ARUC continues developing innovative solutions to prevent frozen water lines for Arctic communities

March 4, 2016

Recovering frozen water lines in rural Alaska is an unfortunate necessity and a substantial challenge for many communities. ANTHC’s Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative (ARUC) recently implemented a revolutionary hydronic thaw recovery system for the water and sewer utilities in Kotlik and Upper Kalskag. Previous systems often relied on electrical heat tapes which are costly to operate, fail frequently, and burden the community with excessive electrical expenses when left on. The new glycol-based thaw recovery systems uses circulating anti-freeze to convey heat to frozen water and sewer pipes. This system can be left dormant until a freezing event occurs and can be activated at temperatures down to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This system promises to be reliable and cost effective, all while meeting operator demands for robust simplicity. “We’re proud to report there were no freeze ups since the installment of the thaw recovery system. There should be very little problems in the future with this equipment,” said Michael Nabers, Associate Engineering Project Manager for ARUC. Learn more about ARUC here.

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