Wastewater Alternatives Case Study

Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment

Beach dunes.Established under a Special Act of the State Legislature in 1926, the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment (BCDHE) provides public health and environmental services for the 15 towns in Barnstable County, encompassing all of Cape Cod. The overall mission of the Department is to protect the public health as well as to promote the physical, mental and social well being of the residents of Barnstable County. Impacts to Cape Cod bays, estuaries, and freshwater surface and groundwater resources' resulting from nutrient-rich wastewater flows are a high priority item in Barnstable County. Consequently, Innovative and Alternative (I/A) wastewater systems are of particular interest to BCDHE and towns within Cape Cod. The web-based Carmody Innovative and Alternative (I/A) wastewater infrastructure tracking system has allowed BCDHE to track the construction, maintenance, and monitoring results of I/A systems throughout Cape Cod.

Although BCDHE has been tracking I/A systems since 2000, The Carmody™ system has only been in place for about two years.  At the time the Carmody™ system was instituted, it was recognized that the majority of the I/A units were not being monitored properly.  The web-based Carmody™ system has allowed BCDHE to track and monitor the systems much more comprehensively and efficiently than had been done previously.  As a result of the Carmody™ system, 14 of the 15 towns on Cape Cod have implemented regulations requiring all I/A installations to be input electronically into the web-based system.  Once an I/A unit and all of its associated monitoring and maintenance requirements are manually entered into the Carmody™ system, the unit is then automatically tracked via input by monitoring and maintenance personnel.  If a unit is not maintained according to its set maintenance schedule or if monitoring results fall out of compliance, the system will alert BCDHE.  From there, BCDHE will either contact the town to issue a notice of noncompliance or issue the notice themselves. 

The Carmody™ system has been recognized as a very useful tool by BCDHE, and the department is continually looking at new and different ways to use the resource.  In addition to tracking I/A systems for town health departments and ensuring that they are in compliance, the system is also being used to evaluate the functionality of different types of I/A technologies.  For example, the water quality data (e.g., nutrient data) tracked by the system for different I/A technologies can be used for watershed-based planning decisions (i.e., which I/A technologies can realistically produce significant reductions in nitrogen loading to a watershed?). 

Contact Information

For more information, contact George Heufelder, Director of BCDHE (508-375-6605).