The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and Department of Agricultural Resources have established a pilot program that allows dairy farms to discharge wastewater from processing dairy products (such as milk, cheese, ice cream and yogurt) to vegetated areas where plants will treat the wastewater before it reaches ground water.

Farms participating in this pilot program will not need to obtain MassDEP groundwater discharge permits, provided they at least:

  • Establish vegetated treatment areas that meet specific design requirements and are operated in accordance with specified protocols, and
  • Address potential runoff when the air temperature prevents the wastewater from percolating through the vegetated treatment area.

For additional information, see below for the detailed memorandum of agreement through which MassDEP and DAR established the pilot program.

Milkhouse Wastewater Pilot Program Memorandum of Agreement, April 2009 pdf format of    Milkhouse Wastewater Pilot Program MOA, April 2009  doc format of Milkhouse Wastewater Pilot Program MOA, April 2009

Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Pilot Program Information