Do septic systems impair our fresh water bodies?
  1. What is the impact of nitrogen on fresh water? What are the impacts of Phosphorous?

    Currently, MassDEP does not have a numerical criterion for nitrogen unless the water body is subject to a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or site-specific criterion; however, discharges that result in excessive aquatic plant or algal growth (eutrophication) need to be controlled. In some highly eutrophic lakes (which have excess phosphorus - more than plants need to grow), nitrogen can become the limiting nutrient for plant productivity. In these cases, an ecological advantage is afforded to certain blue-green algae that have the ability to obtain nitrogen from the atmosphere (called fixing nitrogen) and use this nitrogen as a nutrient source to fuel algal growth. Thus nitrogen limitation in ponds with excess phosphorus concentrations can be a factor in blue-green algal blooms. However, most freshwater ponds on Cape Cod are phosphorus limited.

    Similarly, there is no numerical criterion for phosphorous unless the water body is subject to a TMDL or site-specific criterion. Phosphorus is a key nutrient influencing plant growth in ponds. Phosphorus is usually the limiting nutrient to freshwater ponds here in New England, such that increasing its concentration alone will result in greater plant productivity.
  2. Scargo Lake looks great-is there a problem?

    Conditions of Scargo Lake have worsened and the pond is becoming impaired. The Scargo Lake Memo, written by The Cape Cod Pond and Lake Stewardship (PALS) program, recommends that the town consider hypolimnetic aeration as a remediation measure for Scargo Lake. This entails providing aeration to the bottom layer of the lake during the period of the year when the lake is stratified (May through September). This and other methods will be considered in the town wide water resources program.
  3. How many fresh water bodies do we have?

    The Town of Dennis has approximately 29 ponds with a total area of 749 acres, including three ponds shared with neighboring towns.

Show All Answers

1. Why all the talk about wastewater?
2. I thought Title 5 septic systems solved the issue of increased nutrient loading from wastewater on groundwater?
3. What are the nitrogen levels?
4. What solutions to wastewater contamination are being considered for Dennis?
5. Do septic systems impair our fresh water bodies?
6. What is the Cape Cod Commission 208 plan?
7. What are funding impacts?
8. How many phases will there be in the 40 year sewer project?