May 22, 2019, 2:00 to 3:00 PM CDT
Register at https://epawebconferencing.acms.com/nutrientscoastalcommunities2019/event/registration.html
Conventional septic systems are not designed to remove nitrogen, which can lead to problems like excess nitrogen loading to waterways. This issue is especially important to coastal communities, where excess nitrogen causes eutrophication, hypoxia and toxic algal blooms leading to beach closures and other issues that negatively affect coastal communities. Adding nitrogen sensors to advanced septic systems could help manufacturers, homeowners, and local and state governments be assured that these systems are performing as intended and protecting valuable coastal resources.
As a coastal region experiencing such excess, towns on Cape Cod are required to address the excess nitrogen that flows into the Cape’s estuaries. These towns are examining both traditional and alternative technologies to remove excess nitrogen, but further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of alternative technologies, compare ecological, economic and social benefits and barriers of alternative technologies, determine opportunities for acceptance of alternative technologies, and assist the Cape’s communities with evaluating benefits and tradeoffs of implementing different nitrogen removal technologies.
To help address this need, EPA partnered with the Cape Cod Commission, the Barnstable Clean Water Coalition, The Nature Conservancy, the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center, and others, to launch an Advanced Septic Systems Nitrogen Sensor Challenge, Social-Ecological Systems Research, and the Nutrients Translational Science Pilot. EPA’s Tim Gleason will present on the promising results from this challenge and the broader nutrients research efforts focused on Cape Cod and how they might be applicable to other communities with similar challenges.