If We Eliminate Septic Systems By Providing A Public Sewer System, Where Does The Nitrogen Go?
  • A public wastewater system would include a sewer system. Property owners whose septic systems must be eliminated would be required to connect to those sewers.
  • The sewer system would lead to a new wastewater treatment plant. That plant would:
    • Remove large percentages of all the major contaminants found in wastewater
    • Use special bacteria to convert the ammonia and organic forms of nitrogen to the gaseous form which can be released harmlessly to the atmosphere.
    • Include a very efficient disinfection system that would virtually eliminate all pathogenic material.
  • The purified liquid leaving the plant could be safely recharged to the groundwater or it could be re-used for irrigation.
  • The residual nitrogen that might be recharged to the groundwater must be accounted for in the overall nitrogen management program.
    • In the best case, the residual nitrogen is discharged to the groundwater in the watershed of one of the coastal waters that has surplus assimilative capacity.
    • It is also possible to discharge the residual nitrogen to the groundwater in the watershed of a nitrogen-sensitive coastal water, but only if more septic systems are eliminated to offset that increased nitrogen load.

Show All Answers

1. Why Do Orleans Residents Need to Change the Way They Dispose of Wastewater?
2. What is Nitrogen and Why Should We Worry About It?
3. How Does Nitrogen from Septic Systems and Lawn Fertilization Get into Our Coastal Waters?
4. How Many Septic Systems Must Be Eliminated?
5. If We Eliminate Septic Systems By Providing A Public Sewer System, Where Does The Nitrogen Go?
6. Doesn't Orleans Already Share A Wastewater Treatment Plant At The Tri-Town Site Near Rt. 6 & 6A?
7. If We Build A New Wastewater Treatment Plant, What Would Happen To The Existing Tri-Town Facility?
8. Is There A Single Best Way To Collect And Treat Orleans' Wastewater?
9. How Will The WMSC Determine Which Plan Is "Best"?
10. How Long Will It Take To Clean Up The Nitrogen Problem?
11. What Happens If We Do Nothing About The Nitrogen Problem?
12. Is There Money To Be Saved By Finding Regional Solutions?
13. How much will the CWMP cost me?