The Falmouth Board of Selectmen granted a variance to the flow neutral bylaw to Teaticket Car Wash, which will open at 187 Teaticket Highway. The car wash would discharge 2,279 gallons per day, an increase from the permitted discharge of 1,155 gallons per day.
Wastewater superintendent Amy Lowell confirmed there is sufficient capacity in the wastewater system for the car wash.
“Taking into account the flow from our existing service area and the flow that is projected from the [Little Pond sewer] service area, as well as all the other projects that have been granted flow neutral bylaw variances and the 40B projects within the sewer service area, when you add this project in, it takes us right up to approximately 80 percent of our average annual flow limit in our groundwater discharge flow permit,” Ms. Lowell said.
Per its groundwater discharge permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection, the town can discharge 710,000 gallons of wastewater per day. Once the town reaches 80 percent of this permitted amount, it is required to submit a report to the DEP outlining plans for managing future wastewater flows.
Ms. Lowell said the water quality management committee will provide the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Agency and Department of Environmental Protection with an updated wastewater management plan by December.
“That plan has a number of facets, but one of the facets is proposed additional recharge capacity for the wastewater system,” she said. “It identifies some siting options. That will be forwarded to the state this winter and will be considered beyond that point. The town is planning for additional recharge in the future.”
Discharge options identified in this report include next to the Wastewater Treatment Plant on Brick Kiln Road, on the Dorothea Allen parcel off Carriage Shop Road and an ocean outfall pipe.
“We have not hit the 80 percent in actual flow, that is not projected to happen until 2022,” Selectman Douglas H. Jones said. “We are a little bit ahead of the game in doing this now.”
Ms. Lowell agreed, but said work still needs to be done.
“The town is pursuing additional recharge, but that doesn’t mean we have it or it is guaranteed,” she said. “That is something the town is going to have to work towards, or we will run up against the limit beyond 80 percent.”
As for the Teaticket Car Wash, the site’s prior use as a fast food restaurant allowed for a daily discharge of 1,050 gallons per day, a figure that could be increased to 1,155 gallons without triggering the flow neutral bylaw. The new use exceeds that amount by 1,124 gallons per day.
Kevin P. Klauer, attorney for the car wash, said the new use qualifies for a variance to the flow neutral bylaw as it promotes economic development.
“They will take a dilapidated, long underused property and use it in an appropriate matter,” Mr. Klauer said.
In addition, he said the new use will increase the valuation of the site, leading to increased tax revenue for the town. The board unanimously voted in favor of the granting the variance.
“This is a derelict property that has just sat unused,” Chairwoman Megan E. English Braga said. “It is in a state of disrepair, it is an eyesore, and this is an improvement.”