In addition, the outfall pipe was relocated from James Brook to Cohasset Cove in Cohasset Harbor where the discharge is directed towards a federal navigation channel (Natural Resources Inventory, 2003). Fishermen are concerned that this discharge reduces salinity levels at low tide and possibly causing lobster mortality. The Center for Student Coastal Studies is exploring this possibility. CZM and the MassBays Program are working with the Cohasset Harbor Health Committee to investigate this issue through water quality monitoring scheduled for spring 2006.
The upgraded facility has the capacity of .78 MGD and the Town of Cohasset want to increase their permitted amount by 30% to 0.4 MGD. DEP requires any application with an increase of over 10% to develop and Integrated Waste Water Management Plan. Given the sensitivity of the Cove to fresh water discharge and nitrogen loading (which supports bacteria), reusing the effluent for irrigation purposes should be considered during this repermitting process (Jason Burtner, CZM).
Scituate Harbor Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is permitted to discharge from their facility located at 175 Edward Foster Road in Scituate an average monthly flow of 0.002 MGD of treated sanitary wastewater via one outfall to Scituate Harbor. In general, measured parameters are within acceptable limits; however, the fecal coliform bacteria counts have been extremely high on occasion (TNTC) and the TRC concentrations have been as high as 2.2 mg/L. Both of these pollutants have exceeded the facility’s monthly average permit limits (14 MPN/100 ml for fecal coliform and 0.0075 mg/L for TRC). Scituate Harbor supports a commercial fishing fleet (MA DEP, 2006).
2.4 Industrial Impacts
The Gulf Watershed Resource Conservation and Recovery Act sites, Norfolk Conveyor and Wampatuck State Park are both being evaluated for possible listing on the National Priorities List (Superfund list). In addition, Cohasset Heights Landfill (CHL) is an inactive (as of 1998), partially capped and lined 26 acres facility located one mile northeast of Lily Pond. This landfill accepted municipal solid waste, construction and demolition waste. Pollutants migrate through fissures in bedrock causing lead concentrations above any reference background level in Brass Kettle Brook (Norfolk Environmental). A leachate collection trench was installed and subsequent monitoring indicates this has been successful (Gulf River Estuary, Natural Resources Inventory, 2003).
Aaron River Reservoir is a Class A public water supply used as a back up source for the town of Cohasset. The MassDEP conducted fish toxics monitoring in 2001. A site-specific advisory was issued by MDPH due to elevated levels of mercury; therefore the Fish Consumption Use is assessed as impaired (MDPH 2004). According to the US Army Environmental Center Spring 2004 Update, cleanup of the Hingham Training Annex, upgradient of the Aaron River Reservoir, has recently been completed and the property will be incorporated into the Wompatuck State Park
(Hurwitz 2004). The source of mercury is unknown and is suspected to be atmospheric (DEP, 2006).
South Coastal Watershed Action Plan 9/12/2006 Watershed Action Alliance