The Barnstable Patriot - What’s in your water?

September 20, 2013

Written by Kathleen Szmit

Contaminants found in local wells

Excerpt: As the Cape debates wastewater treatment options, the Silent Spring Institute is offering a little more to think about regarding the Cape’s wells.

According to a newly published study, pharmaceuticals, consumer product chemicals and other emerging contaminants can be found in public drinking water wells on Cape Cod, and septic systems may be to blame.

The study, funded by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published online in the peer-reviewed journal “Science of the Total Environment,” details an investigation conducted by Silent Spring on the Cape that looked at emerging contaminants in septic systems and the impact such systems might have on area wells.

Dr. Laurel Schaider, a research scientist at Silent Spring and lead author of the study, said that the goal of the study was to determine whether there were emerging contaminants in well water, and if so, which ones and whether septic systems properly filtered them out.

Public Drinking Water Supplies