Advice to the Barnstable Clean Water Coalition

Below are our recommendations for using advanced ecological water and nutrient strategies in the watershed planning and modeling for Three Bays watershed in Barnstable, Massachusetts.

The situation

The average adult resident of Three Bays watershed eats about a ton of food per year. Almost all of that food is imported onto the Cape in trucks. The 6500+ developed residential parcels in the watershed, each with 2 people on average, imports roughly 13,000 tons of food into the watershed each year. Almost all of the nutrients in all that food passes through the people, passes through their toilets, goes into their septic tanks, and some of it goes into the groundwater and eventually into the coastal waters. The rest is trucked away as septage to a sewer.

We think it’s crazy to put all those waste nutrients into water, and then at a high cost try to remove them from the water again, or even to try to remove only one of them (nitrogen). And it’s ecologically wrong to waste all those nutrients: they should be recycled them back to an agricultural or natural ecosystem.


A solution – in pictures


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