The Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center

Beginning in the early 1990s, Barnstable County, Massachusetts (Cape Cod) began realizing that nitrogen from septic systems was dramatically affecting our marine environments, causing accelerated eutrophication and nuisance algae blooms.  Searching for technologies to address the issue, the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment in conjunction with Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management through the Buzzards Bay Project began what is now called the Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center (MASSTC).  The Test Center began in 1999 testing advance onsite septic treatment technologies in triplicate under a program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) called the Environmental Technology Initiative (ETI).  Working with EPA and the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) of Ann Arbor Michigan, MASSTC conducted a refined nutrient testing protocol in 2002 referred to as the Environmental Technology Verification (ETV). Further refinement of the nutrient standards was completed in 2007 by NSF and has resulted in the NSF Standard 245.  MASSTC has conducted the majority of these test protocols on over 25 leading technologies.Today, MASSTC is operated by the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment and continues to conduct testing, and allow for the research and development of products that remove the myriad of contaminants found in domestic wastewater.  Its facility can accommodate over 20 concurrent tests, allowing companies to conduct research and development on their products or complete any number of standardized test protocols.