Massachusetts DEP Releases Draft Plan For Pathogen-Impaired Water

Graphic of waterbodies impaired by pathogens on Cape Cod, highlighted in pink, from the MassDEP draft report.

HYANNIS – The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is seeking public comments on a plan to restore the health of waterbodies in the state which are impaired by the presence of pathogens.

Acting on the requirements of the federal Clean Water Act, the DEP is taking its Total Maximum Daily Load strategy for polluted water bodies and applying it to certain types of bacteria including fecal coliform, which is the basis for assessing the use of shellfishing in coastal and marine waters.

The draft report, available on the department website, addresses about a half-dozen Buzzards Bay and Cape and Islands watersheds for shellfishing-related fecal coliform impaired use.

The list includes Megansett Harbor, Wild Harbor River, Rands Harbor, Fiddlers Cove, Round Cove, Allens Harbor, Wychmere Harbor, and Katama Bay.

The DEP says pollutant sources may include failing septic systems, pet waste, wildlife waste, agriculture, recreational waters use management, combined sewer overflows, stormwater, illicit sewer connections, failing infrastructure, and wastewater treatment plants or publicly owned treatment works.

There will be public information sessions on May 8th at the DEP office in Worcester, as well as a virtual session on May 9th. 

By Jim McCabe, NewsCenter

About Jim McCabe

Jim McCabe is a native of (suburban) Philadelphia who has lived in New England and covered Cape Cod news since 2016. He is also the play-by-play announcer for the Cape-based Seahawks Hockey Club .
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy