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Case Study: Alternative Wastewater Collection for Provincetown, Massachusetts

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The Town of Provincetown, located at the outermost tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, faces unique challenges for it's wastewater treatment and disposal. The Town possesses a natural beauty and character which attracts thousands of visitors each year. Currently, there are no public wastewater collection, treatment or disposal facilities. Approximately 83 percent of the 2,000 properties in the town can continue to handle their wastewater onsite, in conformance with the Massachusetts regulations for on-site sewage treatment systems (Title 5). Conversely, the remaining 17% (approx. 350) of the Town have failing Title 5 systems, can not build a Title 5 system on-site, and will need to be connected to and served by new public sewer system and treatment facility. The Town began it's Wastewater Facilities Planning Study to solve this problem in 1994. This study resulted in the recommendation to solicit Design/Build/Operate (DBO) proposals for a new wastewater collection, treatment and disposal system. The Town drafted special legislation to provide for a Wastewater Management District which included details of an “opt out” approach which would allow certain property owners with approved Title 5 systems to choose whether or not to be included in the Sewer Service Area. This unique approach would create a “checker-board” sewer district and was prompted by the Town's concern about forcing property owners to connect to the sewer. Final design for the new facilities included a hybrid collection system. The collection system consisted of a combination of vacuum, low-pressure and gravity sewer technologies. This collection system consists of 18,500 feet of vacuum sewers, 8,400 feet of low-pressure sewers and 2,300 feet of gravity sewers. All wastewater from this hybrid collection system flows through one centrally located vacuum pump station and is pumped to the treatment plant. Currently, design of the new facilities has received Massachusetts State Revolving Fund (SRF) approval. Construction began in March of 2002 and the facilities are scheduled for completion and commencement of operation in December 2003.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864702784162831

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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