The Cape Cod aquifer provides ALL of the Cape’s drinking water. Eighteen separate water districts or departments exist across Cape Cod. A total of 158 gravel-pack water supply wells and one surface reservoir serve public water to approximately 85% of Cape Cod. Private or small volume wells serve the Outer Cape communities of Truro, Wellfleet, and Eastham.
Since 2000, public community drinking water suppliers have pumped on average about 10.7 billion gallons of groundwater per year from Cape Cod’s Sole Source Aquifer. The graph below shows the pumping over the last decade has been up and down due to seasonal climatic variations, such as rainy summers but, for the most part is fairly consistent. Study by the U.S. Geological Survey indicates that groundwater pumping accounts for approximately 10% of the annual recharge from precipitation.
Over 30 years ago water planners combined their knowledge of groundwater with policy mechanisms to protect Cape Cod drinking water. Adoption of Wellhead Protection Areas was a major strategy to protect the land area that receives precipitation to recharge the pumping wells. Today each town has zoning and Board of Health bylaws to protect their wellhead protection areas, which are collectively shown below. In addition, the public embraced acquisition of land for protection for wellhead areas through local, regional, and state actions such as the Cape Cod Land Bank. The Wellhead Protection Areas are also referred to as DEP Zone IIs where state regulations (310 CMR 22) and Cape Cod Commission Regional Policy Plan (RPP) minimum performance standards prohibit or limit land uses that are potentially detrimental to water quality. DEP regulations do not specifically prohibit large, publicly owned wastewater treatment works in Zone 11s, but the RPP limits their use in Zone IIs for the restoration of water quality.
Hyannis Water Division, 508-778-6917
Barnstable Fire District, 508-362-6498
Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills Water Department, 508-428-6691
Cotuit Water Department, 508-428-2687
Bourne Water District, 508-563-2294
Buzzards Bay Water District, 508-759-4631
North Sagamore, 508-888-1085
Otis Air National Guard Base Water, 508-968-4102
Brewster Water Department, 508-896-5454
Chatham Water Department, 508-593-4766
Dennis Water District, 508-398-3351
Falmouth Water Department, 508-457-2543
Harwich Water Department, 508-432-0304
Mashpee Water District, 508-477-6767
Orleans Water Department, 508-240-3700
Provincetown Water Department, 508-487-7064
Sandwich Water District, 508-888-2775
Yarmouth Water Department, 508-771-7921