A week after a day-long symposium on the potential for outfall pipes to handle the Cape’s wastewater problem, I’ve finally figured out what’s been bothering me.
It seems that wastewater managers and engineers, in their infinite wisdom, operate according to the “if it can be complicated, why make it simple?” ethic.
The speakers at the ocean outfall forum did not mince words: it would take no less than an amendment to three state acts protecting marine resources—not to mention, years of study and millions of dollars— for an outfall pipe to be constructed on these shores.
They were less candid about the probable impacts on the environment— and were subtle about the whole reason for entertaining the idea of an ocean outfall: it’s cheaper than the only other “approved” method of disposing of wastewater. (more…)