Faced with a new Massachusetts state mandate to improve coastal water quality, Cape Cod towns are considering big investments in sewer infrastructure. But at a recent meeting in Chatham, Mass., experts urged citizens and officials to take a closer look at smaller-scale, localized technologies to accomplish the same goal, according to the Barnstable Patriot (" Forum proposes “better, faster, cheaper” wastewater solutions", by Edward F. Maroney). Hosted by state representative Matt Patrick, the meeting included presentations from several representatives of national companies who manufacture and install small-scale wastewater treatment equipment. Retired EPA scientist Jim Kreissl, now a consultant with environmental engineering firm Tetra Tech (www.tetratech.com), said that alternative systems could drastically lower the town's capital cost as well as its operating budget for sewers (an argument he spelled out in detail at the website of a town taxpayer-advocacy group called " Chatham Concerned Taxpayers"). And he said that treating and re-infiltrating wastewater close to the point of use avoids draining the town's water table, a problem noted in other parts of Massachusetts where large sewer systems have been installed. Craig Goodwin, an executive with Northwest Cascade, told the meeting that his company's membrane systems could accomplish excellent nitrogen removal, the Patriot reports. Pio Lombardo, of Newton, Mass., firm Lombardo Associates, described his company's denitrification filters, which he said were part of a system being installed for Mashpee, Mass. David Cotton, from Vermont-based Wastewater Technologies, Inc., described a directional boring system that could reduce the disruption of excavation associated with pipe-laying work. Craig Lindell, CEO of the New Bedford, Mass., firm AquaPoint, described a Tennessee town's success with requiring developers to build their own development-scale wastewater systems — a compromise he said benefited the developers by allowing greater housing density, but also reduced town expenses and increased the tax base.