Water quality in the Town of Orleans and the rest of Cape Cod has been impacted by excessive nitrogen from multiple sources, including septic systems. Excess nitrogen is over-fertilizing ponds, lakes, and bays. This nitrogen pollution causes algal blooms, loss of habitat for aquatic organisms, poor aesthetics, and economic loss.
To address these concerns and comply with the Clean Water Act, the Town worked with the public and prepared and amended a Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan. This plan was developed in accordance with the regional Cape Cod 208 Water Quality Plan, which has been approved by both the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).
The Town has contracted with AECOM since 2015 to implement the Amended Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan (ACWMP), which calls for traditional sewers and central wastewater treatment for two areas: the Downtown Area and the Meetinghouse Pond Area. Also included are provisions for the use of non-traditional technologies including Permeable Reactive Barriers (PRBs) and shellfish propagation to control nitrogen. AECOM project documents and presentations can be found on the drop down menu to the left of this page.