ANTHC Environmental Health and Engineering staff share Portable Alternative Sanitation System with TCC annual convention

March 26, 2018

During the Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) annual convention, ANTHC Environmental Health and Engineering staff set up a display Portable Alternative Sanitation System (PASS) unit to demonstrate how the technology works for Tribal attendees.

ANTHC worked with TCC’s Office of Environmental Health (OEH) and Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC) to set up the PASS display at the event March 12-13 in Fairbanks.

Over the course of two days, Kaitlin Mattos, a graduate student researcher at the University of Colorado partnered with ANTHC, and Jackie Schaeffer, ANTHC Project Manager, spoke with around 250 people interested in PASS units. Approximately 500 participants viewed the unit.

A panel discussion on March 15 included PASS unit customers Pollack and Julia Simon who shared the impacts of having a PASS unit in their Allakaket home. The Simons are community Elders and haul water a mile from the Allakaket washeteria. They discussed the benefits of the 100-gallon water tank that is part of the PASS unit, which holds sanitized, filtered water and gravity-feeds a bathroom sink for handwashing.

While it took some time to get used to the unit, they explained how having it in their home has benefited their lifestyle: not having to haul water in -40 F; not going outside to use the outhouse in the cold; and using the clean, filtered water from the PASS for washing, drinking, and cooking is definitely a plus.

Julia shared how it has greatly improved the sanitation within their home. The Simon house is just one example of ANTHC’s innovative development of solutions for communities in Alaska where piped water and sewer are not available.

For more information on the PASS system use in Kivalina, read the report here.

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