Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


The impact of privately owned sewage treatment plants, a viable alternative to on-site septic systems, is examined in regards to future land-use patterns. It was hypothesized that the use of these facilities would lead to a greater loss of open space, in the coastal City of Gloucester, Massachusetts, than if only conventional on-site septic systems were to be permitted. Constraints to development such as zoning, wetlands, soil characteristics, parcel size, and economic viability were applied to undeveloped property in Gloucester. The results were used to identify individual parcels and calculate the respective developability based on the two different scenarios. Only six individual parcels in Gloucester were found to possess the conditions needed to viably construct a development supported with a privately owned sewage treatment plant. Thus, it was determined that constraints are too great in Gloucester to allow for a widespread use of these facilities. Supporting the hypothesis, on the six identified parcels an average increase of just under 300% developability was found to be possible.