Comprehensive Water Resources Management Plan

(CWRMP)

Protecting Sandwich’s Groundwater Fact Sheet

The Sandwich Water Quality Advisory Committee has developed the Comprehensive Water Resources Management Plan (CWRMP) to guide the improvement of water quality in drinking water,  groundwater, freshwater ponds and coastal estuaries (areas where freshwater flows into saltwater).

The plan is consistent with the requirements of the Cape Cod Commission’s 208 Water Quality Plan Update (2015).  Addressing water quality at this time is critically important, as the Cape is under a court mandate to do so; not addressing this issue could result in a court intervention that would be far more expensive.

What Does The Town Need to do to Protect Water Resources? 

  • Need to address areas of Town with long standing challenges associated with on-lot wastewater disposal, such as septic systems.
  • Need to address issues with wastewater disposal in protected public drinking water supply areas.
  • Need to address high nitrogen levels appearing in areas with private drinking water wells.
  • Need to protect coastal water from excessive nitrogen.
  • Need to protect freshwater ponds from high phosphorous content and stormwater impacts.

Traditional and non-traditional methods were evaluated to address the water quality needs in groundwater, freshwater ponds, coastal estuaries and a hybrid plan incorporating both approaches was supported by the Selectmen.

Phase I:

Traditional Elements of the Phase I Plan  

  • Wastewater collection to serve commercial and industrial parcels in the amount of 1,600 equivalent dwelling units.
  • Construction of two wastewater treatment and disposal facilities, one at the Sandwich Industrial Park and one near the Marina.  The initial capacities of these facilities will be 240,000 gallons per day (annual average flow basis)
  • Connection of Forestdale School, Oak Ridge School, and the High School to the Sandwich Industrial Park wastewater treatment facility.
  • Public water extension to some neighborhoods in East Sandwich.
  • Stormwater best management practices to protect the freshwater ponds

(See the CWRMP Executive Summary for the full list of traditional elements)

Non-Traditional Elements

  • Review of Sandwich Zoning By-Laws to evaluate the land development impacts caused by sewering.
  • Innovative/alternative nutrient reducing private septic systems.
  • Fertilizer control program
  • Utilizing freshwater ponds and wetlands to filter out nitrogen in the groundwater.
  • An inter-municipal nitrogen credit trading program, which is a program that allows municipalities that discharge less than the required limit of nitrogen to “trade” or sell their excess with communities that have higher than the recommended limits.

Staff

David B. Mason, RS, CHO, Town of Sandwich, Director of Public Health

Phone: (508) 888-4200

Email: health@townofsandwich.net

Consultants

Wright-Pierce (www.wright-pierce.com)

Mike Giggey, PE, Senior Vice President

Edward Leonard, PE, Lead Project Engineer