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)
At a public event in December of 2015, DEC’s Village Safe Water Program announced the beginning of Phase 3. The agency provided technical specifications for the construction, monitoring, and testing of prototype systems. Phase 2's top three selected proposals are being developed into prototypes that will be tested for 9 months. Teams’ reports on the performance of prototypes during the testing period will be reviewed and approved. Reports are expected by the end of summer 2017. In the fall of 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 Phase 3, teams will gradually be reimbursed for expenses, up to a contractually established amount equal to all teams. The phase is expected to last up to 24 months. To view pictures of the December 2015 event go to our photo gallery; to download the presentation slides click here: Launching Phase 3 of the AWSC (2015-12-08) Prototype Schematics from the beginning of Phase 3 can be downloaded here: Description of the Three Proposed Systems (2015-09-03)
In April 2016, AWSC Teams and members of the Steering Committee participated in an all-day track dedicated to onsite water reuse at the AWWMA Conference in Anchorage. Teams were joined by Guy Carpenter from the WateReuse Association, Chad Seidel from the EPA funded DeRISK Center at the University of Colorado Boulder and representatives from “Dump The Bucket”— an effort led by the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation. To access a compilation of presentation slides from this session click here: 2016 AWWMA Water Reuse Session with AWSC
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.