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Public/Private Reuse Partnership Proves Successful For Kingston, Massachusetts

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The town of Kingston, Massachusetts retained Camp Dresser & McKee Inc. (CDM) in December 1996 to develop a wastewater facilities plan to address failing septic systems in many areas of the town. This plan recommended construction of a sewerage system and a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) with an average-day capacity of 375,000 gallons-per-day (gpd). Because state policy and the Ocean Sanctuaries Act require that all feasible land-based disposal alternatives be considered before pursuing surface water discharges, the town's solid waste transfer station site was recommended as the location for the WWTP and effluent disposal area. This site was selected because it is town-owned, located outside of water supply wellhead protection areas, contains suitable soils, and has a low groundwater table. It is also relatively distant from residential areas.

As further details of the recommended plan were developed, some potentially negative impacts were identified, including groundwater rise into the adjacent landfill and increased nutrient and hydraulic loads to a nearby cranberry bog. While investigating these potential impacts, an alternative option was conceived which kept treatment at the transfer station site and combined effluent disposal and reuse at a new private golf course. This option included a leaching field for effluent disposal, to be built underneath the proposed practice range, coupled with reuse to supplement golf course irrigation. Reuse water would be used as needed and the leaching field would be used when irrigation water was not needed, during the non-growing season. It soon became apparent that this new alternative would present the best solution to the town's wastewater disposal problems.

This paper focuses on the recommended plan and the successful efforts undertaken, to identify and implement effluent reuse as the most cost-effective and environmentally sound option. These efforts were challenging because effluent reuse is new to Massachusetts, and many stakeholders were involved in the decision making process.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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