Review Committee

The Board of Selectmen appointed the CWMP Review Committee in 2010 to revisit the issue. By reducing the project area, rejecting a second Town treatment plant, indefinitely postponing any sewering north of Route 28, and making other modifications to the plan, the Review Committee came up with a new price tag of $320 million, to be expended in increments over the next 50 years.

Conclusions & Recommendations

These were the Review Committee's conclusions and recommendations:
  1. Sewering is part of the solution, but it is not the only solution. Several other options - shellfish propagation, inlet widening, permeable reactive barriers, road runoff remediation, composting, packaging, and urine diverting toilets, and denitrifying septic systems - showed promise, and demonstration projects using these technologies, carefully monitored before and after, should be undertaken in the project area.
  2. Rather than build any new sewer treatment plants, the Town should take advantage of the unused capacity at its existing treatment plant in West Falmouth. Any future additional flow of tertiarily treated effluent from that plant should be disposed of outside the West Falmouth Harbor watershed, so as not to further impact that water body. And of the six estuaries in the project area, only the Little Pond watershed comprised of the Davis Straits area, eastern Falmouth Heights, and portions of the Maravista peninsula, should be sewered initially.
  3. Whether installing sewers or non-traditional alternatives, costs should be as low impact as possible, both on the affected homeowners and on the taxpayers in general. The Town will have several points in upcoming years when prior Town bonded indebtedness is paid off, and new debt can be added without raising the tax rate. Those points are when borrowing for this program should occur. Modifications of current state laws regarding betterments can and should be made to reduce the annual cost to affected homeowners.


The Review Committee's recommendations were voted unanimously by the Board of Selectmen. In April 2011, a Town Meeting article (Article 17) authorizing bonding $2,700,000 for proceeding on "parallel tracks" - $500,000 funding for sewer design and engineering, and $2,200,000 for monitoring and installing non-traditional alternative demonstration projects - was unanimously approved by the Town Meeting. The subsequent ballot question put to the voters in the May 2011 Town election for funding this article passed in every precinct, by a 2-1 margin Town-wide.