RWMP: Watershed Solutions


What You'll Find Here

Technology Assessment | Green Infrastructure Site Selection | Growth Management | Moving Forward with Watershed Solutions



Technology Assessment

This section conveys the range of possible technological approaches and solutions to restoring Cape Cod’s coastal water quality. The optimal solutions for Cape Cod include those that (1) are effective in reducing nutrients, (2) require fewer resources, (3) provide results sooner, and (4) are less expensive to implement. Options include:

  • Conventional gray infrastructure is defined by large-scale, engineered physical structures that are typically associated with (gray) concrete such as roads, sidewalks, buildings, and utilities. Gray wastewater infrastructure ranges from large treatment plants and sewers to small-scale systems such as on-site Title 5 systems. Read more…»
  • Non-discharge technologies include packaging toilets, incinerating toilets, and composting and urine-diverting systems. Read more…»
  • Green infrastructure technology refers to natural networks or created elements – woodlands, wetlands, rivers, grasslands – that work together as a whole to sustain ecological values and functions. Green infrastructure (GI) has many stormwater applications where low impact development (LID) is used. Typical wastewater or nutrient-reduction types of green infrastructure include the use of natural or created systems that work passively, such as various kinds of constructed wetlands. Read more…»
  • Innovative and resource-management technologies are cutting-edge approaches used in a variety of remedial point-source applications. They have not yet been applied to the broader non-point source problem of wastewater. These technologies include permeable reactive barriers, phytoremediation, and shellfish and seaweed aquaculture. Read more…»
  • System alteration refers to enhanced natural-attenuation projects that improve the ability of a natural system either to reduce or to assimilate nutrients. These technologies include dredging and inlet and culvert widening, which may have the added benefit of wetland habitat restoration. Read more…»
  • Non-structural technologies include local land-use protection and management strategies such as land acquisition, zoning, fertilizer reduction, stormwater management and landscape design guidelines, water conservation, and municipal maintenance policies. Read more…»


Green Infrastructure Site Selection

    Working with a consultant through EPA’s 2012 Green Infrastructure Community Partners Project, the Cape Cod Commission developed a screening process to identify site opportunities for green infrastructure (GI) and low impact development (LID) techniques. The screening pro­cess began with a desktop investigation of potential sites by utilizing a sit­ing criteria matrix developed by the Commission, assessing both positive siting criteria and potential constraints. The siting criteria matrix consists of multiple GIS-based data layers (termed “siting criteria”) and a collec­tion of potential GI and LID technologies. This matrix has been used to identify pilot project sites within the Lewis Bay and Parkers River water­sheds with a goal of generating a design for one GI and one LID project. A number of technologies and approaches were considered based on their high nitrogen-removal efficiencies and representative of a range of GI and LID techniques that are applicable in a wide variety of conditions. (SEE ALSO THE FINAL REPORT)


    Growth Management

    As Cape towns develop Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plans (CWMPs) to meet Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and other environmental and socio-economic objectives, the amount and pattern of existing land use and that of future development will be a major driver of the costs to provide adequate wastewater infrastructure. The amount and pattern of development affect the volume of wastewater to be treated, the amount of land necessary for effluent disposal, and the extent of associated infrastructure. On Cape Cod the large influx of seasonal home owners and visitors means that wastewater systems also need to be sized to handle the increase in population during the summer months.

    This section explores ways to coordinate land use planning with wastewater infrastructure planning and identify local and regional tools for managing future growth.

    Read more…»


    Moving Forward with Watershed Solutions

    Cape Cod towns are facing a number of common issues as they engage in municipal wastewater planning, including the high cost of conventionally engineered solutions, lack of existing wastewater infrastructure, and public disapproval of plan implementation. Many of the issues common to municipal wastewater planning initia­tives are further complicated by the fact that 32 of the 57 watersheds to coastal embayments are shared by two or more towns.

    Due to the shared nature of our water resources, the lack of existing wastewater infrastructure, and the cost of constructing significant new infrastructure, the conventional approach is not working for Cape Cod. Moving forward, the region needs a new approach—one that is based on watersheds and not town lines—that effectively engages community members and more closely considers the needs specific to watershed communities. This targeted watershed approach should consider all technology options and approaches, as well as all cost-saving strategies.

    This section outlines the process for moving forward with a targeted watershed approach, including plans for community engagement and the tools and resources necessary to help identify solutions.  

    Read more…»



    See also…

    Baseline Assessment: [Local CWMP Planning]

    Cost & Affordablility: [Cost]

    Tools & Resources

    Small Image Map - RWMP Sections

    RWMP: The ProblemRWMP: Baseline AssessmentRWMP: Watershed SolutionsRWMP: Cost & AffordabilityRWMP: Tools & ResourcesRWMP (Home)




    Guiding Principles

    RWMP Principles, Goals, Strategies, & Measures



    Support Materials

    Abbreviations & Acronyms
    Literature Citations



    To Do List

    Complete case-study research for all GI and alternative approaches

    Develop process for community engagement and outreach



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