The Town of Eastham is dedicated to protecting its waters - both drinking and scenic. That is why Eastham places such importance on wastewater planning. Wastewater, if unchecked, has the possibility of contaminating our drinking water and upsetting the delicate ecosystems of our ponds and beaches.
Wastewater needs were evaluated and separated into two groups; human health needs or the need to have safe drinking water. Access to safe drinking water is the town's number one wastewater planning priority. Currently, the town is serviced by private wells. In some areas, wells are showing high nitrate levels. High nitrate levels are an indication that wells are being contaminated with septic effluent and runoff from activities (fertilizer, car washing, auto storage, pesticides).
Environmental health needs include high levels of nitrogen and phosphate in the groundwater act as fertilizers in estuaries and ponds. This causes algae growth affecting the water quality and disturbing the ecosystem.
The three priority areas determined under environmental health needs are the Nauset-Town Cove Estuary, Rock Harbor Estuary, and Fresh Water Ponds.
The town is looking into ways to address the wastewater needs. The installation of municipal water will provide safe drinking water to those that choose to hook up to it (more information on the Eastham Water page). Traditional methods, such as on-site wastewater treatment, are being implemented on a case-by-case basis. Non-traditional methods are being tested to see if they will be feasible.
For more information on Eastham's wastewater planning, call the Health Department at 508-240-5900, ext. 3230.