DISTRICT NITRATE REPORTS AS IT RELATES TO WASTEWATER

Revised and Re-Published by Board of Water Commissioners 03/23/2021

Dennis voters may be asked at the 2021 Annual Town Meeting to vote to permanently join a costly tri-town wastewater collection and treatment partnership to correct certain impairments in Dennis waterbodies believed to be caused by wastewater.  Nitrate is one of the many fertilizers that is existing in wastewater that the entire fertilizer group often referred to as nitrogen or total nitrogen.  When significant nitrate is discharged into a tidal estuary of salt and fresh water, excessive growth of allergy can impair the quality of that estuary.  Bass River, Swan River, Sesuit Creek, Quivet Creek, Chase Garden Creek are such major estuaries.  As further defined in Mass. DEP direction of the Cape Cod Commission 208 Water Study, etc.

Since 1993, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has required that all municipal providers of drinking water annually test to record the nitrate from each well.  In 1993, we had 14 pumping wells all dispersing northerly of Route 6, the Mid-Cape Highway.  Testing during the most recent ten years, at least nine of our 18 wells has recorded less nitrates than what was recorded in 1993.  In 2020, which is the last record we have in Dennis, actually recorded 14 of our 18 wells, that’s 78%, recorded less nitrates.  Our required well testing suggests nitrates have been reducing significantly in Dennis.  This further makes reference to the 557 that were recorded in our data.   Please click here to review the District’s most recent ten years’ of sampling data.