More Kwethluk residents receive home access to water and sewerJuly 8, 2016
After years of studying, planning, and coordinating, 75 homes on the west side of Kwethluk have warm showers, safe drinking water and flushing toilets. Approximately 75 homes on the east side of the community were connected in 2014, along with water connections for fire hydrants that protect public safety. The west side homes were connected to the community water and sewer system last fall and a recent community visit showed the impact it is having for families.
“It’s amazing to see it with your own eyes — a flushing toilet and running water. It’s pretty cool. I never thought that it would be able to happen here,” said Kwethluk resident Merna Spein.
The construction of this multi-phase project in Kwethluk has been ongoing for six years, and planning started long before for this large ANTHC-led project. Approximately fifteen homes on the east side of town still need water and sewer lines plus the installation of showers, toilets and sinks. The ANTHC construction crew is currently working on those homes, and hopes to connect them to the community system by the end of 2016.
The city of Kwethluk has prepared to manage operations of the system. With training assistance from ANTHC’s Tribal Utility Support, the city water and sewer operators are proficient in the proper operation and maintenance of the facilities. Once all of the homes have been connected, Tribal Utility Support is planning a community-wide homeowner training to highlight best practices for safe operation of the facilities that were installed in each house.
More Kwethluk residents can now enjoy the health benefits of their first piped water and sewer facilities, which makes basic sanitation practices such as handwashing more convenient. ANTHC is committed to finding water and sewer solutions for our people that help to reduce the rates of gastrointestinal illnesses, skin infections and respiratory diseases.
For more information on ANTHC’s Tribal Utility Support, visit http://anthc.org/what-we-do/tribal-utility-support.