and future needs of Marion, Wareham, South Plymouth, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and Bourne.

A unified approach would reduce nitrogen pollution, identified as the primary source of pollution in the region’s coastal waterways, by removing an estimated 100,000 lbs of nitrogen from coastal waters each year.

Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution determined that discharge to the Cape Cod Canal would ensure that highly treated water would flow through the well- flushed canal rather than fragile coastal ecosystems, with no adverse impact to water quality in the canal and surrounding waters.

The report estimates the project would cost $150 million, with local communities potentially sharing the costs with state and federal funding sources.

“Massachusetts may see up to $1 billion through the 2021 federal infrastructure bill for wastewater projects. We increase our chances of receiving substantial federal dollars to offset the costs of wastewater projects if the region can work together to reduce pollution and meet wastewater needs,” said Buzzards Bay Coalition President Mark Rasmussen.

“It’s about looking at the whole picture and knowing that the investment we make today will save us time, money, and yield positive environmental results in the future,” he said.

“The Buzzards Bay Coalition has never seen a project with greater potential to reduce pollution and cleanup water quality in the entire Upper Bay region.”

Upon completion of their Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plans, the towns will have to decide whether to pursue individual or regional solutions to the wastewater problem.

By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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