Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge
Phase 1: Formation of Teams – 2013/2014 (COMPLETED)
In 2013, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) conducted an international effort to solicit project teams. Engineering companies, research institutions, manufacturers, and others were encouraged to form partnerships to respond to the solicitation (RFP 2013-1800-1654 Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge) and address water and sewer needs in rural Alaska homes. Teams’ qualifications were evaluated and scored according to the criteria included in the solicitation. Up to six of the highest ranked teams received funding to develop written proposals that would meet specific performance targets relating to constructability, health benefits, affordability, and other operational considerations. The funding available was divided in six equal parts allowing all teams to receive the same amount of funds.. Up to six of the highest ranked teams were selected to receive funding to develop written proposals that would meet specific performance targets relating to constructability, health benefits, affordability, and other operational considerations established in RFP. The funding available was divided in six equal parts allowing all teams to receive the same amount of funds.
Phase 2: Design Development and Presentation – 2014/2015 (COMPLETED)
Development of proposals took approximately eight months. Project teams presented their detailed proposals to the project Steering Committee in July 2015, both in writing and in a presentation. DEC and the Steering Committee evaluated and scored each proposal according to the performance targets established in RFP 2013-1800-1654. The three most promising proposals were selected to move on to the next phase. Teams were compensated after delivering both the written proposals and oral presentations.
Phase 3: Prototype Development and Pilot Testing – 2015/2017 (ONGOING)
In December of 2015, DEC provided technical specifications for the construction, monitoring, and testing of prototype systems. Prototype development and testing is expected to last up to 19 months. Teams’ reports on the performance of prototypes during the testing period will be reviewed and approved. In 2017 the results of the pilot testing phase will be evaluated by DEC and the Steering Committee. Systems that best demonstrate performance target outcomes will be selected for the next phase of development. During this phase, teams will gradually be reimbursed for expenses, up to a contractually established amount equal to all teams.
Phase 4: Field System Development and Testing – 2018/2020
Additional funding will be provided for each system selected to develop a field testing package that can be installed in rural Alaska homes. Field testing will include a full year of operation. DEC will provide testing requirements for field testing. Engineering plans will be reviewed and approved by DEC and the Steering Committee. User acceptance and health outcomes will be evaluated by DEC and the Steering Committee. During the field testing phase, systems will be closely monitored and users will provide feedback on operation and use. At the conclusion of this phase, each system will be evaluated by the Steering Committee. Systems that can demonstrate sustainable, durable improvements will be refined and further deployed using available funding sources.
Phase 5: Technology Refinement and Improvement – 2020 and beyond
Additional funding may be used to address inadequacies or failures identified during Phase 4 field testing and to improve durability of the systems. Field testing may be expanded to additional homes or locations.