West Falmouth Harbor Eutrophication

West Falmouth Harbor Nitrogen Loading and Buzzards Bay NEP actions Town of Falmouth Wastewater Plant

Sub-pages: 1995 Wastewater Facility N loading  |    West Falmouth 1995 analysis update   |    West Falmouth 1996 analysis update  |    West Falmouth 1997 analysis update


During the mid to late 1990s, the Buzzards Bay NEP initiated an effort to raise awareness of Town of Falmouth residents and municipal officials about the eutrophication of West Falmouth Harbor, and the role of the town’s sewage treatment facility and landfill as contributing nitrogen sources. Our efforts led to other studies by the Massachusetts DEP and the Cape Cod Commission resulting in new requirements for advanced nitrogen removal at the town’s wastewater facility. The town’s advanced nitrogen removing wastewater facility came on line in the fall of 2005. It will take 5 to 10 years for the benefits of this facility to be felt in the harbor, due to the transit time of groundwater.

In 2006, Massachusetts DEP approved a nitrogen TMDL for the West Falmouth Harbor Watershed (available at the oceanscience.net website). Because the wastewater facility is already using best available technology to reduce nitrogen additional measures to meet the TMDL will eventually be needed including sewering additional homes in the watershed. The sub-pages above contain the reports and correspondence that set the groundwork for the nitrogen removal upgrades of the wastewater facility.