After three years at the helm, Jared Meader will depart from his role as Tisbury wastewater superintendent at the end of this week to take over the superintendent position in Mashpee.

Mr. Meader’s tenure occurred during a period of transition for the town, taking over an embattled department dealing with illegal hookups to a wastewater treatment facility nearing capacity, and coming in after the abrupt termination of former superintendent David Thompson.

“I remember I thought, what did I get myself into?” Mr. Meader recalled of his experience taking over amid accusations of town corruption. “I had to hit the ground running.”

Mr. Meader’s predecessor first located an illegal pump connected to the town facility at the Mansion House in May of 2020, before Mr. Meader took over in October. In 2021, Mr. Meader identified two more illegal hookups on Beach Road.

As of now, Mr. Meader said, after rooting out illegal hookups, around half of the facility’s capacity has opened up — a far cry from 2019, when the plant exceeded its capacity on three occasions.

“All we did was start managing [the department],” Mr. Meader said. “It had never really been managed before.”

“There were a lot of growing pains with the users and the customers in the beginning because I was trying to formalize and regulate,” he continued. “At times it was very frustrating...but I always had good support.”

The decision to take the job in Mashpee, he said, was driven by a higher salary and a location closer to home (having grown up on the Island, Mr. Meader now lives in Centerville).

Tisbury wastewater plant operator Mike Alberice will take over in the interim, with the select board responsible for hiring an official replacement.

Mr. Meader said he is leaving the department in a good place, with the town now well into the state-mandated wastewater planning process intended to reduce nitrogen pollution in town watersheds.

In a previous interview in September, Mr. Meader said he had begun plans for the town to create a Responsible Management Entity system in order to reduce pollution by taking over the installation and management of enhanced, nitrogen-reducing septic systems, rather than expanding the central sewer system.

“I’m creating sacrilege as a wastewater guy” he said. “You’re supposed to want more pipes and bigger pipes.”

A Responsible Management Entity is a way for towns to organize septic management along the lines of how sewers are managed. Creating one could also allow the town to combine private systems, better monitor their impact, and gain access to federal grant money, he said.

Last week, as Mr. Meader reflected on his time in Tisbury, he said he feels confident that the Responsible Management Entity approach could be successful on-Island.

“It’s a concept that’s been around but never really implemented,” he said. “I think Martha’s Vineyard is very unique in its ability to be able to set it up, with a perfect type of community that it was designed for.”

Mr. Meader added that as departs for a career the Cape, he will remain available to the town during the transition.

“My phone is always on for the town,” he said. “It’s still my hometown.”