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Barnstable County’s Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center (MASSTC) Celebrates 25th Anniversary with a Year of Public Outreach 

Test Center Staff will orchestrate a ‘Waste No Water’ library series to engage the public in discussions about wastewater. 

April 2, 2024 (Barnstable, MA) – In honor of its 25th anniversary, MASSTC is inviting local boards of health, pond groups, homeowners, water advocates and anyone interested in Cape Cod’s wastewater challenges and successes to attend one or more of 10+ library talks scheduled in 2024. The series, entitled ‘Waste No Water’ aims to promote a better understanding of how Innovative/Alternative (I/A) wastewater management systems, including on-site septic and urine diversion, fit into the current discussion of addressing nutrient pollution from septic systems on Cape Cod. 

‘Waste No Water’ Library Tour Dates are as follows: 

  • April 8, 11:00 AM–12:00 PM, Centerville Public Library 
  • April 22, 11:00 AM–12:00 PM, South Yarmouth Public Library 
  • May 8, 4:30 PM–5:30p PM, West Tisbury Public Library 
  • June 8, 10:30 AM–11:30 PM, Hyannis Public Library 

Additional information can be found at More tour dates and locations to come. 

Each library event will include a showing of the recent mini-documentary by Scientific American followed by open forum discussions with members of MASSTC staff. In addition to the library tour, other events scheduled through 2024 include ongoing tours of MASSTC, staff talks and participation at public events including Brewster Conservation Day, Martha’s Vineyard Climate Action Fair and Canal Cleanup, a September Open House, and a November film screening in partnership with the Woods Hole Film Festival.  

Brian Baumgaertel, MASSTC’s Director, emphasized the importance of engaging with the public regarding wastewater challenges on Cape Cod, stating “Our region has recently made significant strides in addressing the decades upon decades of neglect of our water resources. Now more than ever, it is imperative that the public is aware of the issues and engaged in the process while Cape Cod invests billions of dollars in new wastewater management infrastructure”. 

For 25 years, MASSTC has provided space for technologists to develop, test, and certify cutting edge wastewater treatment systems.  In the early 1990s, it became evident that nitrogen and other contaminants from septic systems were damaging Cape Cod’s marine resources and coastal embayments.  

To address degrading water quality, the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment and its partners established the Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center (MASSTC). Today, MASSTC is the nation’s premier third-party testing and research facility for I/A technologies, engaging in extensive research funded by state and federal grants and manages the SUP (Septic Utility Program), Barnstable County’s I/A tracking program.  

ABOUT BARNSTABLE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT Established under a Special Act of the Legislature in 1926, the Barnstable County Department of Health & Environment (BCDHE) provides regional public health and environmental health services throughout the 15 towns comprising Barnstable County. The Department manages several environmental, public health, and homeland security grants funded through state and federal resources. The Department’s primary mission is to protect public health and the environment and promote the physical and mental health and well-being of Barnstable County residents.  

ABOUT BARNSTABLE COUNTY REGIONAL GOVERNMENT OF CAPE COD Barnstable County provides exemplary government functions and services to keep our community healthy and safe, promote sustainable growth, and offer a proactive, open government that enhances the quality of life for the citizens of Barnstable County. Learn more at