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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Projects

Venetie Prototype Home The Venetie teacher housing four-plex uses super-insulated log walls to integrate traditional resources and high-performance building science.
Portable Alternative Sanitation System (PASS) CCHRC worked with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and Lifewater Engineering to develop a simple in-home sanitation system for Kivalina to replace hauled water and honey buckets.
Bethel Aviation Housing CCHRC partnered with the Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP) to design two duplexes for flight school students in Bethel. The duplexes demonstrate the integrated truss technology and energy efficient building strategies in a hub community, helping to publicly vet these approaches and serve as model homes in the region.
Quinhagak Prototype Home The Native Village of Kwinhagak has asked CCHRC to partner with residents to design a super-efficient prototype house, which was completed in 2010. The design features an octagonal-shape, to hold heat and shed wind-driven rain, and an innovative wall system that is light, simple, and mobile.
North Slope Housing Prototypes CCHRC is working with Tagiugiullu Nunamiullu Housing Authority to design homes in six North Slope villages. The homes feature a unique foundation system designed for the permafrost conditions in the high arctic.