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Technologies Matrix

Technologies Matrix

About the Technology Matrix

The Technologies Matrix is a compendium of data on nutrient management technologies. The technologies in the Matrix have all shown some promise for being used for nitrogen management; however, many are yet untested on Cape Cod or have been deployed at scales smaller than might be necessary in a watershed plan. Recognizing that the Technologies Matrix will need ongoing refinement as new or more accurate information becomes available, the Cape Cod Commission has committed to make updates following a periodic review of new research or pilot projects on Cape Cod.

In 2017, the Commission led the first review and update of the Technologies Matrix, resulting in changes in the technologies presented, their nitrogen removal efficiencies, siting considerations, and other edits and additions. A committee of ten researchers, government staff, and technical experts participated, as part of the public review process. The 208 Technologies Matrix Review Committee included:

  • Marcel Belaval, EPA
  • Sara Burns, The Nature Conservancy
  • Ann Giblin, Marine Biological Lab
  • Scott Horsley, Horsley Witten Group
  • Anastasia Karplus, ScienceWares
  • Christopher Neill, Woods Hole Research Center
  • Thomas Parece, AECOM
  • Matthew Reardon, Mass DEP; later replaced by Brian Dudley, Mass DEP
  • Joshua Reitsma, Barnstable County Cooperative Extension and Woods Hole SeaGrant
  • Ivan Valiela, Marine Biological Lab

The committee was staffed by Cape Cod Commission staff, including:

  • Thomas Cambareri, Technical Services Director/Water Resources
  • Scott Michaud, Hydrologist
  • Monica Mejia, Hydrologist
  • Heather McElroy, Natural Resources Specialist 

Using the Technologies Matrix

The Technologies Matrix is a planning aid, and is not meant to replace detailed analysis and engineering to arrive at a watershed management solution. When referencing the Technologies Matrix, the user should understand watershed-wide conditions when selecting technologies to be evaluated as part of a watershed scenario.  As an example, the unit costs for decentralized options that involve on-site or local disposal must be combined with an estimate of the additional nitrogen removal required if treated effluent will be disposed of within the subject watershed. Similarly, effluent disposal in a non-nitrogen sensitive watershed will generally reduce costs. Data within the Matrix should be employed strategically and with an understanding of the opportunities and constraints within the planning area.

A new feature in this version of the Matrix is a status check of piloting and DEP approval for each technology. Not all non-traditional options have been tested on Cape Cod or in Massachusetts environments, and questions remain about their nitrogen-management potential. As a related matter, associated project and operation and maintenance costs may not be fully understood. In using Matrix data, care should be taken to identify site specific characteristics and limitations for a particular technology.

Additionally, while cost and performance are important, the ability to permit and implement a technology at a specific site, whether for environmental or social-acceptability concerns, will be important considerations. 

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