MASSTC: A Premier Onsite Wastewater Treatment Research Facility

In the early 1990s, Barnstable County officials set out to tackle an undeniable environmental challenge to Cape Cod’s sensitive coastal ecosystems; it was clear that nitrogen from faulty and/or ill-placed septic systems was dramatically affecting our marine and fresh water environments, causing accelerated eutrophication and nuisance algae blooms.

In 1999, Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment officially established the Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center (MASSTC) in conjunction with Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management’s Buzzards Bay Project. Since its inception, MASSTC has performed dozens of rigorous industry-standard certifications for new innovative/alterative septic system technologies. The self-sustaining facility, which is located near Otis Airforce Base in Falmouth, rents out space for research and development of promising new onsite wastewater treatment technologies by private companies. Further, Barnstable County staff who operate MASSTC have pursued and won several grants for groundbreaking original research on important topics ranging from constructed wetlands to nutrient and virus removal.

Following over two decades of successful operation, the MASSTC is known today to be a premier onsite wastewater treatment research facility.

To learn more about the important work being completed at the MASSTC, please visit The Project Hub | MASSTC. You can also access publications written by MASSTC staff regarding ongoing and completed research projects at Publications | MASSTC.

Meet the MASSTC team!


MASSTC in the News

WBUR Collaborates with Scientific American to Spread Awareness about Nutrient Pollution from Septic Systems on Cape Cod

Big Press for Big Problems This week, WBUR, Boston’s NPR station, aired a two-part series about Cape Cod’s water pollution challenges. The series was part of a collaboration with Scientific […]

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The Alternative: Creating Space for Technologists to Tackle Wastewater Challenges on Cape Cod

Interested in joining the discussion about wastewater challenges on Cape Cod? Check out “The Alternative”, a new weekly newsletter from Barnstable County’s Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center!

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Read The Alternative: MASSTC’s Weekly Newsletter

The Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Technology Center (MASSTC) is the nation’s premier third-party testing and research facility for innovative/alternative (I/A) onsite septic treatment technologies. Since 1999, MASSTC has tested dozens […]

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WCAI: Cape Cod researchers study removing PFAS from the waste stream

The Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center, or MASSTC, is a premier site for wastewater research located on Cape Cod. Some of their tests involve adding woodchips to septic systems to […]

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Potentially Dangerous Bacterial Infections from Swimming and Shellfish: What You Should Know

You may have heard the rather alarming news about people contracting “flesh eating bacteria” while swimming in the ocean in North Carolina, Connecticut and New York. And while these cases are relatively rare, it’s important to understand how and why these infections occur.

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Urine Diversion Pilot Study Pitched to Falmouth Water Quality Committee

Read the September 6 Falmouth Enterprise article, highlighting Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center’ pitch on a urine diversion pilot project to Falmouth’s water quality management committee last Wednesday, August […]

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