What Municipal Officials Can Do
Find the resources and tools you need to learn where pollution originates, provide education and address water quality concerns.
Identify the Hot Spots
Where are the concentrations of older septic systems, high-impact commercial areas and farm operations within buffers? Where are these in relation to closed clam flats?
One of the most important tools to communicating concerns is GIS mapping. These and other WCCOG member services help municipal officials understand the scope of problems and target potential solutions.
Support Upgrades to Wastewater Treatment Plants
When heavy rain events occur, older systems will often discharge combined sewer and stormwater into waterways. Sewage is a major source of bacteria.
Clam flat closures from 2001-2009 in Machiasport due to the Machias Wastewater Treatment Plant resulted in substantial cumulative impact, based on preliminary conclusions in a recent study by Dr. Kevin Athearn (2010 dollars, inflation adjusted):
- 2.3 million pounds in lost clam sales
- $3.2 million dollars in lost value to diggers
- losses to Washington County of $5.15 million in total lost output from direct and indirect impacts
Encourage land management techniques that can greatly change the impact on water quality. Find out more about:
- The Decentralized Wastewaster Systems: Resource Manual for Municipal Officials and Developers
- Land use in buffer areas
- Failing septic systems
- Overboard discharges
- Stormwater runoff from commercial areas
- Sanitary surveys
- Planning support
Potential funding sources are included on those pages. Find more potential sources of support and funding.