For years homeowners in Eastham resisted the idea of a municipal water supply in their town, however recent testing of well water may change that.
According to an article in the Cape Cod Times, about 4 in ten wells show evidence of contamination from septic systems, placing new pressure on opponents of a town water supply.
A series of meetings over the next six weeks will be held at Eastham Town Hall to provide information about the need for change and the cost of project.
Eastham is the last town on Cape Cod to draw drinking water exclusively from private wells. Combined with a lag in conversion to Title V Septic compliance, the close proximity of wells and outdated septic systems is leaching septic material into the drinking water.
Selectman Aimee Eckman stresses the random tests do not yet indicate a public health hazard, however conditions are deteriorating. Well water is routinely tested only when a home is sold so the town's data base is just a sampling of the scope of the problem.
Title V requires 10,000 square feet of property per bedroom. In Eastham, 70 percent of homes are not yet Title V compliant.
As recently as last year, town residents voted down a $32 million system that would have covered a small part of Eastham. This new proposal calls for the entire town to be supplied with municipal water at a project cost of $114 million. In addition to providing drinking water which is routinely tested and monitored, the measure would include installation of fire hydrants every 500 feet, a benefit that will lower homeowner's insurance rates.
To find out more about the water quality concern and the municipal water project, you can attend a series of public hearings at Eastham Town Hall. Their dates, times and topics are: