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Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center’s Impactful (Sometimes Surprising) Initiatives in Wastewater

Scaling Natural Dye Farming Systems Using Wastewater

The Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center, operated by Barnstable County’s Department of Health and Environment, is a pioneer in wastewater research. Since its inception in 1999, the center has been testing advanced onsite septic treatment technologies and has become a thought leader on topics ranging from wetlands to nutrient and virus removal. Today, MASSTC continues to offer a world-class facility that accommodates over 20 concurrent tests, enabling companies to conduct research and development on their products or complete any standardized test protocols.

MASSTC has recently partnered with Botanical Colors, the leading dye supplier in the US, to develop innovative ways to recycle valuable nutrients found in wastewater. The aim is to grow plants using nutrient-rich water that would otherwise go “to waste” and to use these plants for producing natural dyes. This approach saves nutrients and protects our ecosystem.