Ponds and Beaches
Eastham is home to many beautiful kettle ponds and beaches. The protection of these is of great importance. The Health Department helps to monitor the health of the ponds and beaches as well as manages any recovery programs.
Pond Ecosystem Degradation
The health of ponds can be damaged by the build-up of excessive nutrients in the water. Stormwater creates run-off of nutrients from fertilizers, road and parking lots, nutrients from individual septic systems in the watershed, and bird droppings. The nutrients feed aquatic plants causing more algae, duckweed, cattails, and other aquatic plants than the pond would naturally sustain. The extra plant life depletes the oxygen levels in the pond. Decomposition of algae and sub-surface plants increases the number of bacteria (which decompose the dead plants) further limiting oxygen levels. When the oxygen levels fall, other life - such as fish- can not be sustained and the ecosystem of the pond is destroyed.
Wastewater Management Plan
The Town of Eastham has taken steps to protect our pond ecosystems. Testing of the ponds' water quality is done on a regular basis. The town has developed a water quality protection plan and is working on a wastewater management plan. In addition, the town has spearheaded the clean-up efforts in Schoolhouse Ministers Pond (click here for more info). For more information, please call the Eastham Health Department at 508-240-5900, ext. 3230 or go to the Wastewater Information page.