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Completion of a five-year water and sewer project improves the quality of life for Golovin community

December 7, 2017




In Golovin, a community of 156 people on Alaska’s west coast about 70 miles east of Nome, 98 percent of the homes are now on the community’s piped water and sewer system. For many of the homes, this is first-time water service.

ANTHC worked with the community for many years prior to construction to coordinate the funding and design of the project, and local construction crews recently completed a five-year, life-changing water and sewer project. The project included a new water treatment plant, a 1.8-million-gallon water storage tank, a half mile of water main, three quarters of a mile of sewer pipe, and individual water and sewer services to 24 homes and the Chinik Eskimo Community building. The construction crew completed a safe and successful project to eliminate the honey bucket.

Martin Aukongak, who grew up in Golovin and continues to make his home there, explained that water and sewer service to most homes means that people don’t have to haul water anymore. As a young person, Aukongak hauled water multiple times a week. Some Golovin families would haul water every day.

Not having to haul water, Aukongak said, “makes people happier. Kids can consistently go to school in clean clothes because they can now do laundry at home. People who’ve had surgery can more effectively clean themselves. People can easily drink clean water instead of going to the store to buy soda.”

Aukongak went on to praise the efforts of Wayne Henry Sr., Golovin’s water treatment plant operator, for his many years of continued service to the community. Without utility operators like Henry, the community’s new infrastructure wouldn’t be nearly as useful. Now that the project is complete, community members have more time to enjoy their beautiful corner of western Alaska.


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