News Brought to You by Outstanding Students From Nauset Regional High School

Nauset Horizons

Contaminated Cape Cod Water

Photo courtesy of Flickr via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Flickr via Creative Commons

Whitney Enobakhare, Author

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Cape Cod’s clean the water supply is under attack. The nitrogen and dioxin levels are rising in the ponds and open sources of water. Wells and septic systems also have been detected with levels of these emerging contaminants. This toxic problem is a local water crisis.

Cape Cod is a sand and gravel remnant of the last continental deglaciation which occurred from 15,000 to 20,000 years ago. Due to the glacial deposits being coarse to medium sand, it allows for extreme permeability, making for a high-yielding groundwater system. However, this causes problems.

The Cape Cod Aquifer, according to United States Geological Survey, “ is a hook-shaped peninsula that extends about 40 miles into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern part of the State and has a north-trending extremity about 25 miles in length.” The issue with the aquifer is that contamination can occur by land disposal of municipal sewage, septic-tank effluent, fuel spills, and seeping fertilizers.

The aquifer leaves the groundwater open for the contamination sources to exist that it’s causing the increase of breast cancer. According to Silent Spring, “Many compounds commonly found in wastewater are known to mimic estrogen or affect hormone systems in some way. These compounds may be important for breast cancer research.”

Citizens must evaluate the use of their fertilizers and even their own sewage system. Flush a toilet? Drink some tap water? Well, it could be contaminated tap water, or the toilet can be adding to the spread of sewage into the aquifer.

Age also has stressed the Cape’s water infrastructure systems. Former state Senator, Robert O’Leary said, “Drinking and wastewater are the single most important issues for Cape Cod Communities.” One of the towns mostly in trouble is Eastham, Massachusetts, where the discovery of dioxin, a toxic environmental pollutant, was found in the water systems. People of Eastham no longer had potable water.Consequently, citizens voted to fund a sewer project and they are still being forced to cope until the construction of the new town sewer pipes is completely finished.

According to Cape Cod Commission, a mix of solutions to combat groundwater pollutions include alternative and biological techniques, a new gray infrastructure and making boundaries within town.

However, these solutions have not yet been put into place; the ideas are simply floating around the towns, and the plans are not concrete. There is a time frame of 10 years before town representatives believe that there will be an actual problem, due to scientists mapping out groundwater travel times. But, do people really want to wait that long?
According to the New York Times, algae and seaweed are beginning to kill eelgrass which are destroying prized bay scallops from the ponds in Falmouth. Foul odor is created by the algae baking under the sun, and it’s creating damage to Cape Cod’s economy as well. Tourists leave in the summer due to the smells and terrible view of ponds that are no longer at their primes.

It’s time to make a difference. It’s time to clean and continue to manage the water in order to keep the Cape Cod community happy, healthy and safe from all dangers. Steps need to be taken in order to provide the security of keeping the Cape as a home.
Cape Cod is known for its sparkling waters. However, their purity is in danger. As residents, we must make sacrifices and take action to ensure a healthy environment for future generations.

Sources

“Cape Cod Breast Cancer and The environment Atlas.” Silent Spring Institute. 2015.
http://www.silentspring.org/research-area/cape-cod-breast-cancer-and-environment-atlas 12/8/2015.

“Cape Cod Waterways Face Pollution Crisis”. New York Times.
Aug 17 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/18/us/18nitrogen.html?_r=0. 12/7/2015.

“Eastham Municipal Water Project.” Eastham. 2015. http://easthamwaterproject.weebly.com/.
12/8/2015.

“FAQs: Emerging contaminants in Cape Cod drinking water.” Silent Spring Institute. 2015. http://www.silentspring.org/resource/faqs-emerging-contaminants-cape-cod-drinking-water.
12/4/15.
“Ground Water Atlas of the United States.” USGS.
http://pubs.usgs.gov/ha/ha730/ch_m/M-text2.html 12/8/2015.

Quinn, Colleen. “Cape Cod Faces A Water Emergency.” Cape Cod Today.
Dec. 7, 2015.
https://www.capecodtoday.com/article/2013/10/01/22005-Cape-Cod-faces-water-emergency 12/8/2015.

“Wastewater FAQs.” Cape Cod Commission. Spring 2012.
http://www.capecodcommission.org/index.php?id=277. 12/1/2015.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

Please leave positive or constructive feedback below.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Student Life

    Step Up Day Chaos

  • Student Life

    Mock Vehicle Crash at High School Designed to Prevent Impaired Driving

  • Contaminated Cape Cod Water

    Student Life

    Secrets Behind the Formation of American Elites  

  • Contaminated Cape Cod Water

    Student Life

    Eat, Sleep, Jump

  • Contaminated Cape Cod Water

    Student Life

    A New Life on Cape Cod

  • Contaminated Cape Cod Water

    Student Life

    Sawyer Bengston and Business Ethics

  • Contaminated Cape Cod Water

    Student Life

    Seas the Day!

  • Contaminated Cape Cod Water

    Student Life

    A young man, struggling to keep up with his family’s constant moving, finds solace in video games and personal fitness

  • Contaminated Cape Cod Water

    Student Life

    An Engineering Mastermind

  • Contaminated Cape Cod Water

    Student Life

    Rowing to a Better Life

News Brought to You by Outstanding Students From Nauset Regional High School
Contaminated Cape Cod Water