What’s Being Said About Town Water?

Martin V Haspel, PhD,  Joanna Buffington, MD MPH, James Taylor, MDtem, Eastham

In his letter (Cape Codder, February 28), Mr. Dumas attempted to explain the mathematical risks associated with the ingestion of 1,4 dioxane in a manner understandable to many people. Unfortunately, he took the numbers at face value and did not evaluate the validity and limitations of the underlying data. The biological system is much more complicated than Mr. Dumas’ analysis would suggest. One of us (MH) is a cancer research scientist. He raised the following issues about risk assessment at the recent public information session organized by the Eastham Health Department. First, the experimental data collected by the EPA looks at the potential of 1,4 dioxane, acting alone, to produce tumors. This chemical also can function as a “tumor promoter”. That is, it can enhance the ability of other chemicals to produce tumors. Since the synergy between 1,4 dioxane and the large number of other cancer producing chemicals would be next to impossible to quantify, it was not used by the EPA to establish risk. Second, none of the animal studies looked at the effects of 1,4 dioxane at different stages of development (for example, fetus vs. adult). The toxicologists on the panel nodded their heads in agreement with his statements. Furthermore, his points are acknowledged in the EPA’s monograph on 1,4 dioxane. So what is the actual risk? Unfortunately, it is unknown. The best practice is to limit one’s exposure to a concentration that is as low as possible. This applies to all possible carcinogens and toxic substances. The best course of action is to establish a protected source of drinking water that is monitored for environmental contaminants- a municipal water system for Eastham.

Water, water everywhere – Eastham municipal water system worth revisiting

Cape Cod Times – March 01, 2014 2:05 AM

Last week, a truck carrying bottled water pulled up to Eastham Elementary School, a vivid symbol of the true cost of doing nothing when it comes to water quality. We hope its arrival will turn the tide of public opinion and spur residents to reconsider their rejection last year of a municipal water system.

The move at Eastham Elementary is both precautionary and prophylactic. Trace amounts of 1,4-dioxane were recently discovered in the well that serves the school. These readings, of .08 and .09 parts per billion, are substantially below the town’s safety threshold of 0.3 parts per billion, but school Principal Scotti Finnegan and the Nauset Regional Schools have wisely decided to err on the side of prudence.

The elementary school discovery is only the latest in a cascade of bad water news that has inundated the town since 2012 when the plume of 1,4-dioxane contamination was discovered. Many suspect that the plume, which also contains other volatile organic compounds, originates from the town’s landfill, although some suggest that it emanates instead from private septic systems.

While the origin of the contamination remains in doubt, one thing is certain: This plume is not going away any time soon.

The town has tacitly acknowledged this by agreeing to supply 30 properties around the landfill with bottled water after owners’ wells tested above the 0.3 parts per billion mark. Whether that number will grow is anybody’s guess, but if other pollution plumes are any indication, it is not likely to go down any time soon.

Eastham selectmen are not sitting idly by waiting for the next shoe to drop. Last week, they decided to put a $40.8 million water system on this spring’s town meeting warrant.

The proposal, a scaled-back version of a full town system, calls for a series of town wells and piping to connect homes surrounding the landfill and along Route 6. It could be built out if future town meetings decided to expand the scope of the system. It would also provide fire hydrants throughout more than three-quarters of the town.

This may be a wise move. Last year, town officials put several options before voters, but none could muster a majority. By focusing on one single choice, and a relatively modest one at that, voters may be more inclined to support it.

Some may accuse school officials of alarmism, but there can be no such thing as excessive caution when it comes to protecting children. Anyone truly intent on pointing fingers should instead be focusing on those taxpayers who repeatedly vote down efforts to create a municipal water system for the town.

Perhaps the latest news from Eastham Elementary will provide the badly needed impetus to move this plan forward. Hopefully, Eastham will not have to wait until another series of homes or businesses find that their water is endangered before deciding that there is a value to protecting themselves.

Eastham’s future: Dead in the water?

Arthur Mirkin, Eastham, February 27, 2014

The bell rings. The teacher has the attention of the class.

Last year educational classes were held in this very room and attended by citizens of this town — citizens who wanted truthful, factual information about the quality of our drinking water.

Anyone who attended these classes was given proof of a continually deteriorating level of water quality throughout the town:

  • 1,4-dioxane has been found in wells near the landfill in an area that continues to grow in different directions. No one can predict its eventual boundaries.
  • Rising nitrate levels are in the water for a number of reasons, including overbuilding, undersize lots, chemical use of fertilizers and incorrect disposal of dangerous substances; and septic effluent is in our drinking water throughout our town.
  • There is no fire protection beyond what water a pumper truck can bring to a location because there are no fire hydrants.
  • Saltwater intrusion threatens property near the bay.

All good information, and it was given in a very professional, factual manner. Many citizens of this town listened intently, took the information to heart and showed support for the efforts of all involved by supporting both a townwide water system and a backbone system — both of which were approved by more than six of every 10 voters.

How many residents of this town use bottled water, have a filtration system, or both, as I have? How many wells have never been tested? How many residents are unaware of what is in their water? Route 6 and some other roads are lined with restaurants, motels, inns and other businesses all dependent on good water.

What happens to our town if they start closing?

Who will be the next person to stand in horror and watch a home or business destroyed by fire? Will that next fire claim lives?

We cannot predict the future. If a level of 1,4-dioxane is below 0.3 today, will it be the same tomorrow?

If nitrate levels pass today, will they stay steady tomorrow? If our fire department is quiet today, will it remain so tomorrow? No one knows.

What we do know is that our actions today can prevent those water issues in the future by eliminating contaminants in our water and at the same giving our fire services the best chance to save lives and property.

I supported townwide water, and I still do. I think that the only alternative to a townwide system should be the original backbone article, which fell some eight votes short of passing by a two-thirds margin. This would eliminate the landfill-area problem, which now exists, while also affording some 80 percent of the town with hydrants and would be easily expandable to any location. I would hope we would still look at the big picture and help as many residents and as large an area as possible.

K.C. Myers [Cape Cod Times], February 04, 2014

EASTHAM — Serving 80 guests at the Eastham United Methodist Church’s recent spaghetti supper was challenging using bottled water but the church on Route 6 had no choice because it is the latest location to have its well contaminated by a probable human carcinogen thought to be emanating from the town landfill.  “People who aren’t from Eastham and don’t know all that’s gone on are stunned,” said the Rev. Matthew Wissell, the church’s pastor, about the town’s water situation.

The town doesn’t have municipal water — despite years of town officials trying to get a water project through town meeting. The church, which has 360 members, received notice two weeks ago that 1,4-dioxane had been detected in the drinking water at 0.3 micrograms per liter, which is the amount that triggers the town to provide bottled water, Wissell said.  

The church was among six new properties that showed 1,4-dioxane above 0.3 micrograms per liter during December well tests, Crowley said.  That means all water for coffee at the fellowship hour comes from a bottle and so does all the water used to cook the monthly free spaghetti suppers, Wissell said.  “1,4-dioxane doesn’t go away with boiling,” Wissell said. “It’s a challenge but the volunteers made it work.”  The church is the first property that serves the public to have the bottled water requirement; others are private homes, said Jane Crowley, the town health agent.  A total of 30 properties — actually 34 households, because some are duplexes — have now been issued bottled water in the year or so since 1,4-dioxane was first detected in wells around the landfill, Crowley said.  The number grows as different portions of the town are tested.  The chemical — a solvent found in dyes, paint thinners, deodorants and shampoos — has been declared a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The drinking water guideline is a maximum of 0.3 micrograms per liter.  The selectmen have not yet decided on a water system project to take before town meeting this year. But they are discussing a partial system that would provide “a backbone” along Route 6 and into the neighborhoods around the landfill.  That is the plan, for $40.8 million, that failed by about seven votes to get a supermajority during the last town meeting. The system would provide water to the area around the landfill and most businesses, and provide fire hydrants to 80 percent of the town. The plan would allow for expansion of the system if neighbors choose.  The town will host an information meeting on Feb. 11.  Yet as testing has found more contamination, the exact boundaries of the plume have not been identified. And, after a home at 225 Ireland Way was destroyed by a fire Jan. 16, more people are aware that the town lacks the fire hydrants that would come with a public water system.  At a selectmen’s meeting last week, Elizabeth Wagner, of 190 Ireland Way, said she saw the embers raining down on surrounding homes.  “It could have been a conflagration,” she said.  In the past, the Methodist church congregation has been divided on the town water issue, said Wissell, although he’s favored public water to preserve health, fire safety and property values.  “But now that it’s in our face, we need to talk about it,” Wissell said.

Patrick O’Connell, Eastham, October 29, 2013
In response to Tom Johnson’s letter on Oct. 15 declaring there is no water “crisis” in Eastham, I need to let some facts get in the way. Anyone interested in an accurate update of the ground water crisis must read Eastham’s recent “Immediate Response Action Plan” quarterly report prepared by Environmental Strategies & Management, filed Sept. 30 with the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The “Phase 3″ water testing was completed in late July, a month after the town meeting, when Eastham fell eight votes shy of approving a viable town water system. The report states the number of homes above the proposed DEP standard for 1,4 dioxane has doubled since the June vote; from 11 to 22 properties — homes Eastham now provides bottled water to. (Two additional homes were added to the list at a recent Board of Selectmen meeting, bringing the present total to 24.)

The report contradicts Johnson on two other major points. The study area around the landfill has not been confined. The report states “to the south and west 1,4 dioxane has been detected at the farthest extent of the study area,” and an expansion of the area is required. (It noted many wells in the defined landfill area still need testing.)

The second point regards Johnson downplaying dioxane as “not even listed as a regulated water contaminant.” The EPA identifies 1,4 dioxane as a “probable carcinogen,”, and the recent DEP report explains dioxane’s status as an “emerging contaminant,” relatively new, and particularly nasty in that dioxane is almost impossible to remove from water.

The report concludes that municipal water “is the only remedy that is guaranteed to provide safe drinking water to the area.”

Two other elephants in the Eastham living room are the numerous septage-contaminated wells around town away from the landfill site; and Eastham is the only town on Cape Cod with zero fire hydrants. Not to mention the unresolved status of the $1.9 million settlement the town recently considered in response to the first demand letter from a resident with a toxic well.

Yes on 1, ‘yes’ on 2, ‘no’ on 4

June 10, 2013 - The following was written by Deanna Ross, Kara Risk and Glenn Olsen, executive committee members of the Eastham Water Action Committee, and represents the views of the full committee.

Eastham residents have a clear choice at the June 22 special town meeting. The Eastham Water Action Committee is a group of more than 200 supporters advocating for municipal water. It provides residents with resources needed to evaluate drinking water quality issues and believes the smart choice is “yes,” “yes” and “no” on the three public water articles.  Article 1 provides for a townwide water system, the best choice. It would replace our entire uncertain and deteriorating private well water supply. Wastewater, which includes pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, and contaminants from the landfill, pesticides, fertilizers and road runoff, are infiltrating our wells. For an average of $49 a month for the median priced home ($400,000) we would be freed of the health risk we now face by using contaminated water.  In addition to safe drinking water, a townwide system would provide much better fire protection to all residents, producing lower insurance rates for many, clean water for all commercial and industrial businesses, and freedom from filtration costs and well and pump maintenance and replacement costs for everyone hooking up. Tax deductibility also would reduce the cost for those who itemize.  If Article 1 fails to get the required two-thirds majority, the committee supports Article 2, which provides for a water system limited to “Phase 1″ of the townwide system. Phase 1 includes the “backbone” of the townwide system, allowing expansion easily and efficiently to other parts of town when the town’s citizens are ready to take that step.  In the meantime, it provides clean water to 31 percent of the town’s properties, fire protection (and possible insurance premium benefits) to 79 percent, and clean water for 84 percent of the commercial and industrial properties. Not nearly as good as the townwide system, but a positive investment in our town, especially for the average $26 per month it would cost taxpayers owning a median-priced property.  Article 4, a petitioned article, claims to provide help for the residents living near the landfill, who presently find 1,4-dioxane, classified by the EPA as a “probable human carcinogen,” in many of their wells.  Providing a remedy only for those at risk because of landfill-related contamination is not sensible given the townwide water quality problem. But this proposal doesn’t even do that. It provides clean water only to 75 percent (176) of the residences in the area being monitored by EPA, DEP and the town.  This isn’t surprising — the area at risk is a moving target, expanding as testing results are received. Unless the entire Bracket/Nauset/Old Orchard roads area is covered, as in Phase 1, no “landfill only” article can be certain to deal with the problem.  We also cannot be sure the $5.8 million price tag is legitimate. Unlike the town’s proposals, Article 4 has not yet had engineering studies to establish the feasibility of the proposed routing, piping methodology or prices for labor and equipment. The $5.8 million figure is just somebody’s number at this time.  In choosing among the alternatives, the relative cost to the town to get water to each property to be served is illuminating. For Article 1 it is about $21,000 per property (for 6,646 properties), and for Article 2, about $24,000 (for 2,056 properties). In contrast, Article 4 is more than $40,000 per property, twice as much as for the townwide system.  Article 4 is inefficient, low value, too limited for its supposed purpose, and does not provide the infrastructure necessary to readily expand to a townwide system when desired.  As our mothers cautioned, “don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish.” We have a clear choice: “yes” on 1, “yes” on 2, “no” on 4.

David Donovan, Eastham

I have read countless reports about the current Eastham water situation, and it appears that the future of our drinking water does not look promising. But what really troubles me is that there are families in this town, in our community, who require some help from the rest of us right now. Clean water is a basic human need, and, consider this: there are children going to school with our children who do not have it. And what is all the controversy about? Money.  My father once said to me, “If you have your health, you have everything.”  He was no philosopher, but he certainly made a point that I have tried to live by, which I am trying to pass on to my daughters.  But there is another principle my wife and I teach at home, and that is to help those in need.  Take care of people who really need assistance. I do not know the families who would benefit the most from a town water system, but I know they live in Eastham, our community.  I also know that they will not benefit from Article 4 because this “partial” plan does not include all of those that are affected. Also, it would be difficult to design a partial system for an area that is not yet delineated?!  If you have never attended a town meeting, but you believe that helping others is what makes us human beings, please come out and support the initiative to bring clean water to Eastham. We are a community. Please vote YES on Article1, YES on Article 2 and NO on Article 4.

Dee Mattfeldt, Eastham

I am in full support of Eastham’s Article 1 for Town Water for everyone. My family has been a victim of contaminated water.  To our knowledge, not here in Eastham yet but in our previous home off Cape.  We spent 15 years trying to get clean water and finally needed to install a filtration system with carbon filters and ultraviolet lights.  Our children were 5 and 7 when we learned of the contamination, which was from a dry cleaner nearby.  We could not drink our water and we were told we could not shower because the steam was very dangerous. At that time, the Board of Health told us our water could easily be contaminated by our neighbor’s septic systems and was the case in our situation.  The state DEP stepped in and placed monitoring wells to delineate and follow the plume. However, to this day I cannot drink our well water because I don’t know what is it my drinking water.  This reality is now true for everyone in Eastham. You do not know from day to day what is in your drinking water. Providing town water to some people will not resolve the problem, as we are all vulnerable.  Please vote yes on Article 1.

Cape Cod Times Editor, June 02, 2013

Eastham now has three distinct options as to what its water future may hold when voters meet on June 22 to discuss the issue once again. Residents must weigh their choices carefully, for the one option that is not on the table is doing nothing.  There are a few incontrovertible facts connected with the Eastham water debate. First, Eastham and Truro are the only Cape towns without their own municipal water. Second, Eastham’s water woes are not going away. The town’s former landfill appears to be generating volatile organic compounds and a probable human carcinogen. Nine private wells around the landfill have tested positive for these substances.  Here’s another fact: On May 6, voters narrowly rejected two water-related articles that had been proposed by selectmen during an animated and, at times, acrimonious discussion about the town’s water future.  The big picture plan would have created a townwide water system over the course of 12 years at a cost of nearly $115 million. A more modest plan, known as Phase One, would have installed hydrants in most parts of town, and public water to the roughly 220 homes most affected by the landfill issues, with a price tag of nearly $41 million.  Last week, a petition-generated proposal added a third option: a $5.8 million plan that would provide public water to the affected homes surrounding the landfill. This plan, which has garnered the support of many who oppose the first two, appears prudent in terms of the short term, but there is a question whether this approach would be penny-wise and pound-foolish.  That’s because there are a few additional facts that seem to have been sidelined as the debate continued, and although the VOC and carcinogen issues are important, they only tell part of the story.  Nearly 40 percent of Eastham’s privately owned wells have revealed nitrate levels of 2 parts per million, and 70 percent of the homes in town have more bedrooms than recommended by the state’s on-site sewage regulations. When you take these factors into account, the true potential scope of the town’s issues becomes more apparent.  No one wants to pay for a system that overcompensates for a specific problem, but in the case of Eastham, there is a danger that the very reasonable concerns regarding those living around the town’s landfill may create a bit of myopia. It seems unlikely that, given the town’s septic situation, the townwide private well issues are going to improve on their own.  There is one additional fact that Eastham’s voters may want to consider: No municipal project in memory has ever gone down in cost as a result of residents putting it off until later. A case in point is the ongoing debate about installing sewers throughout the region. No one has yet made the argument that taxpayers have benefited by playing the waiting game with that issue.  When Eastham voters reconvene on June 22, they should reconsider the narrow defeat of the two more extensive proposals. Planning for the future of a town is seldom inexpensive, but not planning usually costs a whole lot more.

Editor, The Cape Codder

Next Monday, Eastham voters will be asked to approve a $114 million municipal water project. The Cape Codder supports the plan.  Yes, it’s a major infrastructure project and it’s very expensive. A “house rich, cash poor” resident would find a $600 or more increase in their tax bill staggering.  The tax burden would not be felt immediately, but would be phased in, as the project progresses, over many years.  Chances are pretty good the project, once approved, would be funded at a zero percent interest rate, instead of 2 percent. State Sen. Dan Wolf has made that goal a priority.  According to the Eastham Board of Selectmen’s calculations, with the zero interest borrowing rate, the cost per year for a $400,000 home would drop from $600 to about $350.  Once the system is in place, residents would also expect to pay about $250 per year for water.  However, town officials point out that savings will largely offset the cost of both building the system and homeowners’ annual water bills, making the project “a wash.” That may be overly optimistic, but the savings do make this project seem more affordable.  Under the plan, a town-wide system of fire hydrants would be installed within two years, resulting in an estimated 25 percent reduction in homeowner’s insurance.  Homeowners would no longer have to maintain private wells and private water treatment.  The cost to drill a new well can cost $4,000, and replacement pumps are about $1,000.  In addition, the additional taxes are deductible.  According to the selectmen, once you factor in the amortized cost to install and operate private wells and pH neutralizers, and take into accounts savings in electricity, insurance and tax deductions, the net cost for water would be $214 per year. Should the project be funded at zero percent interest, residents would actually save $25 per year.  We think the plan is well thought out and affordable.  But is it needed? Backers of the plan say water quality is getting worse, and the town should act before its water becomes non-potable. Nitrates, while not at danger levels, are indicators of other contaminants.  Most houses in Eastham are on one-quarter and one-half acres. Septic systems and wells maintain a distance from each other, but how close is your neighbor’s septic tank form your well?  Opponents have argued that Eastham’s municipal water is coming from the same source as private wells and this is somewhat true. The entire Cape draws its fresh water supply from one source: an aquifer that runs beneath our sandy peninsula. However, town wells are located away from developed areas unlike private wells and testing is done regularly, and water can be treated.  We’re impressed by town officials who have been diligent in presenting public information sessions to address concerns.  Eastham has grown from a quiet seaside hamlet to a developed town that swells from 5,000 year round to 20,000 in summer. It’s time it built a municipal water system, before it’s too late.

Dave Donovan, Eastham

I have read countless reports about the current Eastham water situation, and it appears that the future of our drinking water does not look promising. But what really troubles me is that there are families in this town, in our community, who require some help from the rest of us right now. Clean water is a basic human need, and, consider this: there are children going to school with our children who do not have it. And what is all the controversy about? Money.  My father once said to me, “If you have your health, you have everything.”  He was no philosopher, but he certainly made a point that I have tried to live by, which I am trying to pass on to my daughters.  But there is another principle my wife and I teach at home, and that is to help those in need.  Take care of people who really need assistance. I do not know the families who would benefit the most from a town water system, but I know they live in Eastham, our community.  If you have never attended a town meeting, but you believe that helping others is what makes us human beings, please come out and support the initiative to bring clean water to Eastham. We are a community.

Mary Shumway, Eastham, May 03, 2013 

Recently we have become aware of the water quality controversy in Eastham, much of it concerning the increasing concentrations of nitrates in our drinking water.  The aquifer in Eastham is becoming increasingly stressed as a result of our population quadrupling in the past 50 years. Many of us have seen our nitrate levels rise over the years — an indicator of other pollutants in our water as well. If you live on the bay side of Route 6 this is even more of a problem. The area is the most densely populated part of town and therefore the most affected. Is 100 feet between septic and well even enough anymore?  Also, I understand that 70 percent of all Eastham single-family homes/lots exceed today’s Title 5 standard of 1,000 square feet for each bedroom. And what about the contaminants that don’t go through our septic systems — the lawn chemicals, poisons, insecticides and repellents, road runoff — including gasoline and oil — all of which leach into the soil and groundwater?  Before you vote, please visit www.easthamwater.com for excellent arguments on our need for town water, and rate the saving and benefits which help our final cost, averaged at $1.61 a day.

Steve Cole, Eastham, May 02, 2013 

Many Eastham voters are concerned about the cost of a municipal water system. Let’s take a fresh look at the numbers.  The starting point shouldn’t be the cost of construction or the total amount that would be owed in increased taxes over 30 years. The average monthly cost is a more useful benchmark for a household budget. For property assessed at the $400,000 median value, the average monthly cost is $49.  And there are many offsets. Electricity for pumps and maintenance of filtration systems would not be needed. If you itemize federal tax deductions, property taxes are deductible. Insurance costs will likely go down if your carrier uses the ISO rating system. Savings might be more than $40/month, and would be even greater if you now use bottled water. You would also have no future need to replace a water pump or drill a new well. The long-term financial impact of town water — enhanced home fire safety and maintenance of property values — cannot be ignored.  Your home is probably your greatest investment. Short-term savings that create high risk may come back to cause huge losses in the future. Water may be more affordable than you realized.

The following statement was written jointly by the Eastham Board of Selectmen: Chairwoman Aimee J. Eckman, Vice Chairman John F. Knight, Wallace F. Adams II, Martin F. McDonald and Linda S. Burt.

We, the members of the board of selectmen, have developed a vision for the community in regards to municipal water. We have communicated that vision and shared with you our individual and collective reasons for proposing a townwide municipal water system.  We did not come to this decision lightly or without many hours spent educating ourselves about this issue. We conclude that the provision of public water is crucial to the health, safety and economic vitality of our community.  In a series of nine public information sessions in March and April, each aspect of the project was presented and explained by various supporting experts and the board of selectmen. We focused on the need, details of the design and installation, and financing. We have answered several hundred questions on all components of the project proposal, all of which are posted on the town website. Our goal was and is to provide residents with sufficient information so that they may make an informed decision on this important issue.  Yes, there are opponents to this project. As individual selectmen, we have had different points of view; however, we are united in our support for a townwide municipal water system.  Those elected, appointed and employed to protect the public health and safety of our town, and representatives of several state and federal agencies, have worked with us to evaluate various approaches to water quality issues and consistently suggest that townwide municipal water is a permanent and appropriate solution.  Some may still have doubts about the public health need for a municipal water system, and the financial commitment necessary to move forward in this regard. Voters need to decide just whom they feel comfortable listening to: those responsible for the financial and environmental health of this town, or the opinions of those who may be opposed, for the same or different reasons. Yes, it is an expensive project, but we firmly believe that it is necessary and worth doing now.  We urge residents to attend town meeting May 6 at 7 p.m. at Nauset High School gymnasium and vote on Article 7. We believe that this article is very important for the town and have scheduled it early in the meeting. We expect a large attendance, so advise residents to arrive early. On-site parking assistance will be provided by the Eastham Police Department.  Those in need of further information may visit the town website for videos of the public information meetings, presentations and technical information, at www.eastham-ma.gov, and click on the links in the upper right-hand area.

Adele Blong, Eastham, April 30, 2013

A few have suggested Eastham should do only Phase 1 of the proposed townwide water system or even less, providing public water only along Route 6 and in the landfill area.  Even with full construction of Phase 1, assurance of uninterrupted safe drinking water would be unavailable to more than two-thirds of the town unless subsequent town meetings voted to extend the system. These residents would not be promised protection from drinking water infiltrated by septic waste, though they would be paying for the system.  And while 79 percent of the town would have enhanced fire protection from the fire hydrants installed at 500-foot intervals, 21 percent would not. They would lose out both on greater safety and the possible insurance savings from a better fire safety rating.  These are some of the reasons town meeting voted down a Phase 1 only approach last year.  These deficiencies pale in comparison with a proposal to just cover Route 6 and the landfill, a plan that would leave most of Eastham without the benefits of a public water system despite townwide degraded water quality.  All of Eastham needs and deserves a public water system.

Marc Stahl, Eastham, April 29, 2013

An April 17 letter argued that we could solve Eastham’s drinking water problem with simple carbon filters and $300 reverse-osmosis machines.  I know there are science-based reasons why these approaches won’t work given the nature of our problem — overbuilding and infiltration of septic waste into 45 percent of our wells. But the question that intrigues me the most is whether opponents of town water really think that virtually everyone with a duty to review and propose solutions for Eastham — the selectmen, finance committee, water management committee, county health department director, board of health and town health agent — all recommend a $114 million townwide water system when simple carbon filters or $300 devices will cure the problem. Clearly they have concluded that a municipal system is a necessary investment in our public health and the sustainability of our town.  I hope voters will consider this when making up their minds. Perhaps the costs are a concern, but please evaluate these costs against the benefits, and do not assume that the way forward is an easy and cheap one. We will have municipal town water eventually — it will just cost a lot more if we wait.

Stacey Klimkosky, Eastham, April 18, 2013

Sustainability.  It’s a complicated word. Ecologically speaking, sustainability describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over the course of time.  Economically, environmentally and even socially speaking, sustainability involves the ability to make the most out of available resources.  However you choose to define it, sustainability is a concept that we as Cape Codders hear frequently these days.  How can we ensure that our community here on this big sand dune will endure?  The answer to that question always involves long-term, rather than short-term, planning.  Eastham residents are currently faced with a question that involves our town’s sustainability.  Does Eastham need a town-wide, rather than a scaled-down, municipal water system?    Some facts surrounding the controversy of town-wide water are undeniable.  Eastham is over built. Seepage from our capped landfill has infiltrated the aquifer in the surrounding area.  Eastham’s overall ground water quality has degraded, and given the current population and trends, will continue to degrade, over time.  The answer to the question will undoubtedly be a key factor in determining whether or not our town will continue to be sustainable–one which remains diverse and productive over time.   Sustainability requires long-term planning and the vision to look far beyond one’s immediate needs. When you raise your card at Town Meeting on May 6, ask yourself, “Am I casting this vote because of my current needs or am I voting because I want my town to remain strong economically, environmentally and socially?”   A scaled-down system is less costly, yes.  But is it truly sustainable?  Probably not.  We will always need to expand it as water quality degrades and that expansion will be at an even higher cost. Think long-term, not just ten years down the road. Be visionaries. Be brave.

Deanna Ross, Eastham, MA, April 18, 2013
Parents use their voices to make the community better for their family’s health and happiness. They realize that even a small risk of contaminated water is not acceptable. They become advocates to ensure that everyone is provided an essential component to life. They protect their children in the present and in the future and provide them with what is essential to survive.  That one essential entity is water.  Contaminated water poses many risks that will negatively affect health. It is unacceptable to label Eastham’s current water distribution system as “fine.” There are an overwhelming number of facts available to all residents that explain why our current distribution system is not fine and why we need a townwide municipal water system.  Is it acceptable to Eastham residents that products from septic systems are leaking into neighboring wells? I venture to guess it is not. The solution to fix Eastham’s water problems is a townwide municipal water system. There are no alternatives.
Jessica Dill, Eastham, April 13, 2013

A March 21 letter labels as a “scare tactic” Eastham officials’ expressed concerns that increased future septic use would add to our drinking water quality problem.  The writer seems to feel this way because of the small amount of buildable land left in the town and declining school enrollments. What the writer fails to take account of is the greater use of second homes by nonresident baby boomers over time and greater number of people who will retire to Eastham and occupy their Eastham properties full time, not just in parts of the summer.  Moreover, many of these properties are grandfathered under Title 5, and so are capable of denser habitation than Title 5 would allow for new construction. Septic usage is proportionate to population, not to the number of dwellings.  The writer says she wants to vote “based on fact, not fear.” Facts sometimes are troubling — sugar coating would not serve the citizens well. The plain truth is that the facts known about our degrading water supply should make us afraid for our future and should induce us to take action now to protect our water supply.

Jeff Risk, Eastham,

April 07, 2013

For families who have decided to stay and raise their children in Eastham despite the high cost of living, safe drinking water should not be a concern.  I have worked hard to make Eastham my home, taking on second jobs when necessary, because this is the place I was destined for. Not for a moment did I consider the issue of safe drinking water.  Given the sacrifices we have made to live here, Eastham families should be provided with a great school system, fantastic fire and rescue services, and a solid sense of community. Most important, we should be provided safe drinking water, a basic need for human survival.  It’s hard for those of us who have decided to stay and raise our families here. We stay because it is truly home. Let’s make it a safe home for all families. This issue is not going away. If we don’t address it now, not only is it going to cost us more, but we will continue to discourage growing families from making Eastham their home. Town water will benefit us all.

Barbara Stahl, Eastham, April 02, 2013

A March 18 letter accuses Eastham officials of being “deceitful,” setting “artificial standards” for water safety and then telling citizens they have been exceeded.  However, the town is not saying that more than 2 parts per million nitrate is itself harmful. What it is saying is that when well water exceeds 2 ppm of nitrates it means discharges from septic systems have infiltrated the water, since the natural level of nitrate in groundwater is no more than 2 ppm. About 45 percent of the wells in Eastham are at this point already, and this number has been growing steadily.  When wastewater infiltrates our wells, it brings many contaminants other than nitrate, including unmetabolized pharmaceuticals and hormones, household cleaning chemicals, flame retardants and other chemicals most of us would prefer not to drink. The levels at which these chemicals may be harmful are not currently known.  So, what we must all ask ourselves is whether our willingness to risk our health by continuing to drink water infiltrated by chemicals that should not be there is a risk we are willing to take for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren. I, for one, am not.

A Poem by Elizabeth Levy, Eastham

If we love this special place

As we say we do,

It shouldn’t just be until

OUR living here is through.

 

If we have no thought or plan

As the ocean rises,

Our descendants must repeat

The Ancient Mariner’s crisis.

 

Water, water everywhere

In ocean, pond and sink.

Water, water everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink.

Bob Smith, North Eastham, March 26, 2013

Jack Child’s letter “Water Burden” needs a closer look.  He says, “Only 3 residences of the 6,000 in Eastham are affected with a perceived problem.”  As of today, here are the facts Jack from Eastham’s Health Agent Jane Crowley!  9 Eastham residences have been provided water by the town because their wells exceed 50% of the current MassDEP standard of 3.0 ppb for 1,4 Dioxane, a suspected carcinogen.  The anticipated revised standard for 1,4 Dioxane is expected to be lowered to 0.3 ppb in July.  When this standard is lowered the town may be providing even more residences.  Now lets get an even clearer picture of Eastham’s water problems.  70% of all single-family residential lots exceed today’s Title V standard.  That standard for a lot is 10,000 sq.ft. per bedroom.  A 1/4 acre lot today would be allowed only one bedroom.  Eastham has been over built!  It’s that simple.  43% of our wells tested could be contaminated with wastewater.  A Nitrate level in excess of 2 ppm is an indication that wastewater has affected the water quality of a private well. Tom Tcambareri, Water Resources Program Manager for the Cape Cod Commission, states that a Nitrate level of less than 0.5 ppm is considered to be naturally occurring in our aquifer and that septic system effluent leaving the leach field is at 35 ppm. In 2011 the Silent Spring Institute tested private wells on Cape Cod, including Eastham and also found pharmaceuticals, pesticides, hormones and other emerging contaminants.  We also must remember that while Eastham’s population is 6,000 and there are 6,000 homes here, the population swells to over 30,000 every July and August.  A town wide water system in Eastham is an “Expensive Burden,” but it is a “Responsibility” we must now accept as residents and taxpayers.  To be informed attend the selectmen’s water meetings at the Town Hall or on line at Eastham-ma.gov, then click video on demand.  Also go to easthamwater.com for another good source of information

Glenn Olson, Eastham, March 26, 2013

There is a lot more going on with our drinking water quality in Eastham than just problems around the landfill, although that is a very real issue for the families living with contaminated water.  Throughout Eastham, well water testing has shown increases in nitrate concentrations, and suggests that nitrate readings greater that 2 parts per million indicate well water is being influenced (polluted) by the neighbors, or one’s own septic system. In addition to the nitrate issue is the medications that people take, and the variety of chemicals that are disposed of, that pass through these same septic systems and enter back into your drinking water.  Water quality throughout Eastham has degraded over the past 30 years. We need to ask ourselves how much risk we are willing to accept with our drinking water quality, health and safety for our families, the negative financial impact on our biggest investments, our homes.  It’s inconceivable that Eastham will never need a public water system, though the cost of a public water system will continue to get more expensive every year we choose not to install one. Get educated; make an informed vote based on facts, and not misguided information.

Sherman C. Reed, Orleans, March 23, 2013

This true story, well known to many in my town, may help my friends in Eastham in their trial.  Retiring from the Navy 40 years ago, I and my wife started building our own home on a rural dirt road, following all town rules. Electricity and phone were our only utilities. Orleans had just started installing town water. Accepting no toilet flushing during power outages, we fought town water hard for reasons now stated within Eastham.  My wife became ill. Symptoms pointed to our well as the culprit. Many months and tests later, Leahy Clinic determined colon cancer. It was too late, although we received the best of care and fought hard.  Many years later, with town water, my second wife developed essentially the same symptoms. Quickly, we caught a softball-size cancer just in time. We will soon enjoy our 33rd wedding anniversary, six years cancer-free.  No, our well did not kill my first wife, but it delayed proper diagnosis. The cancer had metasticized, but that little doubt lingers.  I fault no one. Marine Corps buddies tell me they were always taught to fear untreated water, but I was only a dumb Navy guy.

Eastham Business Owners Pine for Water, Cape Cod Times, March 24, 2012

A kennel owner cannot get fire insurance, a restaurant owner pays thousands to treat his water, and a gym owner struggles to keep her indoor pool from clouding up.  These are only a few of the challenges facing the business community in Eastham, the only town on the Cape without at least a partial public water supply.  For the second year in a row, town officials are pushing for a multimillion-dollar municipal water system.  The Eastham Chamber of Commerce refuses to take a position on the plan to install a $114 million municipal water system.  “It’s a very sensitive issue,” said Lisa Panaccione, the chamber president and owner of the Gristmill Antiques Gallery.  She said she doesn’t think the chamber should take a stand.  “It’s very personal to people either for health or financial reasons.”

Still, many business owners want public water, and they want it bad.  “If I had municipal water, it would save me a lot of headaches,” said Ken Taber, owner of the Fairway Restaurant and Pizzeria and The Hole in One Donut Shop.  Taber, who has run his business since 1989, was recently told by the state Department of Environmental Protection that he needs to begin testing his water daily.  Taber, like all restaurant owners with private wells, must have regular water testing done, according to state law, because he offers water to the public.  And he must pay a certified water operator to do the testing and monitoring, said Eastham Health Agent Jane Crowley.  The annual bill for the testing alone is nearly $1,700, Taber said.

But that’s just the beginning.  About six years ago, Taber installed a pH neutralization system to stop the acidic well water from creating holes in his pipes.  As it turned out, the contractor didn’t install it correctly, Taber said. He learned that this fall when the DEP audited the water system as part of the department’s routine checks.  Now he must have water samples taken daily to make sure the pH neutralization system works correctly. In addition, he must install a dry well to fix the neutralizer.  “I don’t think people realize the cost of not having public water,” Taber said.  He said he pays about $2,000 in annual water bills for his restaurant in Orleans.  Meanwhile, in Eastham — where he has no water bill — his costs mount well beyond that to maintain water quality and meet state standards.  “I probably have the cleanest freaking water in the town,” he said.  Taber doesn’t hesitate to follow state standards because public safety is paramount, he said.  What worries him most is if the DEP finds something wrong with his well.  “Then you could be looking at a huge amount of money for cleanup and no income,” Taber said. Taber has purchased 2 acres of land next door just in case he ever needs a new well.  “So I cannot understand how any business would not be concerned with this,” Taber said.  Taber’s problems are not uncommon.  Crowley said some businesses’ wells have exceeded the DEP’s allowable level of nitrates, an indication the water may be contaminated by septic systems. This triggered the state to order businesses in Eastham to put in water treatment systems to remove the nitrates. Then the nitrates must be stored in a tight tank and taken away for proper disposal, Crowley said.  “It’s the cost of doing business,” she said.  At Willy’s fitness center on Route 6, owner Barbara Niggel engages in her own struggles with water.  Hers involve a junior Olympic-size indoor pool used by the Nauset Regional High School swim team as well as gym members.  The pool had to be shut down for a few days in January because the water became cloudy, something that happens routinely, particularly when the swim team practices, Niggel said.  When all those kids use the pool, it causes a lot of water to splash out, requiring refilling.  And the fresh water from the well contains so many minerals that it causes the water to become cloudy, Niggel said.  This has forced Niggel to shut down the pool and “super chlorinate,” a process that clears up the water. But the pool must be closed for 24 to 36 hours, she said.  Niggel doesn’t like the smell of chlorine or the dryness it causes skin and hair. The pool uses a saltwater system to minimize chlorine.  Fire safety – since no public water means no fire hydrants – also tops Niggel’s list of reasons for wanting municipal water.  “I have two children,” Niggel said. “There was a fatal fire near my house, and my kids were traumatized.”

Kirsten Davis, the owner of Nauset Pet Services, has had her own concerns about fire safety. Davis was recently dropped by the company that insured her business, a kennel and pet day care facility started by her parents 41 years ago.  When she tried to get a new company to insure her Nauset Road business, they turned her down for two reasons: Cape Cod’s high winds and the lack of fire hydrants.  “When they found out we don’t have town water, they said no,” Davis said. “It’s a big issue.”  Davis has moved to Brewster and cannot vote in Eastham.  “But I grew up here and they’ve talked about (town water) for years,” Davis said. “Eastham missed the boat so many times.”  If voters approve the $114 million public water system at the May 6 town meeting, the businesses along Route 6, and the areas around the landfill that have shown contamination of potentially dangerous chemicals in private wells, would be the first to receive hookups, according to the project map on the town’s website.

The cost remains a huge issue for many residents. The plan, which selectmen dropped because of unpopularity last year shortly before town meeting, would have cost the average homeowner with a house worth $400,000 between $100 and $850 a year, depending on the payment schedule, for a total of $16,768 over 32 years.  “I have a very good friend who opposes it,” Niggel said. “He says I’ll lose members who cannot afford it. But to me, health is health.”

Steve Cole, Eastham, March 22, 2013

I love Cape Cod. I especially love Eastham. I love the ponds, bay beaches, the National Seashore, the bike trail, hiking trails, the beauty of our back roads, our library, the people, and a more reflective, calmer way of life than I enjoyed before retirement. I bet that most – if not all – of my neighbors feel the same way. I want to do what I can to preserve this treasure. I want to do that for my child and his kids, and I want to do it for the families of my friends and for the strangers who will come after me. I feel I owe that to the town I love. But, of course, none of us can do this alone.

So, what do families, businesses and government jurisdictions do to preserve a valued way of life or economic vitality? They invest in it. They don’t wait until it is too late or avoidable risks cause substantial harm. What we all do, whether we realize it or not, is make a risk assessment – much as we do when we consider investing our hard earned assets. We balance the risk of action against the risk of inaction, all the time taking account of our own risk tolerance.

We put a new roof on our house last year- the old one was not yet leaking, but its time was near and waiting for disaster wasn’t a good way to protect our home. Businesses update their equipment periodically to stay current and to minimize the risk of breakdowns that would cause a loss of income. And governmental entities replace roads and bridges before they collapse and replace fire equipment before they are unusable to be sure citizen safety

is maintained without loss of service. In short, we invest in what is important to us where the risk of inaction is great.

It is time for Eastham to invest now in drinking water. We should not wait until so many properties have sub-standard water that all town property values plummet, public health is put at risk, and the cost of remediation or even the feasibility of remediation becomes a barrier. Well water in Eastham has shown steady degradation over time. We know for certain that almost half the residences already have septage intruding into our private wells.  And it won’t get better. Our population will continue to grow as boomers retire, and our wells, cheek by jowl with our non-conforming septic systems and cesspools are not going anywhere. We should not wait until years-long scientific studies demonstrate with certainty that there are dangerous contaminants in our water. Do we really want to roll the dice and hope for the best?  The good news is we have a window where we can take action to preserve our investments in Eastham. Yes, the cost is not insignificant. But the costs of not providing the whole town with a safe drinking water supply will be even greater. If we do not invest to preserve we will have no one to hold accountable but ourselves. I don’t know about you, but my tolerance for risk here is very low – where public health and financial security are concerned, we simply should not be taking chances. Those of us who love Eastham owe it to the town and its citizens to preserve this community for our children and all who follow us. Like the stockholders or partners in a business who invest in the businesses’ infrastructure in order to preserve the value of their holdings, the taxpayers need to do the same thing for our town. Now.

Judy Cannon, Eastham, March 13, 2013

The debate rages on in Eastham regarding nitrates and other substances found in some of our water.  History and science indicate that the situation can only get more severe. At the risk of hearing “scare tactics” yet again, I am truly afraid of impending problems facing those living and having businesses in the town if we do not supply a public municipal water system.  For example: property burning to the ground without water to fight fires; an accident on Route 6 involving an oil spill; cost of reparation by the town to affected property owners; cost of testing and various other pressures applied by DEP; contaminated water reaching the elementary school; and because the public is aware of our water issues, the lowering property values and resulting tax increases; and loss of business to cottage owners and lodging establishments as well as to restaurants, representing further loss in tax revenue to the town.  The real “scare tactic” was minimizing the problem last year and frightening people with gross exaggerations of the cost. As Americans, it is our civic responsibility to provide fire and police protection, a safe infrastructure, and public education; and we must provide all of our citizens with potable water. Please vote “yes.

Joan and Larry Hill, Eastham, March 10, 2013

Recent water contamination in Eastham has renewed discussion of municipal water.  The $111 million proposed last year was a lot of money. But what is the cost of doing nothing? The population will grow as baby boomers retire. They will use more water and make more sewage.  A local real estate agent told me that buyers have already chosen other towns because they have read the news about our water. This will snowball. Think about Sandwich after pollution from the base, Woburn after W.R. Grace poisoned a well, Pennsylvania after contamination from shale gas fracking. Prices went down.  A few more years of inaction by the only town on the Cape without municipal water, punctuated by more wells gone bad, will reduce the value of everyone’s property. If it does so by 5 percent, the loss will exceed the cost of a water system. (A 5 percent value loss for 5,960 properties of average value $400,000 equals $119 million.) It’s our choice.  Procrastinating is like refusing to change the oil in your car because it hasn’t broken down yet. It will cost us either way. If we have any sense we will build a water system.

Jeff Cusack and Maureen Fagan, Eastham, March 2013

The Town of Eastham ranks a wonderfully low 323rd among Massachusett’s 351 cities and towns in municipal property tax rates and enjoys the 5th lowest rate among the Cape’s 15 towns. A huge subsidy to our tax revenue is provided by non-resident taxpayers. Summer visitors swell the local population each year from 5646 hardy souls to 30,000-plus seasonal inhabitants, many of whom own homes in town and pay a full share of annual property tax but only employ town services seasonally.  As Eastham Realtors (and residents and homeowners) we have observed firsthand the effects of recent health concerns over drinking water in the form of trepidation or outright refusal among our buyer clients to purchase Eastham property in the absence of municipal water. This is a huge threat to the economic health of the town. If we lose buyer confidence over fears of unsafe water home sales will drop, inventories will rise and basic economics dictates that real estate prices will decline. The financial impact of a flight from real estate on local businesses, services, municipal taxes and property values would be severe enough to make the current projected cost of town water seem quite reasonable. An unwelcome but not onerous increase in our relatively low property taxes is preferable to a stigmatized town with a glut of unsalable properties, diminishing home values and a shrinking tax base. This is not an idle concern, it is occurring now. We have both experienced “I’m not buying here until they fix the water” concerns from our buyers. The economic consequences of inaction regarding our town’s degrading drinking water supply need to be acknowledged and addressed. To ensure the long term viability of Eastham and the health of its citizens and businesses we urge a “Yes” vote for town water on May 6th at Eastham Town Meeting.

Betsy Bianchi, Eastham - March 05, 2013 (Cape Cod Times)

Eastham residents, regardless of how they voted last spring on the public water system, must update themselves with new information detailing the recent discovery of new contaminants found in neighbors’ wells that are associated with our landfill.  That a young family living two lots away from the Eastham Elementary School has contaminated well water is a disgrace to the people of this good town. The discovery this fall of 1,4-dioxane, an industrial chemical classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a probable human carcinogen, in this neighborhood should be an eye-opener for all residents. This has become a crisis situation in Eastham.  Who would buy a home in Eastham knowing their family could be exposed to contaminants in their drinking water? Real estate agents are already saying buyers do not want to look in Eastham because of water issues.  The vote on public water at May’s town meeting must show that residents have educated themselves and are now committed to providing safe drinking water to all residents for generations to come.  We must do better for these young families, as well as our own. Please attend as many meetings as you can. This is for the good of our town.

Ron and Gail Edson, Eastham - March 02, 2013 (Cape Cod Times)

It seems obvious that Eastham needs municipal water. We can argue about the levels of nitrate or other contaminants, but it seems certain they are in our wells.  Buildout and increased population have affected our delicate aquifer and we must acknowledge the impact on this precious resource. Just as there are those who still question that cigarettes cause cancer, there are those who refuse to acknowledge our negative impact on our fresh water.  Yes. It will cost money. Money spread over years and worth spending. This issue has been brought up since the 1960s. The cost has risen and so has the degradation of our wells.  The board of selectmen and town administrator have worked to craft a proposal with the intention of providing clean, safe water. Water monitored and free of pollutants like our leaching septic systems; water available in fire hydrants; water with or without electrical power.  The many hours spent on this project are to keep Eastham a healthy and vibrant place to live, protect property values, our homes, and the future for our families. Vote yes for townwide water. Let’s put this plan into action.

Stacey Klimkosky, North Eastham - February 28, 2013 (Cape Cod Times)

The town of Eastham needs municipal water. Recently, tests at the wells of homes in the vicinity of the town’s capped landfill revealed a chemical known as 1,4-dioxane, which, according to the U.S. EPA website, is a probable human carcinogen.  In addition, public record documents available at the Massachusetts DEP show that contaminants associated with the capped landfill have affected 44 percent of 161 nearby private drinking water wells with testing that began in 2004. It is not just wells at the homes in the vicinity of the landfill that show continued deterioration in the quality of drinking water. The presence of increased levels of nitrates, pharmaceutical waste and household cleaners are indicative of septic system discharge into our groundwater.  I plan on becoming the most educated voter I can be. I invite others to join me in attending one or more of the upcoming town-sponsored weekly information sessions beginning March 12. The full schedule can be found on the town of Eastham website.  Educate yourself with facts. Be a part of the solution. This is for our town, our health, our children, our property values, our economy, our vacationing guests, our environment, our future.

Kimberly Gill, Eastham - February 24, 2013 (Cape Cod Times)

At a recent Eastham selectmen’s meeting, and again in a subsequent newspaper campaign, it has been indicated that 1,4-dioxane is not a toxic substance.  While it is true that no federal drinking water standards for 1,4-dioxane have been established, a maximum contaminant level (MCL) is not necessary to determine a cleanup level. The Environmental Protection Agency does issue health advisories as guidelines for drinking water when there is no MCL established, and for 1,4-dioxane this is 3 micrograms per liter. Also, the EPA has classified 1,4-dioxane as a probable human carcinogen.  Anyone with well water containing levels at or above 3 micrograms per liter should not drink or cook with that well water.  It was stated in a recent article that the “EPA lists more than 80 substances that have MCLs, and the fact that dioxane, which has been studied since 1974, is not on the list is significant.” From my professional experience, that is not significant. I have spent the past 15 years working for local, state and federal agencies cleaning up contaminants with no MCL. We use “action l

A message from DeeDee Ross
“I have something to admit. I’m not proud of it but its something that needs to be said. I’ve been a resident who has not been involved in community decision making processes in the past. Town water has come up for a vote in the past and all I did was show up to make my vote. My dear friend has been advocating for municipal water and the need to get everyone involved and I just sat back, nodded my head and agreed. My actions didn’t match my words. At the time I thought I was “too busy” to get involved and that my presence didn’t matter because other people would be there and make the difference. Well, now I’m personally impacted. My family’s life has changed dramatically. If I thought I was busy a couple of years ago now I truly am busy. I have 2 wonderful boys, work full time, take 3 graduate courses and attend at least 3 meetings a week about municipal water discussions. I’ve never been busier! Now I’m asking people to take the time out of their busy lives and attend meetings, get involved, get educated and help support the community of eastham now AND in the future! I’m admitting this because its human nature to sit back and not take action about something that doesn’t directly affect you. But people, this issue DOES affect you! It affects each and every one of us! It’s time to make change! There is a short amount of time to get things done and I urge each of you to make that important step and get out there to get informed! Do it for yourself, your children, your neighbors and everyone’s future! Remember, all that’s required is that you show up to listen! There’s some pretty amazing people out there fighting for your rights! Here in eastham, we are thirsty for town water!”

evels” for guidelines for the cleanup of these contaminants.