Mashpee Moving Forward on Wastewater

Map outlining the first phase of Mashpee’s wastewater plan. Town of Mashpee

MASHPEE – The topics of  wastewater management and protecting the local water resources were in focus for Mashpee selectmen, Board of Health and Sewer Commission members and other town officials during a special joint meeting on the topic Monday.

Sewer Commission Chair Michael Rapacz said the town’s Wastewater Management Plan’s first and second phases will go a long way towards helping protect the town’s water sources, including treating 120,000 gallons per day during phase 1 with an eventual goal of 800,000 gallons. 

The planned treatment facility is expected to utilize the Willowbend Country Club property as its discharge site, though other properties—including municipal-owned ones—have been considered as alternatives, said water officials.

One treatment plant that could begin construction as soon as next summer nearby the town’s transfer station would handle the several flows. Once completed, piping can be laid and connections would branch out one section at a time across the town’s roads. 

Rapacz also said that an arrangement with the Town of Sandwich and their sewering project will cover the northmost parts of Mashpee, with similar talks in the works with Joint Base Cape Cod to create complete coverage for the town.

He added that the select board will be asked to include proposals for Phase 2 of the project on the warrant for May 2022 Town Meeting, with cost estimates to be completed either by the end of 2021 or at the beginning of next year.

“That’s our plan. It’s pretty aggressive, but it’s necessary. Santuit Pond has been a mess for years and Mashpee-Wakeby Pond is starting to have the same kinds of problems. We need to act quickly, we need to act comprehensively,” said Rapacz.

Select board member Andrew Gottlieb said that the town could apply for a zero-interest loan from the state in the summer if the spring town meeting is successful in moving the project forward.

Town officials added that overall the bid and plan are very modular, and will be adjusted depending on available funding or desired timeline down the road.

“You have the federal government, the state government, everybody is moving forward on wastewater. Now is the time to move forward quickly. I think that if we can get those funds sooner rather than later, we start immediately,” said board member Thomas O’Hara.

“We just need to get the funding, then it’s up to the residents to vote and make sure that we’re moving forward.” 

About Grady Culhane

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