Coming upon the Wastewater Treatment Plant for the first time, you may think you’ve landed in a remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. (If Gort happens to lumber out the front door, be sure to tell him, “Klaatu barada nikto.” Otherwise, he’ll destroy Earth.) In fact, this is a domed sequential batch reactor, completed in 2003, where mechanical and biological processes are used to remove and chemically alter human waste from “influent” arriving from the town’s sewer system. After treatment and further settlement in an outdoor tank, the “effluent” is released into discharge fields along Route 6. The sludge that remains is treated and trucked away. The “influent” flow ranges from 60,000 gallons a day in winter to 600,000 gallons in summer. The plant was engineered by Metcalf & Eddy (now Aecom) and is operated for the town by Woodard & Curran of Portland, Me.
More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.