Building Science Projectswater-sewer

Alaska Water-Sewer Challenge

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation created the Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge to create innovative and cost effective home-based water and sewer system solutions for households in remote villages. The driving purpose behind the project is to  improve the health of rural residents and reduce the cost of installing and operating water and sewer systems. It focuses on decentralized water and wastewater treatment, recycling, and the efficient use of water.

CCHRC is working with the civil engineering company DOWL to construct and test a fresh water and wastewater treatment module that includes a recycled graywater processing system and blackwater holding system that can be incorporated into an home’s existing systems. A prototype will be built at CCHRC’s testing facility in Fairbanks and will be tested for 12 months to ensure the design is safe and reliable for rural Arctic homes. The system is designed to be attached to an existing house, as a separate insulated water and sewer module. It has separate graywater and blackwater tanks. The graywater is treated to be used for laundry, showers, and bathrooms.  A separate freshwater potable system uses a ceramic filter to treat rainwater.


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