Vote YES on Article #29, Annual Town Mtg.: May 5th

Article #29 would fund a nitrogen attenuation (i.e. reduction) feasibility study based on ecological restoration planning for the Cold Brook System

The Town of Harwich, acting through its Water Quality Management Task Force (WQMTF) and the Harwich Conservation TrustHCT-map_Saquatucket-Harbor_water_flow_2May2014_opt (HCT) both have an interest in studying the Cold Brook system off Bank Street in Harwich Port. For the past four years HCT, in partnership with the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, has been pursuing a comprehensive ecological restoration project for an approximately 66-acre area owned by HCT called the Bank St. Bogs Nature Preserve.

A nitrogen attenuation (i.e. reduction) feasibility study proposed by the Town and to be funded by the Town would evaluate a potential increase in nitrogen attenuation in the Cold Brook system as it flows through the 66-acre HCT-owned preserve as a result of the ecological restoration design advanced by HCT. The goal would be to share information between projects. You can read about the potential financial benefits to the Town’s wastewater program explored in the Town of Harwich Draft Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan, section 10.3.2 on page 10-6 by clicking this link.  These proposed financial savings could result from the potential increased natural attenuation (i.e. reduction) of nitrogen in the system, meaning collection and treatment of nitrogen may be reduced or eliminated.  The study will evaluate the potential nitrogen attenuation options for this area based upon and resulting from HCT’s conceptual ecological restoration designs. Both parties support these study efforts.

The Town acting through its WQMTF will contract with CDM Smith teamed with the School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) to conduct the feasibility study funded for a first of two phases through Article #29 at a cost of $50,000. They will coordinate all field and study activities with the designated representative from the HCT. The Town would seek an additional $50,000 during the next spring town meeting cycle to complete the study.