by William F. Galvin
HARWICH --- Cape Cod National Golf Course is seeking a state Water Management Act groundwater permit to install a second well for the course and the request is under review by the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act unit to determine whether an environmental impact review will be required. A decision is expected within 10 days. The owner of the course, John Pfeffer of Chatham, is seeking an increase in the permitted 95,000 gallon per day cap to 133,000 gallons, up approximately 40 percent. The application cites as the stated purpose for the additional water "to maintain healthy turf and initially to ensure good establishment of grasses planted."
When the Cape Cod Commission gave its approval to the course more than two years ago, it made a point to limit the amount of water extracted from the onsite well to 95,000 gallons per day during the summer months. However, reports show the 100,000 gallon threshold, triggering the state permit, has been exceeded in the past year. Commission planner Sharon Rooney said on Monday a provision was added to that approval mandating a Water Management Act permit be applied for, should the course require additional amounts of water. The request for the new four inch well proposed in close proximity to the existing one, thus triggers the MEPA review. In the application for the permit, the proponent cited plans to use additional water supply from the town of Brewster system, should greater than the 95,000 gallon daily limit be required. However, a narrative filed by the consulting firm for the golf course, ENSR, Inc. of Buzzards Bay, pointed out the town of Brewster has had pumping and iron content problems in two wells causing them to be shut down and limiting the course's access to that supply.
Citing its jurisdiction over the protection of natural resources and for the protection of watershed resources, Conservation Commission Chairman David Crestin also expressed concerns for the impact on "adequate drinking water supplies" for the future. Crestin urged greater documentation be provided on the need for a second well and how the two wells are to operate. He also requested additional information on zones of contribution during dry conditions and, under built-out conditions, whether there would be anticipated impacts to private wells located to the east of the course.
The environmental consulting firm has addressed some of these concerns in an amended narrative filed with the state agency. The response filed by ENSR, Inc. environmental scientist Paula S. Winchell said the width of the dry weather capture from that well will be 1,100 feet from the private wells on Evelyn's Drive. "The aquifer below the golf course is extremely high yielding," stated Winchell's assessment. "It remains our position that there will not be any affect of the proposed withdrawal on private wells, or to the town of Harwich public supply wells."
If you would like to respond to this situation you should contact:
Robert Durrand, Secretary of Environmental Affairs
c/o Ms. Laura Rome, MEPA Unit
Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
100 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02202
re: Cape Cod National Golf Club, 174 South Orleans Road, Brewster, MA