‘Layer Cakes’ to be Used to Offset Nitrogen Contamination Near Buzzards Bay

layer-cakeBUZZARDS BAY – The Buzzards Bay Coalition will use a $730,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to install cakes at 12 homes in 7 towns surrounding Buzzards Bay.

According to the coalition, about 70 percent of the Bay’s nitrogen pollution comes from traditional septic systems, known as Title 5 systems, since they are not designed to remove nitrogen.

A system first tested in Florida, which removed 85 percent of nitrogen in the original trials, will be installed at several homes throughout the region.

The concept is described as a “layer cake” of leach fields which removes nitrogen by passing wastewater through the layers.

One such system has already been installed at a West Falmouth home, and others like it will be installed in Martha’s Vineyard, Falmouth, Wareham, Carver, Acushnet, Dartmouth and Westport.

By installing these systems in a variety of property sizes and soil types, experts expect to learn more about how they can work in varying conditions.

Homeowners who volunteer to be a part of the project will receive $10,000 to offset the cost of installation.

The systems will be tested and monitored for three years to collect data on their performance.

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