The Barnstable Clean Water Coalition (BCWC) will break ground on its Shubael Pond Innovative/Alternative (I/A) Septic System project located in Osterville on Oct. 5.
A total of 15 KleanTu NitROE systems, an enhanced I/A septic system, will be installed as a part of this project. Provisionally Approved by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP), the most recent NitROE system installations have achieved a 95 reduction in nitrogen, according to the coalition. Nitrogen in wastewater from traditional Title V septic systems is the primary cause behind Cape Cod’s coastal water quality problems. In addition to testing these promising systems on an individual level, this project will also look at the cumulative effect from a cluster of these systems on nitrogen levels in groundwater.
“The large-scale use of enhanced I/A systems is absolutely critical in addressing Cape Cod’s water quality problems,” said BCWC Executive Director Zenas Crocker. “The majority of Cape Cod will never see municipal sewage treatment or won’t see it for decades. Advancing enhanced I/A systems to General Use Approval from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will allow for their widespread use to protect our bays, ponds, rivers and drinking water.”
In addition to its promising results, BCWC said the NitROE system has other advantages: it functions as a Title V septic system in the absence of power; it is not an exceedingly complicated system; and it can be retrofitted to an existing Title V septic system, dramatically lowering the cost of the system as compared to an entirely new system.
Partners on this effort include the Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development, the United States Geological Survey, The Nature Conservancy and the Town of Barnstable.