Commission staff conducting watershed study in North Truro
The Town of Truro requested technical assistance from the Cape Cod Commission to conduct an analysis and a localized study of stormwater issues within the Pond Village and Pilgrim Pond watershed.
Nutrient inputs from septic systems, fertilizer use, and stormwater runoff contribute to excessive algae growth in aquatic systems to the detriment of water quality and ecosystem health. This study will assess the watershed in terms of land use and stormwater runoff, and develop a plan to sample private drinking water wells, all of which will contribute to an analysis of the watershed area.
Once the analysis is complete, the Commission will develop a watershed-wide monitoring plan for private drinking water wells that will help to enhance understanding of nutrient loading and water quality. This monitoring plan will be transferable to other areas of town and throughout the region, and will include a strategy to address re-testing, testing for additional parameters, and testing on an annual basis.
The Commission will also consider stormwater runoff from Route 6 and other surface roads to better understand impacts on surrounding wetland resources and the Pond Village area. An inventory of problem areas for stormwater will be developed through field observations and an assessment of aerial imagery.
The 2018 Regional Policy Plan (RPP) recognizes pond water quality as a key challenge facing the region, noting surface water quality in Cape Cod ponds has been significantly impacted by surrounding development. In addition to projects such as this, Commission staff are in the process of updating and expanding our understanding of freshwater resources information by compiling available water quality data into a regional database and initiating an update to the Ponds and Lakes Atlas.