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Water treatment plant upgrades completed in Hughes

October 14, 2016

Keeping water flowing and easily accessible is no small task in Hughes, Alaska, a remote community hundreds of miles northwest of Fairbanks. But a recent water treatment upgrade completed by one of ANTHC’s engineering teams is accomplishing just that.

One of the challenges faced by the engineering team was bringing the plant into compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s surface water treatment rule; at the same time, the team had to keep the plant running while replacing some of its older pumps and other parts and avoiding cross connections that could lead to contamination of the water supply. Without the plant functioning like it should, microbial contaminates, such as giardia and cryptosporidium that lead to gastrointestinal illnesses, would infiltrate Hughes residents’ drinking water.

Mia Heavener, the ANTHC design engineer for the project, explained that it “requires a lot of planning and tight teamwork to keep the plant running while the upgrades are happening. Without those, the upgrades wouldn’t have been possible.”

Prior to the upgrades, Hughes residents we at risk for prolonged exposure to microbes that cause a variety of illnesses. Thanks to the efforts of ANTHC engineers, construction managers, and project managers, the community can rest easy knowing their water is safe to drink.

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