Mashpee Wastewater Treatment Plan Moves Forward with Phase 1

MASHPEE – Passed by unanimous vote at annual town meeting, the Mashpee wastewater treatment project moves forward with its first phase. 

The project’s first phase will cost $56 million and was approved by the 436 voters who attended the town meeting on the Mashpee Middle-High School field.

Select board member Andrew Gottlieb said that the town has been looking at ways to improve its water quality for years.

“If you’re my age or older and you’ve been in this town since the early 1980’s, you know that under the blue-sky reflection in the Mashpee River, the upper reaches of Popponesset Bay, Santuit River, Waquoit Bay that if you were to look underneath the water, you could see the bottom. You could see your feet on the bottom, you could see eelgrass and the habitat that it provided,” said Gottlieb.

“You also know, if you lived here that long, that’s not what exists today.”

Gottlieb said that the passage of the article is the first step of many to get the water cleaner and rebuild habitats lost to nitrogen pollution.

Phase 1 consists of two parts, starting with the construction of a modular wastewater treatment plant at the transfer station’s location.

The facility was designed to be mostly out of sight.

“The facility has been sited and designed so that the treatment work itself is actually underground,” said Gottlieb.

The facility will also utilize air scrubbing technology to keep possible orders out of the community.

The second part of Phase 1 will include new sewer developments.

The $56 million just covers the first phase. Further phases of the five-phase project will require the organizers to return to town government and its residents for approval, said the selectman.

Gottlieb said that the property taxes of residents will not be raised by the first phase of the project, due to zero-interest financing from the state, $1.8 million in principal forgiveness, and about $13 million in funding from the Cape and Islands Water Protection Trust.

Short-term rental tax has also covered part of the project’s cost.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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