Eastham Water Resources Advisory Board (WRAB)
Waste Water Management Planning Committee (WWMPC)
Minutes of 6/6/05 Meeting
In attendance at the police station conference room were: Chair Weiss, Co chair Whitmore, WWMPC members Sullivan, Olthof, Sandler and Wickson, WRAB members Holt, Boelitz, Nugent, and Bayne, Health Agent Crowley, and Town Administrator Vanderhoef.
Minutes of 5/4/05: Sullivan debated the accuracy of statements recorded in the minutes regarding the effect of the proposed Ocean Beach on the potential for use of the balance of the town parcel for trading to the Seashore for water supply purposes. Holt provided an amendment, and the minutes were approved as amended. (see file.)
Weiss noted the next three meeting dates: July 11, August 8, Sept. 12.
Weiss announced that the Brackett Landing Project will be required to have a nitrogen removal waste water system.
The Windmill Weekend (9/10-11) table was discussed:
Weiss will supply well nitrate data.
Olthof and Wickson will supply a waste water display.
Bayne will provide a pond study display.
An overall coordinator will be chosen later.
A bill to forbid checker boarding of sewer connections, proposed by State Senator O’Leary, was distributed.
Vanderhoef discussed the RFP’s for municipal water supply planning and for waste water management planning.
Although she had initially thought the bidding process would not be required, she has found it is. She separated the WWMP RFP from the MWS RFP because she needed to issue the latter quickly so that the contractor could be chosen by the time of a special town meeting late in the summer. All six responses to the MWS RFP have been reviewed by Vanderhoef and Crowley, and by one or more of Weiss, Olthof and Whitmore. Vanderhoef believes the limited water supply will cost about 4 million and is included in her capital spending plan for 2007.
Her goal is to have a limited water supply operating in 18-24 months; if the existing well at The Children’s Place can be used as a base, the time may be shorter. Two hundred homes will be supplied water, and based on the 4 million cost estimate, the cost to the taxpayers will likely be 12 cents per $1000 of home value per year over 25 years.
The current cost of testing, reporting on testing, and supplying of water to those of the 200 homes who wish it is about $150,000 per year.
Crowley put the issue into perspective, commenting that the town can make this limited problem into a planning tool. She explained that it is common for towns to have landfills which contaminate specific areas of groundwater, but most towns already have public water.
Members made the comment that citizens may not accept the necessity of hooking up to the well; Vanderhoef replied the town’s responsibility is only to offer the option to do so.
In response to the question of whether public wells and waste water treatment would invalidate current zoning for lot acreage, Vanderhoef replied that the state Title 5, which requires 10,000 square feet of lot area per bedroom where there are private wells, could still prevail by use of an overlay district. Too, any public wells would be likely to be near neighborhoods, and would need well protection zones around them.
Vanderhoef asked the members of the group who had reviewed responses to rank the top three MWS RFP respondents.
It was agreed that the top tier is composed of Sterns and Wheeler, Earth Tech, and Environmental Partners.
Crowley and Olthof have reviewed Vanderhoef’s draft WWMP RFP, and she expected to issue the RFP in the next week. She will review all town properties for their potential to be used for a waste water treatment plant if one is needed; the town may have to acquire additional properties.
Bayne circulated the draft scope of work for interpretation of the ponds study data which has been submitted to the town by Ed Eichner of the water quality department of the CCC, and asked members for comments on it. Olthof asked that recommendations for remediation be specified in the final report. Bayne commented that because 2005 sampling analysis costing $2,000 must be accommodated in the $25,000 funding, only six ponds will be thoroughly studied. (However, all nine ponds will be evaluated for current trophic state and to assess where additional data is needed.) Thus pond specific remediation recommendations will be made only for the six ponds deemed most needing of action.
Bayne reported that another recently placed buoy had been vandalized at Great Pond. The issue of whether any town meeting voted funds could be used for equipment repair or replacement was raised, as the scope does not allow for that use of County funds. Vanderhoef will investigate funding sources for all equipment needs, including the reimbursement of Bayne’s current personal expenses from 2005 surplus funds, and will look for a grant to cover costs of additional sampling analysis and interpretation which might be needed in the next budget year.
Crowley will manage the project. Bayne will bring amended scope to July meeting if available by then.
In order to determine whether well nitrogen data support WWMP and MWS planning, members discussed the state of findings to this date. It was agreed test results through year four of the 60 home study have shown no clear trend in degradation; however, Weiss feels the regional (north, central, south Eastham) testing of the last three years has shown a significant increase in the number of wells with nitrogen counts of over 10 ppm. Holt contested that conclusion, and suggested the Board follow specific but randomly chosen wells for several years and base a conclusion on the findings. An October meeting will be devoted to this issue as a full cycle of testing will be completed by that time.
Crowley circulated red tide information.
Vanderhoef suggested a tax bill stuffer promoting volunteer well testing could be circulated to increase response; this will be resolved at the July meeting.
Bayne will compile and send to Weiss a complete members’ info list before the next meeting.
Submitted by Sandy Bayne, clerk