In a surprise announcement at the December 3rd ZBA meeting, the Cloverleaf developer announced that newly developed system upgrades to the Small Sewage Wastewater Treatment Plant (SSWTP) they have proposed for the Cloverleaf could achieve discharge levels in nitrates on an average of 5 mg/L.
These upgrades are based on modifications made at another site in Westport where the same system is being piloted.
If the Westport data holds up and this turns out to be accurate, this could mean that modifications can be made at and before installation of the Cloverleaf system.
This level of nitrate discharge is at or near the maximum contamination level identified in September 2020 by the DOCS for Truro Safe Water.
It is also that same level which residents of the Pond Village Watershed, a group of about 150 homes, have called on the BoH to adopt as policy and on the ZBA to set as a condition of permitting the Cloverleaf. This condition, along with others, is asserted as essential to protecting the safety and health of Pond Village’s drinking, well and groundwater, as well as its waterways.
Pilgrim Pond in Pond Village is also at risk from nitrate overload from the Cloverleaf and from Route 6 runoff. It is the site where the Pilgrims first drank fresh water and a source Native Americans drew upon for centuries.
Pond Village residents strongly support affordable housing in their neighborhood. They have also held that affordable housing and safe water can and must both be achieved. This is consistent with an editorial – Truro’s False Choice – issued by two Truro residents and published in the Banner last January and posted on this website on Jan 9, 2020. You can find it by scrolling down to that date on the homepage.