Location: Rampart, AK
> Planning & Design
> Geotechnical Services
In Rampart, a Koyukon Athabascan community of about 30, many homes have broken water and sewer systems or do not yet have water and sewer service.
Managing water and sewer systems can be a daunting challenge for many rural communities like Rampart due to the lack of facilities combined with challenging conditions. Rampart’s residents use a hauled water system for drinking and washing and a honey bucket or outhouse for waste disposal.
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) contracted HDL to assist the community with these water and sewer challenges by completing a preliminary engineering report (PER). The PER recommended onsite well and wastewater treatment units as the preferred design alternative (Option 1), a hauled water and a wastewater treatment unit for homes with limited lot sizes (Option 2), and the ANTHC PASS (Option 3) for homeowners that could not afford to pay the operational cost for Options 1 or 2.
After completing the PER, HDL provided designs for the 16 homes identified for the first service. Due to the challenging soil conditions in Rampart, the community did not favor a sewage collection system. HDL instead considered the previous success with LifeWater Engineering onsite wastewater treatment units in neighboring communities and consulted with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) to determine that wastewater treatment units were a viable option for Rampart.
ANTHC and HDL visited the homeowners during the initial stage of design and described options for onsite wells and hauled water systems along with options for septic systems, onsite wastewater treatment systems, and hauled wastewater systems. Each homeowner then selected which water and sewer option they wanted to be installed in their home.
For Option 1, which included onsite well and wastewater treatment units, our engineers needed to design the wells with a circulating well line and thaw recovery heat trace system to prevent freeze up. For Option 2, HDL designed a closed water transfer tank and trailer to allow homeowners to safely haul water from the community watering point to their storage tanks.