Water supply and sewage disposal in permafrost areas of Northern Canada

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Journal titlePolar Record
Pages421432; # of pages: 12
SubjectPermafrost; Soils; water supply; water treatment; water treatment plants; sewage disposal; Sewers; Pergelisol; Sol; adduction d'eau; traitement de l'eau; ouvrage d' adduction d'eau; evacuation des eaux usees
AbstractPrinciples of water supply and sewage disposal in the north are the same as in temperate regions but the physical features of the installations vary with the influence of low temperature and permafrost. Initial and operating costs are higher, making normal facilities too expensive for many. Wells drilled through permafrost have special problems and are costly. Continuous pumping, or auxiliary heat are used to prevent freezing. Year round supply of water determines the location of communities. The usual features of filtration and chlorination are always necessary. Low air and water temperatures require special attention in designing water delivery systems. In smaller communities the most common delivery may be by sledge and barrel or by tank truck. Heating of the water in the distribution system may be accomplished by enclosing the water line with heat sources in the "utilidor" such as steam or hot water central heating lines. Service connections to individual premises are usually the most frost susceptible part of the system. In designs of distribution systems "dead" ends are uusually avoided and the use of cheap insulation material such as peat and moss may effect economies. Sewage systems may be individual units, such as chemical toilets or primitive pail systems. Septic tanks are used only with limited success. Only a few community systems employing water carrying sewage collection methods are in use. Sewage treatment and disposal are also problematic. Development of sewage lagooning and of aerobic digestion in a tank located in a building are recent developments in sewage treatment in arctic regions.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number5169
NPARC number20358489
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Record identifier2054b57e-cfa6-4dad-bc5a-7d728acb6936
Record created2012-07-20
Record modified2016-05-09
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