Vernal Pool Monitoring and Modeling in Eastham

EP permitted two new water supply sources for the Town of Eastham at the District H site.

The site is surrounded by National Seashore Property with more than a dozen certified vernal pools within a ½ mile radius. Vernal pools are ephemeral pools of water underlain by a peat layer, that typically fill with water in the spring with winter snowmelt and spring rains, and often (but not always) disappear by summer’s end.

As part of the source approval process and long-term pumping tests, EP conducted extensive monitoring of water levels at three vernal pools, both within the vernal pools and the aquifer beneath the vernal pool. A detailed groundwater model was developed to evaluate long term wellfield pumping effects to water levels in the vernal pools. EP has installed remote water level monitoring systems at seven vernal pools to monitor water levels in real time during wellfield operation. These data will be compared with two years of background data and used to update the vernal pool groundwater model biennially.

This scope has been coordinated with the Cape Cod National Seashore, Cape Cod Commission and MassDEP.