News Archive

Falmouth Enterprise - Jan. 26, 2024

APCC: Water Quality In Cape Bays, Ponds Remained Poor In 2023

The Association to Preserve Cape Cod has released its annual State of the Waters report, a wide-ranging study of water quality across the Cape, and the results are mixed. The quality of public drinking water is generally good, but the percentage of coastal embayments and freshwater ponds with poor water quality in 2023 remained steady from the previous year, when the association listed 90 percent of bays and roughly 40 percent of ponds as “unacceptable.” 

Falmouth Enterprise - Jan. 25, 2024

Ashumet Pond Worst In State PFAS Report

Ashumet Pond had the highest concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in surface waters and fish tissue of any of the 52 water bodies tested in the state. Those facts were reported in December by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. 

Falmouth Enterprise - Dec. 8, 2023

New Falmouth Freshwater Committee In The Works

Falmouth residents are working on getting the select board to set up an advisory committee dedicated to freshwater pond, river and stream health.

Falmouth Enterprise - Dec. 8, 2023

Urine Diversion Pilot Planning Continues In Falmouth 

Urine-diversion advocates and water quality management committee members have spent the last two Wednesdays at town hall making progress planning for the urine-diversion pilot project. Committee and audience members at times disagreed on how the pilot should operate.

Falmouth Enterprise - Nov 9, 2023

Board Earmarks Funds For Urine-Diversion Pilot Program

The Select Board this week voted to allocate $80,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to support education and outreach that will lay the groundwork for a four-year urine-diversion pilot project in town. Anyone interested in possibly participating in the pilot program can send an email to or call 617-548-6442.

Falmouth Enterprise - Sept. 29, 2023

Smashing The Pee Pee Paradigm

When Bill Hough called me and asked me to start writing this column more than a dozen years ago, there was never any discussion of subject matter. He simply wanted me to be a voice in the community, the town’s unofficial storyteller that I’ve tried to be over the years. I’ve written on triumph and tragedy, on local legends and regular citizens who take time to make a better tomorrow in many different ways. During that first conversation, I could not have conceived that someday I would be writing about pee, but here we are.

Falmouth Enterprise - Sept. 25, 2023

Pond Coalition To Host Educational Forum

Founded in 2022, with a mission to protect and preserve Falmouth’s freshwater ponds through “organizing, partnership and education,” the Falmouth Pond Coalition is hosting its first educational forum on Tuesday, October 17, from 5:30 to 8:30 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House at 840 Sandwich Road in East Falmouth. 

Falmouth Enterprise - Sept. 15, 2023 

Water Quality Is 'Moderate' In Falmouth's Freshwater Ponds

A survey of water quality in 28 of Falmouth’s freshwater ponds last year found that the ponds are in “reasonable shape,” Woodwell Climate Research Center scientist Christopher Neill said. However, he continued, action should be taken to prevent the ponds from continuing the transition from a clear water state to a nutrient-enriched state, which can cause low-oxygen conditions and toxic algae blooms.


The pond survey was coordinated by the Falmouth Water Stewards. Dr. Neill and a fleet of volunteers sampled 28 of Falmouth’s freshwater ponds twice last year: once in the summer, and once in the winter. All the summer samples were taken on the same day, as were all the winter samples. The samples were analyzed to determine levels of nitrate (the most mobile form of nitrogen), phosphate (the most mobile form of phosphorus), and chlorophyll (the best indicator of algae abundance).

Falmouth Enterprise - Sep 14, 2023

Phosphorus And Nitrogen Together Are Impacting Freshwater Ponds In Falmouth

The conventional wisdom among scientists for the past few years has been that nitrogen drives algae production in saltwater, and phosphorus drives algae production in freshwater. However, according to Woodwell Climate Research Center scientist Christopher Neill, it turns out that the combination of nitrogen and phosphorus, not phosphorus alone, is the primary driver of algae production in freshwater ponds. 

Falmouth Enterprise - Sep 8, 2023


Get Going Now – Letter to the Editor


Last week the Water Quality Management Committee (WQMC) was presented with a proposal for a urine-diversion (UD) pilot project. Brian Baumgaertel, director of the Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center (MASSTC) wastewater division, provided details and cost estimates for the installation, monitoring and analysis of urine-diverting appliances in Falmouth. The WQMC has recognized that urine diversion—separating urine before it enters the septic system—is effective for reducing nitrogen input to our groundwater. The proposal spans about three years, a timeframe for the evaluation of I/A systems that the Massachusetts DEP regards as necessary to conform to testing standards.

Falmouth Enterprise - Sept. 1, 2023

Falmouth Is Losing Eelgrass. An Expert Explains Why That Matters

Eelgrass has many ecological virtues. Its tall, slender blades and strong roots sequester carbon, shelter young fish, make oxygen and clean the water column. But nitrogen pollution has been killing eelgrass in Falmouth’s estuaries for decades, so long that many people no longer know what healthy waters look like. Matthew H. Long, a marine chemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, took time on a recent Tuesday to explain why eelgrass is so important and what its absence means for Falmouth.

Falmouth Enterprise - Sept. 1, 2023

Falmouth Water Quality Committee Moving Forward on Ocean Outfall Pipe

The Water Quality Management Committee has placed a $1.4M article on the November Town Meeting to seek approval for planning and early development of an outfall pipe into Vineyard Sound. 

Aug. 18, 2023

APCC Releases Booklet On Cape-Friendly Landscaping

The Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) has released a new publication for Cape Cod property owners called “Guidelines for Cape-Friendly Landscapes.”

June 23, 2023

Noting that in 25 to 50 years, large chunks of coastal Falmouth will submerge regularly, Marine Biological Scientist Ivan Valiela stated, “I don’t think it’s a wise thing to put pipes ... in areas that have a 25-year life expectancy,” especially given how expensive sewers are to install. See How Will Sea Level Rise Affect Falmouth's Sewer Plans?

June 23, 2023

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection issued final regulations for reducing nitrogen pollution in Cape Cod's estuaries. As a result, Falmouth will be required to submit a plan for how the town will address this challenge over the next 20-years. See State Passes Regs To Push Cleanup Of Polluted Estuaries.

Falmouth Enterprise - June 23, 2023


How Will Sea Level Rise Affect Falmouth's Sewer Plans? Ecosystem Scientist Weighs In


As the town works toward alleviating nitrogen loading by sewering over the next two decades, it must take into account that low-lying areas of Falmouth will be under water within 50 years, said Ivan Valiela, a scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. In 25 to 50 years, large chunks of coastal Falmouth will submerge regularly, Dr. Valiela said, and added, “I don’t think it’s a wise thing to put pipes ... in areas that have a 25-year life expectancy,” especially given how expensive sewers are to install. See article.

Falmouth Enterprise - May 19, 2023

The Editor of the Falmouth Enterprise called on the Water Quality Management Committee and town residents to embrace urine diversion as an alternative technology for protecting our waters in Time To Convince State Urine Diversion Works.

Falmouth Enterprise - May 9, 2023

In an effort to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus entering our waters, Falmouth's Water Quality Management Committee discussed the pros and cons of a fertilizer ban at it's May 1st meeting.

Falmouth Enterprise - May 5, 2023

The May 1st meeting of Falmouth's Water Quality Management Committee featured a lengthy discussion about why the Committee's proposal for expanded sewering was rejected at the April Town Meeting. See Falmouth Sewer Plan Failed At Town Meeting—Now What?

Falmouth Enterprise - April 21, 2023

Kim Comart's guest column, A Watershed Moment?, was featured on the Editorial Page of the Falmouth Enterprise. The article has generated significant interest in the Falmouth Pond Coalition, including new volunteers and donations.

Falmouth Enterprise - April 14, 2023

We were featured in the Falmouth Enterprise!  Falmouth Neighborhood Pond Preservation Groups Unite features Cedar Lake residents Joyce and Bob Bock and covers the founding of our Coalition.  

Kim Comart, Hilda Maingay, and Earle Barnhart are quoted in Falmouth Town Meeting Denies Sewering Plan, Funds Treatment Facility Upgrades, which covers the discussion about Articles 24 and 25 at Town Meeting on April 11.

Falmouth Enterprise- April 7, 2023

Falmouth Water Quality Management Committee Chairman Eric Turkington's column, Rising Seas: Falmouth's Past, Present, Future, presents a sobering vision of the future of Falmouth's coastline. One of the ramifications of sea level rise is that an increasing percentage of Falmouth's current and planned sewers will be underwater and inoperable over the next few decades.   

Falmouth Enterprise - April 6, 2023


Most Salt Marshes Will Be Underwater By End Of Century, Falmouth Study Concludes

Over 90 percent of the world’s salt marshes will be underwater by 2100, according to a 50-year study of Great Sippewissett Marsh by scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 

We would like to thank The Falmouth Enterprise for their commitment to local journalism and hope you'll help them continue to cover these critical environmental issues by being a subscriber and by patronizing and thanking their advertisers.