Koyukuk to Join List of Served CommunitiesAugust 12, 2019
ANTHC is set to begin a first-service sanitation project in Koyukuk in August of this year. Koyukuk is currently an unserved community and sanitation infrastructure has been a long time coming. Work will start with an Indian Health Service (IHS) grant of $2.5 million to construct on-site water and wastewater facilities for a dozen homes. This is the first part of a multi-phase, multi-year project that will ultimately serve the entire community with water wells, septic systems and in-home plumbing, including full bathroom facilities and kitchen sinks.
Phase II is a $1.9 million project funded by the IHS and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act. It will serve a second group of homes with on-site water and sewer facilities.
Funds for the final phase of the project to serve the remaining homes is currently being pursued. By project’s end, Koyukuk’s will permanently phase out honey buckets.
This project has already challenged engineers and contract schedulers. Design consultants and ANTHC engineers traveled to Koyukuk to gather data to ensure that the proposed facilities would fulfill the community’s needs while remaining optimal to Koyukuk’s geographic environment and village layout, especially the close proximity of its homes. Analysis in the field informed the design of both engineered and conventional septic systems. Transport logistics are also complicated, as the community’s interior location means that materials will need to be barged up the Yukon River. In Koyukuk’s case, deliveries are on schedule for the August start date.
ANTHC has worked closely with the community to resolve these and other challenges to provide first-service water and sewer facilities to the residents of Koyukuk. These facilities will improve public health and quality of life in a community that has historically lacked sanitation infrastructure. Other first-service projects currently in construction include Eek, Lower Kalskag and Akiachak.