Many rural areas of the United States continue to rely on onsite septic systems as a permanent means of wastewater treatment and disposal. This is also the case in Barnstable County (Cape Cod) which is designated by EPA as having a sole-source aquifer and where over 80% of the wastewater treatment is performed by onsite septic systems. To assess the implications of onsite wastewater disposal in this are where septic systems are hydraulically connected with drinking water sources and aquatic habitats, we have compiled information of the state of our understanding relative to the impact of certain contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) that originate in wastewater. These include pharmaceuticals (antibiotics, hormone therapies, cancer therapies, etc.), personal care products (deodorants, shampoos, insect repellents, etc.) and certain by-products of manufactured products (phenolic surfactants, fire retardants, etc.)
Materials can be requested by contacting the department at 508-375-6613.