Dec 062013

I’m trying to understand why some town leaders in Groton are refusing to follow the advice from multiple highly-paid scientific professionals to sewer the Lost Lake area. Is it overconfidence, denial, or wishful thinking that leads them to believe they can come up with a cheaper, way-in-the-future plan to deal with the inevitable deteriorating water quality in one corner of the town?

Any lake in the world that has 361 old, closely-spaced septic systems, draining through porous soils, will have a problem with nutrient loading and bacterial contamination. This problem will not go away, will not get better, will lead to compromised recreational and drinking water use, and will not get any cheaper to fix.

I retired to Groton three years ago from the Cape where I volunteered with the Harwich Water Quality Task Force and served on the Harwich Wastewater Committee. We monitored 12 ponds and 3 embayments to come up with a plan to handle the excess nutrient loading in conjunction with the Massachusetts Estuaries Project. The health of every pond correlated with the number of septic systems around it.

Every town on the Cape is competing for the funding that the state has already awarded to Groton to fix this issue. I understand that Groton’s access to this funding will expire June 30. Already in place are the permits from the EPA to allow transfer of sewage effluent to another watershed. The Town of Ayer is also providing a $5 million savings by agreeing to process Groton’s sewage. Waterfront property in Middlesex County is a unique asset for the Town of Groton. Its maintenance must have some long-term economic value for the whole town.

When I moved here I understood that Groton had a strong interest in conservation issues. The preservation of our finite freshwater resources is a global concern. But right now the freshwater in one part of Groton is being polluted. That problem needs to be addressed.

Mary Metzger
Broadmeadow Road