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Sanitary Engineering: Encyclopedia Arctica 2b: Electrical and Mechanical Engineering
Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1879-1962

Sanitary Engineering

Arctic Sanitary Engineering

EA-I. (Amos J. Alter)

ARCTIC SANITARY ENGINEERING

CONTENTS
Page
Introduction 1
Sources of Information 3
A Different View of Common Phenomena 4
Low Temperatures Retard Biological Reactions 4
Physical Changes 5
Low Temperatures Retard Chemical Reactions 8
Sunlight is Seasonal 8
Effective and Efficient Use of Resources and Materials
the Key to Arctic Development
9
Water Supply 17
Water Sources 20
Surface Water 23
Surface Water Supply Intake Facilities 29
Suprapermafrost Sources 31
Intrapermafrost Water 32
Subpermafrost Water Supplies 35
Water Treatment 38
Water-Supply Structures and Appurtenances 39
Aeration 44
Mixing of Chemicals 45
Sedimentation 46
Use of Chemicals in the Arctic 46
Slow Sand Filtrations 51
Rapid Sand and Diatomaceous Earth Filtration 51
Water Softening 53
Corrosion Control 53
Water Distribution 54
Distribution by Tank Truck 54
Seasonal Distribution Systems 57
Utilidor 57
Preheating and Recirculating Distribution System 67

EA-I. Alter: Arctic Sanitary Engineering

Contents #2
Page
Sewage Disposal 79
Individual Waste-Disposal Systems 84
The Box and Can System 84
The Pit or Surface Privy 89
Septic Tanks, Subsurface Tile Field, and Sand Filters 89
Cesspools 89
Chemical Toilets 91
Practical Waste Disposal for Individual Properties 91
Community Sewer Systems 92
Sewer Systems in Utilidors 92
Sewers Placed Directly in the Ground 93
Pumping Stations 96
Sewage Treatment 96
Plain Sedimentation 98
Flocculation 99
Screens 100
Skimming Basins 100
Grit Chambers 100
Septic Tanks 101
Imhoff Tanks 101
Sewage Filters 101
Biological Treatment 103
Chlorination of Sewage 104
Sludge Digestion 104
Sludge Disposal 105
Garbage and Refuse Disposal 106
Garbage Collection 107
Sanitary Fill 108
Other Methods of Garbage Disposal 109
Utility Construction Costs 110
Summary 114
Conclusions 115
Bibliography 117

EA-I. (Amos J. Alter)
Arctic Sanitary Engineering

LIST OF FIGURES
Page
Fig. 1 Arctic and subarctic regions 2
Fig. 2 Eskimo homes in Alaskan Arctic 6
Fig. 3 Typical occurrence of permafrost in the
Northern Hemisphere
7
Fig. 4 A residential district of Fairbanks, Alaska 11
Fig. 5 A railroad and communications line in the
permafrost region of Alaska
11
Fig. 6 Arctic tundra north of the Brooks Range in Alaska 18
Fig. 7 Typical glacier in mountainous sections of the Arctic 18
Fig. 8 Possible groundwater location in permafrost 19
Fig. 9 Typical permafrost cellar for storage of ice and food 21
Fig. 10 Wooden barrel on sled which serves as means for
bringing water for domestic uses from nearby lake
during the warm months at Barrow, Alaska. (Note
sewage and refuse disposal barrel sitting on ground
nearby the sled.)
24
Fig. 11 Relation between rainfall and catchment area for cistern
water supplies
25
Fig. 12 Flow of subpermafrost and entrapped water into river
in permafrost zone
27
Fig. 13 Subsurface dam and streambed water collection works 28
Fig. 14 Entrapped water in permafrost 30
Fig. 15 Unsafe ground water supply in permafrost 33
Fig. 16 Occurrence of ground water in interior Alaska 34
Fig. 17 Frost mound formation 36

Arctic Sanitary Engineering

Page #2
LIST OF FIGURES
Page
Fig. 18 Relation between temperature and viscosity in water 37
Fig. 19 Method for anchoring piling in permafrost 41
Fig. 20 Design for building footings above permafrost (Kojinov) 42
Fig. 21 Relation between time of mixing, temperature, and
rate of settling (Baylis)
47
Fig. 22 Theoretical relation of hydraulic subsiding values to
temperature
48
Fig. 23 Solubility of chlorine in water −32° to 212°F. 50
Fig. 24 Relationship between temperature and loss of head in
sand filter
52
Fig. 25 Water distribution by tank truck, Nome, Alaska 55
Fig. 26 Commercial type utilidor (prefabricated units) 59
Fig. 27 Wood stave utilidor 60
Fig. 28 Walk through type utilidor 7′ × 9′ with 8″ concrete
shell
61
Fig. 29 Above ground utilidor 62
Fig. 30 Small wood construction utilidor 63
Fig. 31 Utilidor service connection 65
Fig. 32 Drainage of entrapped water into improperly sealed
utilidor
66
Fig. 33 Removable top on cast-in-place utilidor 68
Fig. 34 Utilidor located in earth mound at ground surface 69
Fig. 35 Clearing to permit penetration of sun’s rays (Kojinov) 71
Fig. 36 How pipe is laid in perpetually frozen ground (Kojinov) 72
Fig. 37 Single main recirculating and distributing system 73
Fig. 38 Dual main recirculating distribution system 74
Fig. 39 The thermal tap service connection 75

EA-I. Alter: Arctic Sanitary Engineering

List of Figures #3
Page
Fig. 40 Dual main service connection 77
Fig. 41 Influence of temperature upon the nitrogen content
of prairie soils (After Jenny)
80
Fig. 42 Abundance of bacteria in soils at different seasons
of the year (After Russell)
81
Fig. 43 Vigorous frost action in the seasonally frozen layer
of soil showing mounding and cracking
83
Fig. 52 Map of permafrost area in Alaska 83-a
Fig. 53 Map of the Territory of Alaska 83-b
Fig. 44 Sewage disposal barrels (metal oil drums with tops
removed) sit near each tent and house in this Arctic
village. Tin cans and other refuse are piled on ground
in the fore part of the picture
85
Fig. 45 A tin shop in Nome, Alaska displays metal boxes for
use in the box and can waste disposal system
87
Fig. 46 Chemical toilet 88
Fig. 47 Vertical alignment support for sewer in permafrost
which becomes unstable upon thawing
95
Fig. 54 Sewage disposal plant near Fairbanks, Alaska 97-a
Fig. 55 Coal-fired portable boiler thawing sewers at
Fairbanks, Alaska
97-b
Fig. 56 Small coal or wood-fired rental unit for sewer
thawing at Fairbanks, Alaska
97-b
Fig. 48 Relation of digestion tank capacities to mean
sludge temperature
102
Fig. 49 A refuse dump in a trailer camp at Fairbanks, Alaska 107-a
Fig. 50 Construction cost indices for Alaska 111
Fig. 51 Per capita cost curves, water and sewer utilities
for Alaskan towns
113

EA-I. (Amos J. Alter)

ARCTIC SANITARY ENGINEERING
INTRODUCTION
Sanitary engineering relates to structures and operations for pro–
moting and maintaining a healthful environment. Environmental control is
accomplished through consideration and application of principles of sani–
tary science, physics, chemistry, and engineering . (1) .
Arctic sanitary engineering (2) is the art and science by which the
above principles are effectively and efficiently utilized to provide a
favorable environment for man in a geographic region in which the mean
temperature for the warmest month is less than 50°F. (Figure 1). Arctic
sanitary engineering precepts may be said to apply equally in most parts
of the Subarctic as well as the Arctic. All the customary factors of
environment (3) must be dealt with, such as, water supplies; sewage and
industrial waste disposal; refuse collection and disposable; food and milk
production, processing, handling, and storage; industrial hygiene; ice sup–
plies; housing; heating, lighting, ventilation, and air conditioning; purity
of streams, lakes, and other waters; rodent and insect control; and other
miscellaneous factors. Sanitary engineering as it applies to water supply,
sewage disposal, and garbage and refuse disposal will be discussed in
this paper.
ARCTIC & SUBARCTIC REGIONS
Fig. 1

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

Community water and sewage systems as they are known in temperate
climates are not common in the Arctic. Prior to 1928, community water and
sewer services and systematic refuse disposal did not concern the arctic
dweller. Popular opinion has held that low temperature and related physical
conditions obviate the need for customary environmental health control
measures.
Occurrence of diseases associated with faulty environment has dis–
proved beliefs that sanitary control may be relaxed in the Arctic. Indus–
trial development, defense activities, and an intensified public health
movement have shown the need for modern community water supply and waste
disposal systems in regions where the ground is permanently frozen.
Dictated by expediency, sanitary engineering facilities and services
designed for temperate climate use have been utilized with little or no
modification to meet low temperature needs. Trial and error have charted
the course of sanitary engineering in the northern latitudes rather than
research and investigation, and, now, many general conclusions on arctic
sanitary engineering may be drawn from practical experience.
There is little reason to believe that the principles involved in
arctic sanitary engineering are materially different from those of sanitary
engineering in temperate climates. The application of these principles is
different. Top, side, and end views of the same object may give a different
impression of the object, and likewise tropical, temperate, and arctic
sanitary engineering may appear differently.
Much research and investigation are necessary for full clarification
of the limitations of sanitary engineering principles. However, facilities
are now being built and new projects are developing continuously. An

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

evaluation of the present status of sanitary engineering in the Arctic is
needed now.
An effort has been made in this paper to combine the theories of
temperate climate sanitary engineering with reported practical experience
in the Arctic and with the extremely limited investigative date available,
and thereby to establish the present status of arctic sanitary engineering.
The policies set forth in this paper are now (1949) being used by the
Sanitation and Engineering Division of the Alaska Department of Health, and it
is hoped that they may serve as a useful reference for persons concerned with
sanitary engineering in regions of low temperature.
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
The information presented in this paper is based on the latest data
available. The conclusions and interpretations set forth here have been
partially derived from a careful study of reports and literature (4) on
arctic sanitary engineering, geology, geography, and climatology, including
Canadian, Russian (5), and American sources. These data have been combined
with actual observations and practical experience gained through field in–
vestigations of the Alaska Department of Health personnel.
References on arctic sanitary engineering, particularly in the American
Arctic, are not extensive, as little purely arctic research has been carried
out to date. Basic research in problems of arctic sanitary engineering is
greatly needed to determine more practical methods of environmental control
by which orderly development of arctic regions may be achieved (6; 7).
Despite the handicap of lack of specific knowledge concerning the
operation of many of the physical laws and biological processes under conditions

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

peculiar to the Arctic, considerable progress has been made in applying
known principles of sanitary engineering to problems of A a rctic sanitation (8).
A DIFFERENT VIEW OF COMMON PHENOMENA
Initially, temperature is the principal variant distinguishing arctic
sanitation from sanitation in other regions. Low prevailing temperature (9)
results in a changed exhibition of certain common biological, physical,
chemical, and engineering principles.
The great length of time through which contagion may remain viable
under low temperature conditions, the difficulties and expense encountered
in the construction and operation of sanitary facilities, and the somewhat
primitive practices of many arctic dwellers enhance the danger of passage
of infectious disease from source to healthy individual.
Low Temperatures Retard Biological Reactions . The usual temperature
range for growth of protozoans, metazoans, and pathogenic bacteria is between
15° and 40°C.; however, in ice cream inoculated with Salmonella typhosa and
stored at −4.0°C., the presence of viable organisms has been demonstrated at
the end of 2½ years (1; 3; 10).
Free-living and saprophytic bacteria that grow very well at 0°C. have
been isolated from fish, brine, and similar sources (Buchanan and Fulmer).
Although few in species, there are many microorganisms that will grow at
low temperatures. Zooplankton are not affected as greatly by low temperatures
as are phytoplankton (11). An increase in plant forms during summer periods
is closely related, however, to the number of plant-eating animals.

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

Physical Changes . Temperature gradients become steeper through heat
conductors, and the moisture content of the air drops; soils and materials
normally in a fluid or plastic state become frozen and solid, and many other
physical changes occur in the environment.
At 0°F. there is less than one-fifteenth as much water in the air as
there is at 70°F., and at lower temperatures the air becomes even drier (13).
Dehydration occurs rapidly when this cold air is heated. Vapor barriers
assume unusual importance in building construction, and necessary ventila–
tion is very costly in lost heat.
Heating of homes, shops, etc., becomes a major concern. Each degree
that the mean daily temperature is below 65°F. is a degree-day unit. Barrow,
Alaska, for example, has in excess of 20,000 degree-day units as compared to
4,560 for Washington, D.C. Even the smallest type of house at Barrow, Alaska,
requires a minimum of 5 to 7 tons of coal to heat it for one year (12).
Many of the houses at Barrow are no larger than 8 ft. by 10 ft. with a
ceiling height of 5 ft. to 6 ft. (see Fig. 2).
At the low temperatures prevailing in the subsurface layers of the earth,
the soil water or water contained in the voids or interstices of the earth is
permanently frozen from below a shallow, seasonally thawed section at the
surface down several feet at the southern boundary of the Arctic (14; 15),
and, at many points within the Arctic , it is frozen down several hundred feet
(Fig. 3). Permafrost (permanently frozen ground) exists almost uninterruptedly
under approximately one-fifth of the land surface of the world. Special con–
sideration must be given to the stability of engineering structures (16), the
availability of water, the decomposition of garbage and refuse, and the dis–
posal of sewage in permanently frozen soils.
Eskimo Homes in Alaskan Arctic
Fig. 2 TYPICAL OCCURRENCE OF PERMAFROST
IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE
Fig. 3

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

Materials that are plastic in temperate climates often become solids
in the Arctic , and the viscosity of fluids become s greater as the temperature
lowers. Solidified plastic materials when subjected to pressures and stray
heat losses may again become plastic. Soil mechanics takes on different
aspects in the Arctic (17). (See “Soil Mechanics in Permafrost Regions.”)
Woody plants of significant economic value do not grow in the Arctic,
and this complicates the construction of sanitary engineering works from
local materials. Local inorganic materials for the construction of housing
and other environmental facilities have not been developed for use (12).
Low Temperatures Retard Chemical Reactions . Such forces as oxidation,
reduction, coagulation, solubility, vaporization, and precipitation are
affected by lowering of temperature. In general, all chemical reactions
utilized in environmental control are retarded by lowering the temperature.
In reversible reactions a decrease in temperature will decrease the rate
of both the forward and reverse reactions. Reactions of decomposition of
organic material are heat-absorbing reactions. As stated in V v an’t Hoff’s
principle, “the reaction that absorbs heat is made more nearly complete by
raising the temperature.”
At low temperatures, the oxidation of organic material is slowed
appreciably. Temperature has an effect upon coagulation, filtration, and
precipitation in water and sewage treatment (18; 19; 20). Most solids
and liquids decrease in solubility with decreasing temperature. Vapori–
zation occurs less readily at low temperatures.
Sunlight is Seasonal. Other physical factors in the Arctic, not directly
related to temperature, also create a changed effect upon environment. The
response of elements affected by light must conform with almost continuous

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

light (2; 9) during the summer period and extended periods of night and
twilight during the winter months. Certain wave lengths of light (3287-
2265 A.) exert bactericidal action (10). It is not known what effect
natural light may have as a bactericide in the Arctic. The action of light
as a bactericide in the Arctic might differ from its action in temperate
regions. Photosynthesis and growth of most plants are affected by light
and many of the microscopic organisms of interest to us in the provision
of safe water supplies are closely related to the plant kingdom. It is not
known what effect natural light has on these common phenomena in the Arctic.
Minute changes in atmospheric composition such as a reported relatively
high concentration of ozone in the arctic air might exert some influence
on environmental control (Millikan).
Effective and Efficient Use of Resources and Materials the Key to
Arctic Development
. Almost anyone, given unlimited materials and resources,
can construct housing and utilities in the Arctic. However, sanitary
engineering connotes efficient and practical utilization of available
resources. Abnormally high construction and operation costs (21; 22)
in the Arctic make efficiency a necessity where permanent development is
concerned.
Arctic construction must be preceded by careful investigation of all
physical features which affect the construction and operation of sanitary
facilities. The extent of permafrost (permanently frozen ground), subsurface
frost, topography, ground temperatures, air temperatures, soil conditions
when the soil is thawed as well as in a frozen state, available materials
for construction and energy sources must be carefully considered (12; 15).

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

Many people inhabit the Arctic and Subarctic, and one community of
almost a quarter of a million population has developed in these regions
(Fig. 4 and Table I). In many communities the normal structures and ser–
vices relating to sanitary engineering have not been fully developed
(23; 24; 25). However, people are making their homes in the Arctic and
many improvements are being made in environmental health facilities (26).
Russian engineers encountered permafrost problems as early as the
end of the 19th century (27) during construction of the Great Trans-Siberian
Railway and later again, in 1912-16, during construction of the Amur Railway.
Industrialization of the U.S.S.R., beginning with 1928, brought with it a
vast growth of industrial enterprises in the arctic and subarctic regions.
Such industrial enterprises as the gold fields of Transbaikal [: ] , of
the former Amur region, of Yakutia and of the Vitim and Yenisei districts,
have been successfully developed in the region of permanently frozen ground.
A water plant (capacity of 6 million gallons per day) was designed shortly
after 1930 for use in iron-ore extraction in the Transbaikal region (27).
Coal mines in Bureia and fish canneries at Anadyr have also been supplied
with water (27).
Placer - gold mining in Alaska and Canada received new impetus after the
development, during the thirties, of cold water thawing techniques.
Highways, railroads, and communications have been constructed in the
permafrost region of Alaska.
Community water and sewer systems at various points in the Alaskan
and Canadian Arctic and Subarctic have been constructed for the first time
in recent years (12; 28).
A Residential District of Fairbanks, Alaska
Fig. 4 A Railroad and Communications Line
in the Permafrost Region of Alaska
Fig. 5

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

Table I. Communities in the Arctic Permafrost Zone.
(Population reported in 1940 except for certain communities
for which the most recent estimates available have been used)
Community Location Population
Siberia
Aldan Inland --
Aksha Inland --
Aian Coastal --
Berezovo Coastal 4,706
Bulun Coastal --
Chita Inland 102,555
Dudinka Coastal --
Gizhiga Coastal --
Bailar Inland 39,877
Iar Coastal --
Igarka Inland 25,000
Irkutsk Inland 243,380
Kanak Inland 24,628
Khantaisk Coastal --
Khatanga Coastal --
Kirensk Inland --
Komsomolsk Coastal 70,746
Krasnoe Inland --
Kyzyl Inland --
Manchouli Inland --
Nerchinsk Inland 6,545
Nizhne Kolymsk Coastal --
Nizhneudinsk Inland 10,342
Novomariinsk Coastal --
Okhotsk Coastal 3,500
Olekminsk Coastal 1,300
Penzhinsk Coastal --
Post Aleksandrovski Coastal --
Sale-Khard Coastal --
Sofisk Coastal --
Sredne Kolymsk Coastal --
Srentensk Inland --
Tauisk Coastal --
Tigil Coastal --
Tunguskoie Inland --
Turukhansk Inland --
Udskoi Ostrog Coastal --
Ulan Bator Khoto Inland 70,000
Ulan Ude Inland 129,417

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

Table I. Communities in the Arctic Permafrost Zone.
(Population reported in 1940 except for certain communities
for which the most recent estimates available have been used)
Community Location Population
Siberia (cont’d)
Ust Iansk Coastal --
Ust Kiakhta Inland --
Ust Maisk Inland --
Ust Viliuisk Inland --
Verkhne Kolymsk Inland --
Viliuisk Inland 630
Vitim Inland --
Yakutsk Inland 52,888
Zhigansk Inland --
Zverevo Coastal --
Greenland
Christianshaab Coastal --
Etah Coastal --
Godhavn Coastal 496
Godthaab Coastal 1,814
Eastern Canadian Arctic ( Baffin Island )
Amadjuak Coastal --
Arctic Bay Coastal --
Frobisher Bay Coastal 183
Pangnirtung Coastal 68
Pond Inlet Coastal 351
Western Canadian Arctic ( Victoria Island )
Cambridge Bay Coastal 162
Fort Collinson Coastal --
Labrador
Cartwright Coastal --
Hebron Coastal 257
Hopedale Coastal 148
Nain Coastal 155

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

Table I. Communities in the Arctic Permafrost Zone.
(Population reported in 1940 except for certain communities
for which the most recent estimates available have been used.)
Community Location Population
Canada
Aklavik Coastal 762
Banff Inland 2,187
Calgary Inland 88,904
Chimo Coastal 271
Churchill Coastal 1,000
Coppermine Inland 37
Dawson Inland 1,043
Fort George Coastal 677
Fort Nelson Inland 73
Fort Reliance Inland --
Fort Simpson Inland 454
Fort St. John Inland 170
Good Hope Inland --
Kent Coastal --
Liard Inland 216
Mayo Landing Inland 190
McPherson Inland --
Moosonee Coastal 140
Nordegg Inland 768
Norman Wells Inland --
Port Nelson Coastal --
Providence Inland 230
Selkirk Inland 80
Whitehorse Inland 754
York Coastal 412
Alaska
Akiak Coastal 209
Allakaket Coastal 105
Anvik Coastal 110
Barrow Coastal 750
Beaver Coastal 88
Bethel Coastal 376
Buckland Coastal 115
Candle Coastal 119
Chandalar Coastal 62
Chatanika Coastal 106

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

Table I. Communities in the Arctic Permafrost Zone.
(Population reported in 1940 except for certain communities
for which the most recent estimates available have been used)
Community Location Population
Alaska (cont’d)
Chitina Coastal 176
Circle Coastal 98
College Coastal 234
Copper Center Coastal 138
Deering Coastal 230
Eagle Inland 73
Eek Coastal 170
Est b er Inland 218
Fairbanks Inland 8,500
Flat Inland 146
Golov n in Coastal 116
Haycock Coastal 87
Healy Inland 77
Holy Cross Inland 226
Igloo Coastal 114
Kaltag Coastal 140
Kiana Coastal 167
Kivalina Coastal 98
Kotzebue Coastal 400
Koyukuk Inland 106
McGrath Inland 175
Minchumina Inland 135
Minto Inland 135
Nenana Inland 250
Noatak Coastal 336
Nome Coastal 1,600
Nondalton Coastal 100
Noorvik Coastal 211
Nulato Inland 113
Point Lay Coastal 60
Ruby Inland 138
Selawik Coastal 239
Shageluk Inland 92
Shaktolik Coastal 128
Shishmaref Coastal 257
Solomon Coastal 106
Suntrana Coastal 78
Takotna Coastal 70

EA-I Alter: Sanitary Engineering

Table I. Communities in the Arctic Permafrost Zone. (concluded)
(Population reported in 1940 except for certain communities
for which the most recent estimates available have been used)
Community Location Population
Alaska (cont’d)
Talkeetna Coastal 136
Tanacross Inland 135
Tanana Inland 135
Teller Coastal 118
Tigara Coastal 257
Unalakleet Coastal 329
Wainwright Coastal 300
Wales Coastal 193
White Mountain Coastal 199
Wiseman Inland 53

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

WATER SUPPLY
Like an oasis in a desert, an adequate supply of water suitable for
domestic and industrial usage may govern the location and development of
permanent communities and industry in the Arctic. Although in the flat
areas there are myriads of shallow ponds and lakes (Fig. 6), and the rela–
tively swampy tundra may be a veritable watery mass during the warm months
(12; 27; 29), the long winter period retains practically all such water
sources in a frozen state. With present methods, it is not economically
feasible (12; 27) for large communities or industries under ordinary cir–
cumstances to utilize much of the vast amount of water that is present
practically everywhere in the Arctic in the frozen state (Fig. 7). The
problems of location of an adequate water supply are really those involved
in locating a continuous and readily usable source.
In the Arctic, shallow rivers, and sometimes deep ones, are frozen in
the winter down to the bottom (12). The deepest rivers may contain water
in winter which is unfit for use (12; 27; 30). Ground waters (Fig. 8) are
found in smaller amounts than under usual conditions. Usual water treatment
practices must be modified to conform with low temperature conditions. Where
year-round distribution by pipes is provided, such a system often must be laid
in permafrost. Waterworks buildings and other structures may be damaged by
freezing and thawing of ground under foundations (31; 32). Water must be
preheated before it is introduced into the mains, or heated conduits must be
used to protect the distribution system from damage by freezing.
In somewhat primitive arctic villages and towns, where water for domestic
usage is obtained during most of the year by melting ice and snow, average per Arctic Ttundra north of the Brooks Range in Alaska
Fig. 6 There are many glaciers such as this in
the mountainous sections of the Arctic.
Fig. 7
Typical glacier in
mountainous sections of
the arctic
POSSIBLE GROUNDWATER LOCATION IN PERMAFROST
Fig. 8

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

capita water consumption probably does not exceed two gallons a day. According
to estimates reported by Andriashev (33) for Yakutsk in the U.S.S.R., 100 gallons
of water brought as ice from a distance of 2 to 25 miles costs 7.5 to 9.5
roubles (approximately $6.50 to $8.25). Cost estimates for 100 gallons of
water obtained by these methods at Barrow, Alaska, averaged $7.25 in 1947
(12). According to Andriashev, with a water supply from wells distributed
by a specially designed distribution system, the cost of water will be but
0.27 of a rouble per 100 gallons, or one-thirtieth the cost of an “ice” water
supply. Per C c apita consumption increases greatly with modern supply and
distribution facilities and the standard of living in arctic areas is improved.
Mr. Milo Fritz reports that the generally prevalent corneal opacities found among
the Alaska Eskimos may be closely associated with lack of personal hygiene (34).
Water supplies are inadequate for proper personal hygiene in many communities
solely dependent upon melted ice and s h n ow for winter c d omestic water supply
(12; 29; 35; 36).
WATER SOURCES
The principal source of water supply, used by natives of the Arctic,
is melted ice and s h n ow; however, this method of procuring water is not economi–
cally feasible for community and industrial water supply development (12; 29; 36).
Ice, cut from fresh - water lakes in the fall when it is about 10 to 12 inches
thick, is stored either in permafrost cellars (see Fig. 9) or on the surface
of the ground in a convenient spot. Improper handling of the ice may contami–
nate it and make it unsafe for human consumption. Although uncommon, it is
possible that freezing may not have excluded all impurities, including
pathogenic bacteria present in the contaminated water, and ice cut from such TYPICAL PERMAFROST CELLAR
FOR STORAGE OF ICE & FOOD
Fig. 9

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

a supply may be unsafe for human consumption. Several outbreaks of gastro–
intestinal illness have been reported from contaminated ice (1; 3). Patho–
genic bacteria have been known to survive for a great period of time under
freezing conditions.
The harvested ice is frequently taken a block at a time and placed in
a container in a heated room. There it is allowed to melt at room tempera–
ture for household use (12). These methods for handling and melting the
ice are frequently questionable and it is doubted if the resultant water is
safe for general use without disinfection. The ice should not be out from
a surface which has partially thawed and accumulated waste and organic
material and then refrozen. Ice from a pond in which the ice surface has
been flooded with surface water and refrozen should not be used. Natural
exclusion of filth from the refrozen portion of the ice does not occur under
such conditions. In the coastal areas of the Arctic, fresh - water ice is
sometimes found on the salt - water ice of the ocean and used for human
consumption.
The snow is frequently melted and used for water supply (12); however,
this method requires more effort than melting ice and is less desirable.
The quantity of snow in many places is relatively small except where snow
has drifted. Barricades may be placed in such a fashion as to cause the
drifting and accumulation of snow for water supply, but there is usually
a great amount of dirt, silt, and organic material mixed in with drifted
snow.
Present equipment used by civilians for melting snow and ice in the
Arctic is generally of an improvised nature and is not efficient. Steam
generators and jets, used for thawing frozen ground or holes in ice, are

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

not economically feasible for providing a community or industrial water
supply and are impractical for thawing ice or snow for small water users.
During the summer months, water for household usage is usually obtained
from fresh water, lakes or rivers. The water is dipped from the river or
lake, poured into a barrel and hauled fo the home . The water barrel usually
sits near the entrance way outside of the house as shown in Figure 10.
Surface Water . Rainfall is so small throughout much of the Arctic
that it is impractical to rely upon cisterns as a source of water supply (9).
The use of such a source, even where sufficient rainfall and catchment area
are available, is economically unsatisfactory for more than two or three
persons. At Barrow, Alaska, approximately 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of
catchment area would be needed for a family of four, and almost 20,000 gallons
per person storage would be desirable (see Fig. 11). The cost of heating such
a volume of stored water would be enormous and impractical.
Shallow surface sources of water supply are not practical where a con–
tinuous supply of water is needed. Such sources may freeze solid and are
frequently physically unsatisfactory without treatment (12). Seasonal ice
rarely, if ever, exceeds a depth of from six to eight feet on surface waters
(37); however, the majority of surface sources are only a few feet deep and
many of them freeze solid (12; 28). The freezing action tends to concentrate
mineral and organic content in the unfrozen water, and for this reason the
water may be undesirable or unsuitable for domestic usage.
There are comparatively few rivers which are large enough to maintain
an appreciable flow throughout the year. Utilization of water from rivers
in the permafrost region is complicated not only by such bodies of water
freezing solid in some places, but also by the formation of frazil and anchor Wooden barrel on sled which serves as means for
bringing water for domestic uses from nearby
lake during the warm months at Barrow, Alaska
(Note sewage and refuse disposal barrel sitting
on ground nearby the sled)
Fig. 10 RELATION BETWEEN RAINFALL AND CATCHMENT AREA FOR CISTERN WATER SUPPLIES
Fig. 11

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ice. “Frazil ice” is ice formed by freezing turbulent water and it resembles
slush (37; 39). “Anchor ice” is ice formed on the bottoms of rivers and
lakes. The Ni In goda and Nikishik b h a rivers at Tchita in Russia are reported
by Ko j zh inov to freeze solid, as do many rivers in arctic Alaska. Despite
these obstacles, Ko j zh inov reports the river Baliago in Russia serves as the
source of water supply for the Petrovsko-Transbaikal steel works. Clogging
of intakes with frazil ice and anchor ice formation have been controlled with
steam lines placed in intake works at some Alaska water supplies (12).
Rivers receiving water from subpermafrost sources and entrapped water
from extensive areas may flow continuously at points where the depth of
channel-flow characteristics and quantity of flow are sufficient to offset
tendencies to freeze (Fig. 12).
Checks can be made on temperature and general physical and chemical (word missing)
characteristics of water in a water s c ourse at intervals downstream in trying
to help locate appreciable quantities of subpermafrost water flowing into a
water course (15).
In some places, subsurface dams may be placed across the path of ground–
water flow in a stream bed and perforated pipes placed in the bed upstream
from the subsurface dam to collect ground water before it enters the stream
(Fig.13) (12). The latent heat of fusion from entrapped ground water may
be sufficient to prevent freezing of a river source; however, the quantity
of entrapped water may be quite limited, and in such a case the river source
can not be depended upon unless there is also subpermafrost or spring water
flowing into it. Impounding reservoirs have also been constructed on top
of permafrost (39).
FLOW OF SUBPERMAFROST AND ENTRAPPED WATER
INTO RIVER IN PERMAFROST ZONE
Fig. 12 SUBSURFACE DAM AND
STREAMBED WATER COLLECTION WORKS
Fig. 13

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Relatively deep lakes, which do not freeze to the bottom, usually
receive considerable entrapped water and frequently receive subpermafrost
or artesian water. They can serve as a continuous water supply source.
Shallow lakes receiving considerable entrapped water (Fig. 14) can be
used as a limited source of water supply. The great proportion of ice to
unfrozen water in a pond or lake which is not fed with considerable en–
trapped water or from subpermafrost sources may make the quantity of stored
water under the ice u i ns i u fficient for supplying demands for an extended
period.
Surface Water Supply Intake Facilities . Special provisions must be
made for protecting intake works for surface water supplies in the Arctic.
Frazil ice and solid ice will form and completely choke intake works if
adequate protection is not provided to retain the heat of the water or if
facilities are not provided to keep the water thawed at the intake (12; 40).
Water at several Alaska surface supply sources has been found to be at 32°F.
during winter and not more than 37°F. during the summer. Location of an
intake at a point approximately 10 or 12 feet below the minimum level of the
surface of the body of water from which water is taken, facilitates protection
of the intake. Such an arrangement does not give complete protection because
turbulence created at the entrance of the intake may cause unnecessary cool–
ing of water at the intake and the formation of anchor or frazil ice, par–
ticularly during the early freezing stages of winter. Apparently minimal
intake velocities decrease the tendency for formation of frazil ice at the
intake. Intakes are frequently fitted with steam lines and g j ets arranged
so that water at the intake may be heated and the formation of frazil ice
prevented (12). Steam heating and thawing of intake works is costly and is
not an efficient method for maintaining flow.
ENTRAPPED WATER IN PERMAFROST
Fig. 14

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Where water-bearing soils, sands, or gravels exist under the body of
water from which the supply is to be taken, it is possible to use a sub–
surface intake works (Fig. 13). Anchor ice and accumulated organic material
at the bottom of a lake may necessitate special means for opening up the
bottom of the body of water so that a subbottom perforated intake may be used to
utilize stored water as well as underground flow to the lake. Deposits of
organic material, mud, etc., in the bottom of many bodies of water in the
Arctic act as check valves which permit ground-water flow into the body of
water but do es not permit flow out of the body of water into the aquifer or
an underground collection system. Intake openings should not be placed
directly on the bottom of a lake or other body of water because freezing of
the upper portion of the water, as well as settling, concentrate foreign
material at this point. Since most of the lakes and ponds in the Arctic are
shallow, it is necessary to construct special intake facilities which are not
affected by low temperature and do not collect foreign material from the
bottom of the lake or pond.
Suprapermafrost Sources . Suprapermafrost water supply , or ground water
from above the permafrost, is irregular and frequently such sources disappear
altogether before the end of winter. This is particularly true in areas where
the seasonal frost extends down to the permafrost. In the Subarctic and
southern sections of the permafrost region, shallow layers of thawed ground
may exist continuously above the permafrost (Fig. 3), and with appropriate
soil type these layers serve as an aquifer for suprapermafrost water supplies.
These supplies are generally poor producers and cannot be depended upon
where any great amount of water is needed. Several hundred such supplies are
being used at Fairbanks, Alaska (12).

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The safety of the suprapermafrost supply is highly questionable for
several reasons. They are rarely more than 10 to 20 feet deep and receive
water from the contaminated zone of the subsoil. Cesspools and other
waste disposal facilities are usually placed at about this same depth to
avoid seasonal frost and yet not be in permafrost. Heat losses from houses
tend to thaw the permafrost under them and cause formation of a sump in the
top of the permafrost (Fig. 15).
Ground water from above the permafrost is usually obtained by use of
bored, dug, and driven wells or by use of infiltration galleries (12).
Intrapermafrost Water . Entrapped water or artesian water found within
the permafrost is called intrapermafrost water (Fig. 8). Intrapermafrost
water supplies are rare except in the southern portion of the area of perma–
nently frozen ground. In the foothills of mountain ranges, where geological
formations and permafrost exist in such a fashion that subpermafrost water
may be forced up into the permafrost by hydrostatic pressure, it is possible
that such water may be found in fault zones of the permafrost (Fig. 8). It
does not appear that such water is in a stable position and in time such a supply
may be exhausted or may come through the permafrost and appear as a supraper–
mafrost or subpermafrost water. Intrapermafrost water supplies may be tapped
by use of drilled or thawed and jetted wells. This type of ground-water
supply may be likened to a water supply in fissured limestone. Such supplies
differ greatly in quality and safety.
Various types of well-water supplies in use at Fairbanks, Alaska, are
shown in Figure 16. It may be noted that a thawed area exists on the inside
of the river curve. Well (a) is a normal well. Wells (b) and (c) are through
the permafrost. Well (d) displays some artesian effect as a result of the Fig. 15
UNSAFE GROUND WATER SUPPLY
IN PERMAFROST OCCURRENCE OF GROUND WATER IN INTERIOR ALASKA
Fig. 16 EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering confining layer of permafrost. Well (e) is a rock well. The zone between
wells (d) and (e) in Figure 16 is a probable site for frost - mound formation
as shown in Figure 17.
Subpermafrost Water Supplies. Subpermafrost water supplies, although
they may appear to be the most promising means of continuous arctic water
supply, are difficult to locate (41), costly to develop (42), and are
frequently highly mineralized. Permafrost has been reported to extend to
a depth of 900 feet at some points in the Arctic and pervious strata below
this point are not readily charged with ground water (43). At many points
the permafrost extends to and into impervious strata, such as rock, and there
ground water is not available in appreciable quantities. Several satisfactory
subpermafrost test wells have been drilled at Fairbanks, Alaska (12). The
warmest water may be found some distance below the lower limit of permafrost
and such sources should be utilized wherever possible.
Drilling through permafrost presents special problems and water-well
drilling in the Arctic at such depths is relatively costly. Wells penetrating
permafrost must be operated almost continuously and sometimes heated to prevent
freezing of the well. Pumpage must not be too great, as excessive pumpage may
freeze a well or possibly change local hydrology (15). U.S. Geological Survey,
Water-Supply Paper Water-Supply Paper 140, discusses the effect of temperature on percolation.
Movement of ground water, through a water-bearing stratum is slower at a low
temperature than at average temperatures and the yield from a given type of
aquifer may be appreciably less under low temperature conditions (Fig. 18).
Most subpermafrost ground-water supplies that have been developed in
Alaska have been highly mineralized. Freezing of ground water down to depths
of several hundred feet has possibly tended to increase the mineral content of
the water below the permafrost.
FROST MOUND FORMATION
Fig. 17 Relation Between Temperature and Viscosity in WATER
(After Bingham and Jackson)
Fig. 18

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Well casings should be anchored firmly in permafrost and constructed
so that seasonal freezing of the surrounding soil does not disjoint, crush,
or otherwise destroy the casing. It has been recommended that fill-around
casings be of sand or gravel to minimize cohesion of the seasonally frozen
soil around the casing (15). Puddled clay may freeze to and damage the
casing. This type of construction enhances the possibility of contamination
of the well by surface drainage. Wells should be located in a heated structure
to minimize seasonal frost damage and to prevent damage caused by cold air.
However, wells should not be placed in pits because such an arrangement may
disturb the thermal regime of the ground excessiv e ly as well as increase
possibility of contamination. A large-diameter casing and continuous moderate
pumping are helpful in preventing freezing of a well through permafrost since
this reduces the tendency for supercooling of the water and frazil - ice
formation.
Dynamiting of subpermafrost and intrapermafrost wells in order to
increase yield is a dangerous practice and may result in possible hazards of
contamination of a water supply similar to the hazards associated with blasting
of limestone wells.
WATER TREATMENT
Records of the Alaska Department of Health show the occurrence of
water-borne typhoid fever at several points in the permafrost region of
Alaska, i.e., Kotzebue, 1946 (12) and Nenana, 1947 (44). They also indicate
the occurrence of reportedly water-borne dysentery in several arctic communities
(12; 45; 46; 47; 48). Scores of shallow ground-water supplies in the permafrost

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region of Alaska have been found to be bacteriologically unsatisfactory for
use. Some water has been found to be very hard, and organic material, silt,
and objectionable dissolved gases may be found present in many arctic waters.
The need for appropriate treatment of arctic water supplies to render
them physically and bacteriologically satisfactory is comparable to such
needs in temperate climates. Although principles involved appear to be the
same in the Arctic as elsewhere, the physical features of water treatment
under low temperature conditions may differ slightly at several points.
Water - Supply Structures and Appurtenances . Proper housing, insulation,
and protection must be provided for all equipment and processes. Due regard
must be taken for protection of all units from the destructive forces of
seasonal frost, and the effect of permafrost must be evaluated before pump–
ing stations, treatment facilities, and water towers are constructed.
The depth to which the ground thaws seasonally governs the method of
construction for foundation.
If foundations do not extend into the permafrost, frost action in the
thawed or active layer will cause settling and heaving of the structure.
Damage may occur because parts of the permafrost and upper soil are removed
and replaced with materials, such as concrete, which have a higher heat
conductivity than the original soil. Heat in the structure, as well as heat
absorbed by the structure from the sun’s rays, is conducted through the
foundation and into the ground (Fig. 15). Such action tends to destroy the
permafrost. Thawing of the permafrost affects the stability of the soil and
the structure will settle. Due to differential thawing and possible variations
in soil characteristics, the structure may settle unevenly (49). Water may
also drain down along the foundation and collect at the base of it. Refreezing

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of the soil and water causes heaving. An impervious layer of permafrost near
the base of the foundation prevents the escape of entrapped water, and thus
the effects of frost action are magnified.
The Federal Building at Nome, Alaska, shows the effect of such action
on a large building. The effect on smaller buildings may be observed in
almost any community in the Alaska permafrost region. Annually repeated
displacement of foundations, walls, and other parts of a structure causes
leaks in reservoirs, cracks in walls, breaks in foundations, and threatens
the stability of a structure.
Methods of preventing the thawing of permafrost and for anchoring
structures into permafrost to prevent settling and heaving have been used
to minimize the frost effects (Fig. 19). If the permafrost lies onat a con–
siderable depth, thawing may be avoided by making a shallosw excavation (27).
In this case, a layer of ground, 10 to 13 feet thick, is left between the
bottom of the foundation and the upper level of permafrost. Evacuation for
the foundation is extended down 6 o t r 7 feet, and the excavated ground is
replaced with dry sand, gravel, or rubble (Fig. 20). Insulating layers in
foundations are recommended (50). Such layers may be made of asphalt, felt
impregnated with tar, or other similar materials with a low heat conductivity.
Pilings are commonly used for foundations in many places in Alaska, and an
18- to 24-in. clear open space is often left under buildings to prevent dis–
turbance of the permafrost under the structure. Few structures in arctic
Alaska are built with basements.
In the Subarctic, where permafrost exists at a temperature near the
freezing point, the upper permafrost may be completely thawed prior to place–
ment of a structure. In such regions the permafrost may not return and METHOD FOR ANCHORING PILING IN PERMAFROST
Fig. 19 DESIGN FOR BUILDING FOOTINGS ABOVE PERMAFROST (Kojinov)
Fig. 20

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construction of stable facilities may thus be simplified.
Thawing of ground under pump - house floors must be prevented. Pipes
passing through a pump - house floor and under buildings must be properly
insulated to prevent frost destruction. Pipes placed under continuous
foundations may cause damage to the foundation if they are not properly
insulated.
Foundations and walls should be finished smoothly. Such a finish
decreases the cohesion of frozen ground with the wall and tends to prevent
raising of foundations. It is also desirable to give foundations a trape–
zoidal profile. The surrounding excavation should be filled with coarse
sand or gravel, and water should be led off by means of a drain. Clay or
asphalt berms may be necessary to lead off surface water. Location above
ground of settling basins, mixing chambers, and other units of a treatment
plant facilitates housing and protection of the units from unequal forces
of freezing and thawing f g round, and affords better opportunity to prevent
permafrost destruction.
Unequal expansion and contraction of dissimilar materials used in
equipment may result in damage to the unit. All piping must be installed
with a steep slope so that rapid drainage may be accomplished, and all drain
ports must be sufficiently large to permit rapid drainage. All water–
lubricated equipment is subject to rapid freezing immediately upon stopping,
unless heated. Such equipment may be considered unsatisfactory, in some
instances, for arctic use. Pumps, even though they are not water-lubricated,
may frequently freeze when they are stopped. Even prompt drainage may leave
enough moisture in a centrifugal pump to permit freezing of the impeller
blades to the housing.

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An unheated or improperly protected filter may freeze in a few
minutes when it is taken out of service. Hydraulically operated control
equipment employing water is not well adapted for operation under low
temperature conditions. Elevated storage must be properly insulated and
heated with a recirculating heater system. For rapid sand filter plants,
wash - water pumps are sometimes preferable to elevated storage for back-
washing filters. It is desirable to provide for proper re-use of filter
wash water and to take advantage of other water conservation possibilities
in arctic water treatment.
Radiant heating and use of ventilating fans to maintain even heat
distribution (12) are highly desirable in providing appropriate heating
facilities for enclosures containing treatment units. Appropriate provi–
sion must be made for the use of heated outside air for ventilation of
enclosures where exposed water surfaces or other vapor sources may exist
and tend to cause excessive condensation of moisture on the cold surfaces
of the enclosing structure. Appropriate vapor barriers must be provided
over all insulating walls in such enclosures to prevent the soaking and
damage of insulating materials due to excessive condensation (12).
Aeration . Waterfall types of aeration are not practical in general
for use in the Arctic, but aeration by air diffusion may be satisfactorily
carried out. With low temperatures, the viscosity of the water is relatively
high, and aeration may not be as effective as it is at higher temperatures
(Fig. 18). Aeration periods should probably be extended somewhat over
normal operation (12; 18).
Many arctic waters have undesirable tastes, and iron and manganese
contents, which may be improved by aeration. Aeration will frequently

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

improve the taste of water in which freezing action has concentrated mineral
and organic material, and of water from beneath the ice or in frozen soil,
which as a consequence has had insufficient mixing with oxygen.
Waterfall-type aerators are difficult to enclose properly during very
cold weather. Enclosures reduce the possibilities of aeration unless pro–
vision is made for p e r oper circulation of air in the enclosure. Circulated
air from the outside must be heated. Spray and mixing of the water in the
air present problems of condensation of water from the relatively high - humidity
air on the cold surfaces of the enclosing structure. Suitable vapor barriers
must be provided on the walls of such encasing structures.
The introduction of finely divided air bubbles into the water by air
diffusion methods permits an easy enclosure of the process of aeration for
protection from the cold. Diffusion air should be heated, and the diffusion
chamber should be constructed in such a fashion that water-saturated air may
be controlled and kept from causing excess condensation on the walls of the
enclosing structure. Under certain conditions, the condensation and freezing
of water on the walls of the enclosing structure may not be undesirable.
However, such condensation may be deleterious to the enclosing wall and make
housekeeping very difficult in that portion of the plant. Economics of heating
would not normally permit the compartmenting and isolation of each unit of the
treatment plant.
Mixing of Chemicals . Mixing chambers and mixing are affected by tempera–
ture, and design and operation must take this into consideration for satisfactory
results. Presumably, a change in electrochemical phenomena, under low tempera–
ture conditions, causes the more rapid formation of a small floe (18); however,
additional mixing beyond what is normally required is necessary to consolidate

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

the floe and to secure proper settling of it (Fig. 21). It is recommended
that the normal mixing time of from 10 minutes to 30 minutes be tripled
when water at temperatures of from 32° to 38°F. is being treated. Both
rapid and slow mixing should be increased for best results. In certain
instances, it may be desirable to increase the quantity of coagulant to
secure proper floe formation in a minimum of time. Efficient design should
make this means unnecessary.
Arctic water treatment (51) deals with water at approximately its
maximum density, and the case with which complete mixing is obtained is
somewhat different from that for temperate climate operation.
Sedimentation . Sedimentation in arctic water treatment is slowed greatly
by the increased viscosity of the water at low temperatures (19; 20) ( Fig. 22).
Sedimentation chambers should be designed for operation at 32° to 35°F., and
probably should provide capacities of from 1½ to 2 times that provided for
operation in temperate climates.
The entire settling basin should be enclosed and the entire structure
should be located above the surface of the ground. Such an arrangement will
m o i nimize heat losses to the ground and prevent destruction of permafrost and
the damage which may result from differential settling. Means must be pro–
vided for proper heating of the entire enclosure.
Use of Chemicals in the Arctic . Use of chemicals under arctic conditions
requires the knowledge of certain changes which occur at low temperatures.
In general, practically all chemicals react much slower at temperatures near
freezing than they do at normal temperatures. Better mixing and longer
reaction times are necessary for proper effect. Frequently, chemicals must
be added in excess to procure the desired result within a reasonable period of
time. Jar tests and laboratory tests are highly desirable for efficient RELATION BETWEEN TIME OF MIXING, TEMPERATURE, A RATE of SETTLING
(Baylis)
Fig. 21 THEORETICAL RELATION OF HYDRAULIC
SUBSIDING VALUES TO TEMPERATURE
Fig. 22

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

operation under most conditions; however, they are even more desira v b le
under arctic conditions.
Certain difficulties are experienced with the use of chlorine in cold
water and under low temperature conditions. At temperatures between 1 3 2° to
slightly more than 49°F., chlorine hydrate forms (18), removing the chlorine
from solution (Fig. 23). At 32°F. there is practically no chlorine in
solution. Gaseous chlorine containers may have to be heated slightly to
keep the chlorination apparatus working properly. The gassing rate is
reduced with temperature lowering, but great care must be taken to prevent
the overheating of gaseous chlorine containers.
The application of chlorine to overheated water results in inefficient
use of the chlorine, and care must be taken to prevent the introduction of
chlorine near a condensate line or other heating means that may raise the
temperature of the water considerably above normal. For the most effective
use of chlorine, the water to be treated should be at a temperature of about
50°F.
Chemical storage should be constructed in connection with treatment
facilities because low temperatures make unnecessary carrying, hauling, and
running out of doors highly undesirable for operating personnel. The high
humidities that may exist in enclosures for water treatment facilities, when
ventilation is improper, may make the handling of water treatment chemicals
difficult unless they are properly protected from condensation and moisture.
The solubility of chemicals is generally considerably less in cold water
than in warm. However, calcium carbonate, for example, is soluble to a
greater degree in cold water than in warm water. Solution feeding of chemicals
may be undesirable in some instances.
SOLUBILITY OF CHLORINE IN WATER - 032° to 212° F.
(WATER QUALITY AND TREATMENT MANUAL - A.W.W.A., 1941)
Fig. 23

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Most measuring equipment is calibrated for use under temperate condi–
tions and any change in use may cause error. Feeding equipment should be
designed for use at or near the freezing point and efficiencies should not
vary materially from normal temperature operation.
It is difficult to mix ozone with water under normal conditions (18)
but even harder under low temperature conditions. The efficiency of acti–
vated carbon in the removal of odors and tastes tends to be reduced somewhat
at low temperatures. Ultraviolet light may have greater application in the
disinfection of cold water than it has for disinfection of water at moderate
temperatures.
The reclaiming of chemicals for use may be desirable wherever possible,
due to the cost of transporting chemicals to relatively isolated arctic
communities.
Slow Sand Filtrations . Slow sand filtration is not practical for use
under low temperature conditions because of the extensive filter area that
must be enclosed and heated (18). Although the filters have been reported
to function satisfactorily, even when covered with considerable ice for ex–
tended periods, they are not economically feasible under severe arctic
conditions.
Rapid Sand and Diatomaceous Earth Filtration . Rapid sand filters, or
diatomaceous earth filters, appear to be the most practical filtering means
for low temperature operation. Rapid sand filters may be relatively easily
enclosed and heated. Theoretically the rates of filtration may be lowered
as much as 30% at temperatures of from 32° to 35°F. (Fig. 24). Filter
design should take this reduction in efficiency into consideration. Dia–
tomaceous earth filtering rates may also be reduced somewhat at low temperatures. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TEMPERATURE
AND LOSS OF HEAD IN SAND FILTER
(After Flinn, Weston & Bogert)
Fig. 24

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Such filters constructed of materials with unequal rates of expansion and
contraction may afford operating difficulties under low temperature condi–
tions. Under arctic conditions, it is frequently more desirable to provide
for backwashing by use of pumps rather than by use of elevated storage. In
places where water is scarce, it is desirable to reclaim backwash water
rather than discharge it from the filters to waste.
Hydraulically operated control equipment is undesirable unless at all
times the enclosure is heated to temperatures of 35°F. and up.
Surface washing and air washing of rapid sand filters may have some
more significant economic advantages under arctic conditions than under
operation at normal temperatures.
Water Softening . Conventional water softening in the Arctic is affected
by slowed reaction times for chemicals, and longer mixing and settling times.
Zeolite-type softeners are common on small ground-water supplies. It appears
that lowered temperatures may tend to reduce the maximum rate of softening to
somewhat below the usual 75 to 120 gallons per square foot of zeolite surface.
Temperature is very important in lime softening. Less calcium and magnesium
stay in solution s at high temperatures than at low temperatures.
Corrosion Control . Corrosion control in recirculating water distribution
systems would not normally present a serious problem. Such systems are usually
designed and constructed so as to utilize insulating nonferrous-type materials
which are not readily attacked by corrosive water. Chemical action is also
retarded by low temperatures.
However, metal piping is usually used in utilidor-type systems, and under
such conditions corrosion problems in the Arctic do not differ from similar
problems elsewhere.

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WATER DISTRIBUTION
Several means have been employed for distributing water under low
temperature conditions (52; 53; 54; 55). The most common method is by
tank truck (12). Preheated water, distributed by a recirculating system,
and heated pipe galleries are also used in water distribution.
Permafrost complicates the laying and operation of a water distribu–
tion system. Only a shallow layer of the top soil thaws in the summer, and
this thaws an insignificant amount. Permafrost extends down into the ground
so deep that at present it is impractical to attempt to lay water mains below
it. Laying mains at usual depths results in freezing of the water. Such
experience was encountered in the early exploitation of the Transbaikal region in
Russia (27). In America the difficulties of water distribution in permafrost
have been predominantly overcome by use of heated distribution galleries
called utilidors; but in Russia the predominant method is reported to be the
use of recirculating systems with preheating of the water (27; 52). Professor
M. J I . Chernyshev has studied the operation of water works, subjected the
results of his observation to mathematical analysis, and deduced from it a
number of formulas for the thermal calculations of water pipes in frozen ground.
Distribution by Tank Truck . Distribution by tank truck and by carboy,
although they are the most common methods employed, leave much to be desired
(Fig. 25). Such a method of distribution subjects the water to much handling
and exposes it to many opportunities for contamination. A residual of dis–
infecting agent must be maintained in the water at all times, and it is
difficult to maintain a properly effective residual with low water temperature,
frequent handling, pumping, jostling, heating to relatively high temperatures Water Distribution by Tank Truck, Nome, Alaska
Fig. 25

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to prevent freezing, aeration, etc. Hoses become contaminated by dragging
on the ground and from handling; carboys, tanks, and hoses are difficult to
clean and keep clean; filling facilities are often makeshift and may intro–
duce contamination.
All valves, controls, drains, hinges, seals, close-fitting edges, and
movable equipment must be designed and constructed for operation at −80°F.
This same equipment must also serve its purpose at normal temperatures.
Dust-tight gaskets are necessary during dusty periods. Hoses, pails, and
carboys, as well as the tank, must be kept free from dust and filth during
all periods of operation.
Tanks must be insulated (56) and constructed of materials which prevent
the freezing of the water. With a temperature differential of 100°F. between
water in a well-insulated truck and the temperature of the air, heat losses
of from 2 to 3 degrees per hour may be expected when the water is not being
jostled. Wood-stave tanks with additional insulation by use of burlap, paper,
felt, sawdust, tar, and dead airspace are commonly used in Alaska. Peat and
commercial insulating materials are recommended, but are not common. One
commercial water company in Alaska, distributing water by tank truck, uses
a 3-compartment body with a stove located in one compartment for keeping the
water warm in the other compartments.
It is estimated that moderate water service for a family of four costs
from $15.00 to $20.00 per month b y this method (12). Under such conditions
water usage is greatly curtailed and in some places insufficient water is used
to maintain adequate personal hygiene. Modern sanitary conveniences are
usually out of the question when such distribution methods are employed.

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Such a method for water distribution does not provide adequate water
for fire protection (12). In some arctic communities in Alaska, where
water distribution is accomplished in this fashion, fire insurance is almost
unpurchasable due to prohibitive rates.
Seasonal Distribution Systems . Seasonal distribution systems are used
in some places (12). Water pipes which may be disjointed and drained during
cold weather are laid on the surface of the ground and are used in the warm
months. Distribution by tank truck or carboy for domestic usage is also prac–
ticed in both winter and summer. Aside from interrupted service, the pipe
distribution system is usually unfit for carrying water for human consumption.
Pipes are left open and exposed on the ground for several months to accumulate
whatever contamination may be found on the street. Complete collection,
storage, and re-laying of the pipe each season is costly and considered
impractical. Hasty assembly and the use of worn and damaged joints and pipe
make the system subject to contamination whenever negative heads occur in the
system. Water distribution, during a lengthy portion of the year, must be
entirely by tank truck or carboy.
Utilidor Systems. Placement of water distribution lines in heated
conduits, or utilidors (53), has been used in many places, and continuous
distribution can be maintained relatively easily by this method; however, this
method of water distribution is very costly to install and operate.
Two general types of utilidor are in use at the present time: ( 1 ) under–
ground utilidors constructed of wood, metal, or concrete, some of which are
insulated and ( 2 ) above-ground utilidors constructed principally of wood or
metal, practically all of which have special insulation, such as commercially
prepared asbestos, rock wool or similar insulators, or sawdust, fiberboard,
paper, tar, felt, peat, and dead - air spaces.

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

There are commercially made insulated metal conduits which may be
purchased in standard sections, or lengths, which provide for heating and
the transmission of one or more materials or services (Fig. 26). Present
cost of estimates indicate that a commercially made utilidor of the simplest
design and constructed to heat and carry one small water line may cost
approximately $50.00 per lineal foot in place, without provision of service
connections. Wood-stave pipe may be adapted for use as a utilidor (Fig. 27).
Wood and/or concrete utilidors of rectangular cross section and con–
structed in place are the most common type of utilidor presently in use.
The size of these utilidors ranges from those just large enough to convey
the services carried through them to those almost 9 ft. high by 7 ft. wide,
inside dimensions (Fig. 28). Figure 29 illustrates a small above-ground
utilidor, and an underground utilidor constructed of wood is shown in Figure 30.
Little attempt has been made, in some instances, to insulate the utilidors
any more than that insulation provided by the wood or concrete walls making
the enclosures. Other utilidors have been insulated by use of gravel, fiber–
board, sawdust, peat, moss, paper, and bituminous coverings. Heat losses are
great through the walls of most constructed-in-place utilidors, and operation
is costly.
Certain hazards exist in utilidors where both water and sewer services
are placed in the same duct. Leakage of sewage and negative heads in water
mains might readily and seriously contaminate a water supply. Adequate drain–
age is necessary in all utilidors. Provision of adequate drainage complicates
the construction of underground utilidors. Provision of adequate drainage
for above-ground utilidors may impair the insulation. If adequate drainage
is not provided, the insulating material may be destroyed by leakage.
COMMERCIAL TYPE UTILIDOR (PREFABRICATED UNITS)
Fig. 26 WOOD STAVE UTILIDOR
Fig. 27 WALK THROUGH TYPE UTILIDOR 7′ × 9′ with 8″ CONCRETE SHELL
Fig. 28 ABOVE GROUND UTILIDOR
Fig. 29 SMALL WOOD CONSTRUCTION UTILIDOR
Fig. 30

EA-I. Atler: Sanitary Engineering

Rodentproof construction should be used for all utilidors (12; 57).
Improperly constructed utilidors may serve as runways for rodents and pro–
vide harborage.
Service connections are difficult to operate unless the utilidor is
extended all the way to d e ach property served (Fig. 31). This difficulty
is most commonly overcome by providing heat as a utility along with sewer
and water services. The heat service line from the heat main is connected
to the premise through the same pipe gallery that is used for water service.
Underground utilidors, which extend down in the ground to a point below
the permafrost table level, must be constructed water tight or they will
serve as an infiltration gallery and collect ground-water flow from the
surrounding ground (Fig. 32). Even though the utilidor may not extend down
to a point near or in the permafrost, it will, unless it is tight, collect
ground water at any point where the ground water reaches an elevation above
the floor of the duct. During the summer, tundra, peaty, and similar soils,
prevalent in the Arctic, are saturated with ground water almost to the ground
surface in many places, and under such conditions the underground utilidor
must be water tight and special arrangements must be made for drainage.
Lost heat from the underground utilidor frequently destroys the permafrost
near it. Unless the soil characteristics where the utilidor is place s d are such
that its properties are not altered greatly by this change in state, differen–
tial settling may occur, with resultant damaging effects on the utilidor.
Placing of the utilidor on piling properly placed in the permafrost will tend
to reduce these effect. Proper insulation around the tu ut ilidor to protect the
permafrost is necessary where the permafrost must not be disturbed (Fig. 28).
Distribution systems placed in utilidors with a large cross-sectional area UTILIDOR SERVICE CONNECTION
Fig. 31 DRAINAGE OF ENTRAPPED WATER INTO IMPROPERLY SEALED
UTILIDOR
Fig. 32

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are readily accessible for repair and maintenance. For small cast-in-place
concrete tu ut ilidors, the top for the utilidor should be constructed so that
it is readily removable and also so that it is tight enough to retain all
heat possible in the duct. Tops for concrete utilidors may be cast in
sections and each section fitted with pulls so that it may be easily lifted
(Fig. 33). Such an arrangement may not be necessary or desirable for utilidors
with a width and depth sufficient to permit adequate work space inside of the
duct. Many utilidors made from sections of wood or metal pipe are not con–
structed so that they can be readily opened for repair. It is difficult to
open a utilidor for repairs within it except during the summer period. Utilidors
placed at the surface of the ground, as illustrated in Figure 34, are much
easier to service and drain but are not practical where roads or streets must
cross them.
Topography of the permafrost table, thermal regime of the ground, ground
water conditions, soil characteristics, and the minimum amount of utilidor
required to serve a given area must be carefully studied in planning the
installation of an underground utilidor. The thermal regime of the ground
will determine whether permafrost should be thawed prior to installation of
the system (15). In the Arctic, permafrost should not be destroyed, and
necessary measures should be used to prevent its destruction. In parts of
the Subarctic, if permafrost is destroyed, it may not return, and it may be
best to thaw the th p ermafrost. The relatively high cost of utilidor construction
necessitates careful study of the area to be served in order to determine the
absolute minimum length of utilidor necessary to provide service.
Preheating and Recirculating Distribution System . Heating of the water
to be distributed and the recirculation of it to a pumping station and heating REMOVABLE TOP ON CAST-IN-PLACE UTILIDOR
Fig. 33 UTILIDOR LOCATED IN EARTH MOUND AT GROUND SURFACE
Fig. 34

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

plant, through a system designed and constructed in such a fashion as to
make most efficient use of all available heat, offers the most economical
solution to water distribution in many instances but presents numerous
problems of design and satisfactory operation.
According to Ko j zh inov, in 1933 the Moscow Scientific Research Institute
of Water Supply worked out detailed technical specifications for laying
water pipes in the permafrost region. The Russians have rejected the use
of utilidors, and the following recommendations are quoted from Ko j zh inov (27):
“The pipes are laid directly into the ground about 10 feet deep,
i.e., at a depth at which temperature fluc ut tu ations are insig–
nificant, and the temperature does not sink below 26.5°F. The
foundation under the pipes is made of gravel or sand. The pipe
is surrounded for a distance of two diameters by loose earth.
This is covered from above by a layer of dry peat eight inches
thick. The rest of the trench is filled up with local ground
which has been taken out in its digging.
“The purpose of the peat layer is to speed up the warming through
of the ground around the pipes, this being important only in the
beginning of the pipe’s functioning. Therefore, if the prelimin–
ary heating of the ground has been made in summer, the peat cover
is not necessary.
“If the pipes are laid in a forest clearing, the longitudinal axis
of the latter must not coincide with the longitudinal axis of the
pipe. In other words, the main must not be laid along the middle
of the clearing, but along its sunny border. The width of the
clearing is to be equal to 1½ times the height of trees.
“The artificial heating of the water is an indispensable peculiarity
of the water supply in the perpetually frozen areas. It is usually
carried out in the vicinity of the pump at the beginning of the
discharge line. The method of heating chosen is dependent on the
kind of engines used for driving the pumps. When steam engines are
installed their waste steam and the waste gases of the boilers must
be utilized. If electric motors drive the pumps, the heating of
the water may be done by means of the electric current or with the
help of a special heating boiler. At present, steam heaters utili–
zing the waste steam are almost exclusively employed.
“In concluding, we must state that all expenses for these special
measures are quite justified, as they preclude the expenses for
continuous repairs of the building, which would be unavoidable if

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the peculiarities of water supply construction in the perpetually
frozen region were not taken into consideration in the design of
structures for such areas.” Figure 35 and 36 illustrate points
made by Ko j zh inov. zh
The firm of Black and Veatch, of Kansas City, designed a recirculating
type of water system for Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1944; however, this system
has never been constructed. There are no large recirculating-type water
systems in use in Alaska. A few very small systems of this type have been
constructed in Alaska and operated with some difficulty (12). In the northern
Arctic, ground temperatures drop below 26.5°F. (see section on sewage dis–
posal). The recirculating system consists of a distribution main, a water
return main, circulating pumps, and a water heating system. The distribution
and return mains may be one continuous line starting and ending at the recircu–
lating pump, or they may be a dual piping system with high and low pressure
lines placed side by side (Fig. 37 and 38).
Service connections for the single main are kept operative by use of
( 1 ) good insulation, ( 2 ) short service - connection utilidors, ( 3 ) electrical
resistance tape, which, when energized, warms the service connection, or
( 4 ) by use of a thermal tap to the main (12). Short service-connection
utilidors may be heated by the heating system at the premises they serve.
Use of electrical energy for warming service connections is expensive but is
a positive method. The thermal tap (Fig. 39) on the water distribution main
theoretically takes the warmest water from the top of the distribution main
and delivers it to the premise and a return line from the premise brings unused,
cooled water back to the distribution main and injects it into the bottom of
the main during periods of minimum flow. During periods of maximum flow, velocity
head may tend to cause circulation in the service-connection line. The dual ?
piping system afford the more positive means for complete recirculation. CLEARING TO PERMIT PENETRATION OF SUN’S RAYS (Kojinov)
Fig. 35 HOW PIPE IS LAID IN PERPETUALLY FROZEN GROUND (Kojinov)
Fig. 36 SINGLE MAIN RECIRCULATING & DISTRIBUTING SYSTEM
Fig. 37 DUAL MAIN RECIRCULATING DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
Fig. 38 THE THERMAL TAP SERVICE CONNECTION
Fig. 39

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Service connections to premises are made by tapping the high-pressure main
and serving the property from this main, and the unused water, which has
cooled, is returned to the distribution system by tapping the return line
from the premise to the low-pressure line (Fig. 40). The low-pressure line
returns the unused water to the recirculating pump and heating unit.
In the recirculating system, the water is usually heated only a few
degrees above freezing (27), or an amount which will just permit the unused
water to return to the recirculating pump and heating plant slightly above
freezing. It is very difficult to start operation of such a system if it is
attempted during cold weather. Only small sections of the system should be
started at a time, and intensive pumping with continuous waste is necessary
until the entire system and the ground around it have been warmed.
Heat conservation and the most efficient use of available heat are
necessary for sound engineering design and operation of the recirculating
distribution system. Heat losses for the distribution system should be com–
puted for various types of construction, and the most efficient and economical
type of main should be selected. Conduction and convection heat losses from
the distribution system vary with the type of materials used for the main.
These losses also v e a ry with the flow characteristics of the water; greater
turbulence will dissipate heat faster than it is dissipated from still water.
Location of the distribution system above ground, on the surface of the
ground, or in the ground has been practiced. A careful study of the heat
losses involved in each method and the relation of construction, operating,
and maintenance cost should be made and evaluated in each instance. In locating
the pipe in the ground, careful consideration should be given to determine DUAL MAIN SERVICE CONNECTION
Fig. 40

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whether the pipe should be placed at the top of the permafrost table, in the
permafrost, or in the seasonally thawed area. If the distribution system
is placed on top of the ground rather than in the ground, winter temperatures
around the system are lower but summer temperatures are higher. If the dis–
tribution system is in the permafrost, low temperatures prevail throughout
the year, but at no time are they as extreme as when the pipe is placed at
the ground surface. If the distribution system is placed at the top of the
permafrost table, advantage may be taken of the latent heat of fusion of
entrapped water. However, when the system is placed at this point, and if
insulation is used, it may be damaged or rendered almost useless by the
ground water.
Intermittent circulation of water in the system conserves heat (15).
Turbulence is reduced to a minimum when the water is static. Utilization
should be made of exhaust steam or other waste-heat sources in heating the
water prior to circulation. Insulation of the distribution system should be
done with economical materials. Peat, moss, gravel, and other similar
insulating materials may be found readily in many places in the Arctic.
Rigid control of plumbing is of prime importance on a recirculating
system. Cross-connections and back-siphonage conditions must not be tolerated.
It is desirable where possible to eliminate dead ends and to arrange the
distribution system so the largest users are located at the points of maximum
distance for water flow. On large systems, several heating points may have
to be established. Location of water mains near sewer mains may help to keep
the water mains from freezing, but this is a dangerous practice. Frost action
may damage both the water lines and the sewer lines, with resultant leakage
and possibility of contamination of the water supply.

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

SEWAGE DISPOSAL
Numerous methods are employed for the disposal of sewage in the Arctic
(12; 58); however, the effectiveness and safety of most of them are greatly
impa i red by low temperatures, and treatment processes are relatively costly.
The biological and chemical reduction of organic material proceeds very
slowly under low temperatures. Putrefaction and decomposition occur in the
Arctic under certain conditions, but the usual processes of decomposition
do not appear to occur within the permafrost (3; 12). Organic materials
exposed on the surface of the ground, or placed within the shallow top layers
of seasonally thawed ground, decompose slowly (Fig. 41). An abundance of
psychrophilic organisms apparently accomplish the process along with frost and
chemical action (Fig. 42). Slow decomposition of organic matter tends to
maintain a greater supply of food for many forms of life, and it is presumed
that this may account for the reported abundance of life.
In temperate climates, natural processes reduce and destroy great quanti–
ties of organic and infectious material through the normal action of the soil
(3; 59). The soil has been described as a living thing presenting many of
the vital phenomena that characterize life: digestion, metabolism, assimilation,
growth, respiration, motion, and reproduction. Rosenau states that the soil
breathes — it absorbes oxygen and exhales carbon dioxide; through comple s x
metabolic processes, it digests vast amounts of organic material; it excretes
wastes and, if the wastes are retained, it becomes choked with the accumulation
of its own poisons. The rise and fall of ground water is analogous to the
movements of the diaphragm and assist the respiratory functions of the soil.
Sedgwick has described the soil as a “living earth,” teeming with life, such
as bacteria, molds and protozoa, and other forms of the animal kingdom.
INFLUENCE OF TEMPERATURE UPON
THE NITROGEN CONTENT OF PRAIRIE
SOILS (After Jenny)
Fig. 41 ABUNDANCE OF BACTERIA IN SOILS AT DIFFERENT SEASONS
OF THE YEAR (After Russell)
Fig. 42

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

Permafrost and the extended period of seasonal frost in the Arctic
interfere with normal breathing and metabolic processes of the soil and
retard the assimilation of organic material. Permafrost frequently does
not permit proper drainage of the soil, and it becomes water-logged when
it is not in a frozen state. The vigorous frost action, however, opens up
the interstices or pores in the upper layers of the soil to a greater degree
in permafrost areas than in ground where permafrost does not exist (Fig. 43).
Very little investigation has been made concerning the specific role
arctic soil may play in carrying on the metabolic processes necessary to
render harmless the organic waste which must be assimilated in proper sewage
and garbage disposal. At present it appears that the sluggish biological
state and the difficult physical state of arctic soils almost preclude the
use in the a A rctic of biological and drainage practices now used in temperate
climates for sewage disposal (Fig. 52 and 53). Unless the existing heat in
sewage can be better retained or methods of waste disposal adapted to this
environment can be developed, proper waste disposal will be costly. The
search for discovery, culturing, and use of effective psychrophilic organisms
to accomplish the desired result has been suggested. Development of better
methods for waste disposal, such as incineration or other methods which do not
involve the use of water, has also been suggested.
The sluggish action of the soil in assimilating wastes, coupled with the
existence of permafrost, tends to make the use of surface water supplies and
shallow ground-water supplies even more precarious in arctic communities than
such a practice may be in temperate climates (12; 60). The permafrost table
may serve as an impervious stratum which will retain viable pathogenic organisms
in shallow ground water. The seasonal frost serves to open up the soil and Vigorous frost action in the seasonally frozen
layer of soil in the Arctic causes mounding and
cracking of the soil as is shown in the above
picture.
Fig. 43 Map of Ppermafrost area in Alaska.
Fig. 52
As indicated in the above map, about 60% of Alaska is underlaid by
permanently frozen ground (permafrost). In the most northerly sections, this
permafrost often extends to a depth of several hundred feet. In such areas,
the usual Stateside methods of maintaining adequate water supplies and waste
disposal systems must be extensively modified for effective and economic use. omit? Fig. 53

EA-I. Alter: San itary Engineering

and force entrapped water through an aquifer at relatively high velocities
so that the soil may not exert the normal filtering action that may be found
in similar soil in temperate climates.
INDIVIDUAL WASTE-DISPOSAL SYSTEMS
The Box and Can System . The euphemistic chamber pot and box and can
system of waste disposal are the most common types of waste-disposal systems
in the Arctic (12; 28; 61). In many small communities, the chamber pots are
dumped indiscriminately on the surface of the ground near the homes. This is
a dangerous practice which should be abandoned. Arctic soil conditions may
retain the pathogenic organisms, that exist in excrement, viable for great
lengths of time. The excrement freezes almost immediately during the winter;
however, it thaws and becomes a stinking and disgusting, as well as disease–
producing accumulation during warm weather.
In some small communities, excrement from chamber pots is dumped into
receptacles such as empty barrels, which are placed near the homes, until
they are filled, and they are then hauled away and dumped on the tundra or
at some other convenient point (Fig. 44). In coastal areas, during the W w inter,
filled containers are placed on nearby ice of the ocean and are allowed to
drift out to sea when the spring thaw comes and the ice moves out from shore.
At one point near Kotzebue, Alaska, dung-filled metal oil barrels drifting
out from the village have been reported to have accumulated at shallow points
in Kotzebue Sound in such an amount that they were creating a hazard to naviga–
tion in these shallow waters. During the warm months, these villages depend
upon dumping of the barrels on the tundra near the village.
Sewage disposal barrels (metal oil drums with
tops removed) sit near each tent and house in
this Arctic village. Tin cans and other ref–
use are piled on ground in the fore part of
the picture.
Fig. 44

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

In the larger communities, scavenger services, for the collection of
excrement, are operated either by private operators or by municipalities.
In some instances, the scavenger collects the filled can and leaves an empty
one, while some scavengers empty the filled containers into a tank truck and
return the can unwashed to the home. Washing of cans on the truck is unsatis–
factory at the time of collection under extreme low temperatures. Heated
quarters must be provided for the emptying and cleaning of cans where the
filled can is collected and an empty can exchanged for it. Although the
scavenger usually dumps the collected excrement in a relatively isolated
spot, such material may be a source of infection unless it is buried or
otherwise properly disposed of. Burial is very difficult in permafrost and
cannot usually be accomplished except in the summer months.
Commercially manufactured boxes and cans may be purchased and local
tinsmiths, in some areas, make them (Fig. 45). In many places, the standard
chemical toilet is used, with or without the use of chemicals (Fig. 46).
Usually the boxes are made so that they may be ventilated and they are vented
to some point outside of the living quarters, although there are many such
installations in use which are not vented. Under the low temperatures ex–
perienced at times in the Arctic, hoarfrost forms in the vent in such
quantities that the vent is almost inoperative. Frequently the box is con–
structed of wood and almost any type of can which does not leak is used. All
cans should be fitted with tight-fitting lids for use when the can is carried
for emptying. The boxes should be designed for proper ventilation, or the device
will cause an unpleasant odor to permeate the room and sometimes the entire
building in which the box and can are located. The box and can privy is located
in the bedroom, or at some other convenient point in the building, but must be
placed in a heated room for proper operation.
A tin shop in Nome, Alaska displays metal boxes
for use in the box and can waste disposal system.
Fig. 45 CHEMICAL TOILET
Fig. 46

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

The Pit or Surface Privy . In general, the pit or surface privy or
other similar unheated means for waste disposal have been considered imprac–
tical (61). Lack of heat in the structure makes its used undesirable. The
surface privy in permafrost may not adequately dispose of the excrement so
as to preclude the possibility of it contaminating ground water supplies
or food stored in underground pits. During warm months, ground water may
fill the pit of the pit privy, and during the winter all material in the
pit remains frozen so that it is uncertain if the pit serves for much more
than a storage point for the waste.
Septic Tanks, Subsurface Tile Field, and Sand Filters . Small waste–
disposal systems, such as septic tanks, subsurface tile fields, or sand
filters, as ordinarily constructed for use in temperate climates, are
impractical. During much of the year such a system remains frozen when it
is located near the surface of the ground where the effluent may be subjected
to assimilation by the soil (Table II). Unless the tank is located deep
enough in the ground so that the ground temperature is only a few degrees
below freezing, the sewage will freeze in the tank. Temperatures at this
point in the ground are low enough so that biological action in the tank is
sluggish, and it is not economically feasible to construct a standard tank of
sufficient size to operate under these conditions for a single premise.
Increasing the size of the tank tends to increase the heat losses of the
tank, and it will freeze. Artificial heating of individual premise disposal
systems under these conditions has not been demonstrated to be economically
feasible.
Cesspools. Under certain conditions, cesspools may be kept operative during
most of the year. At points where drainage from the cesspool finds its way to [Figure]

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

an aquifer, which discharges to a large drainage course, sufficient heat may
be added to keep the system operating. Such an instance is a rare occurrence,
and, in general, cesspools may not be depended upon for operation during the
winter.
Formation of frost mounds in many places is an indication of the pressures
exerted on entrapped water and a contra-indication to use of any waste dis–
posal system which must rely upon the discharge of effluent or raw liquid
wastes into the soil. If a cesspool is operable, it is quite probable that
ground water or food stored in pits underground may be contaminated and such
a method will be dangerous.
Chemical Toilets . Small chemical toilets for individual promises cannot
be operated satisfactorily without heating. Heating is not economically feasible
except where such a system is in a building and is a part of a home or business
establishment.
Practical Waste Disposal for Individual Properties . In general, the
chamber pot and the box and can method for disposal are the only presently
known methods for waste disposal in the Arctic which are practical for an
individual property.
Great care must be taken in discharging heated liquid wastes near a
building. Continuous discharge of such waste tends to destroy permafrost
rapidly during the warm months. The warm liquid thaws a depression in the
permafrost which collects ground water. Collected ground water tends to thaw
the permafrost and destruction of the permafrost is speeded up with possible
damage to foundations of buildings resulting.

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

COMMUNITY SEWER SYSTEMS
A system of collecting sewers and treatment facilities for a community
appear to be economically feasible in certain instances, and with proper
construction and care these facilities will op e è rate under arctic conditions.
Sewer systems for the collection of sewege and industrial wastes must
be constructed in such a manner that they may be maintained operative by use
of added heat and/or so that the maximum heat from the sewage is retained
by insulation and appropriate design of the system. In communities where
utilidors are used for water distribution, sewers have usually also been
placed in the utilidor for protection from low temperatures. In some places
sewers may also be operated satisfactorily by placing them directly in the
ground without the use of a utilidor. However, appropriate steps must be
taken to retain the natural heat of the sewage, to prevent cooling of the
sewers by cold air, and to control hydraulics within the sewer.
Sewer Systems in Utilidors. Utilidors, constructed in a manner similar
to those discussed under water supply, have been used for carrying sewer
services. Utilidors have been used just for protection of sewers and for
transmission of both water mains and sewers. The latter arrangement fre–
quently presents undesirable conditions which may lead to contamination of
the water supply. The salient features in construction of utilidors for
water distribution must also be considered in the planning and construction
of utilidors for sewers. Sewers placed in utilidors are much more expensive
to construct than sewers installed directly in the ground; however, maintenance
is less expensive and the certainties of operation during all periods are
greater (21; 22; 53). The underground type of utilidor is more practical for

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

use in established communities than the above-ground utilidor because of the
difficulty of making connections to the latter. Sewers laid in utilidors
govern the slope of the utilidor to a great degree. Sewers placed in utili–
dors which do not also carry steam lines for transmission of heat from a
central heating plant must be heated by use of a steam tracer line placed
in the utilidor.
Sewers Placed Directly in the Ground . In consc tur tru cting sewer systems
placed directly in the ground, care must be taken to use sewers of of materials
with a relatively high insulation value, and insulation such as peat, moss,
and gravel must be placed around the sewer in the ground. Masonry, concrete,
vitreous, and iron sewers conduct heat relatively rapidly. Conduction losses
may be excessively high in such sewers if proper insulation is not provided.
Convection heat losses from the sewage are largely controlled through regu–
lation of the hydraulics of the sewer.
Sewers should be located so as to avoid compaction of the soil over them.
Compaction occurs in the center of a street. They should be located where
snow cover will be the greatest and vegetative cover may be utilized. They
should also be located so that they are not in the shadow when the sun is
shining (Fig. 35). By i u se of these procedures most efficient use is made
of the natural heat.
Special arrangements for the conservation of warm air in the venting of
this type of sewer system are necessary. Standard venting of manholes with
openings to the arctic air is not practical, and house vents which permit
the loss of heat from the sewer are unsatisfactory. Experience at Fairbanks,
Alaska, where a standard-design sewer system is used, shows a definite
correlation between air temperatures and sewer freezing, even though these
effects are not noticeable in the upper layers of the ground above the sewer
prior to freezing.

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

This type of sewer system may be placed so that advantage may be taken
of the latent heat of fusion of entrapped ground water where such heat is
of significant value. However, in this location, infiltration must be kept
at a minimum.
Sewers placed in soils which lose their stability when the permafrost is
disturbed must be designed and constructed with adequate supports and founda–
tions to maintain proper alignment under all conditions. Original construc–
tion and slopes must be exact, and piling anchored in permafrost must be
used to maintain grades in some soils (Fig. 47).
Sewage velocities which prevent deposition of solids in sewers must be
used in all sewer construction; however, in the Arctic, additional factors
further limit velocity. High velocities and turbulence dissipate excessive
heat through convection losses, and turbulence exposes an increased area of
the water to the cold environment (40). Laminar flow may reduce these heat
losses. The economic desirability of designing sewers to function with a
minimum of turbulent flow needs further investigation. Although sewers do
not usually flow full, any inside surface irregularities or excessive slope
may create unnecessary heat losses. A velocity which prevents the deposition
of solids and yet does not cause undue heat loss should be selected in sewer
design. Each section of a sewer system has certain static, or fixed, heat
losses under a given condition of flow and ground temperature — and flow
and temperature at any given time in a sewer must be sufficient to satisfy the
fixed-heat losses of the system and yet prevent freezing of the sewage.
In many instances, it may be simpler to regulate flow of sewage in the
system, or air temperature within the sewer, than to attempt to heat all of
the sewage to prevent freezing. Sewage may be diluted to maintain the critical VERTICAL ALIGNMENT SUPPORT FOR SEWER IN
PERMAFROST WHICH BECOMES UNSTABLE UPON THAWING
Fig. 47

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velocity, or by the use of pumps and pumping wells it may be possible to
maintain a somewhat continuous flow in the system. Regardless of measures
taken to control the flow or velocity at all times, the heat present in the
sewage flowing through the system must be sufficient to provide for the fixed–
heat losses of the system under the most critical conditions of ground tempera–
ture and flow, so that the temperature of the sewage is maintained above
freezing. Steam condensate should be used wherever available to help keep
this type of sewer installation from freezing.
Pumping Stations . Because of the generally flat terrain in many arctic
communities, it is usually necessary to install sewage pumping stations at
one or more points in the collection and disposal system. These stations
are particularly necessary in systems designed to operate as nearly as possible
at some fixed depth in relation to the permafrost table. Pumping stations
are practically always necessary to prevent complete freezing. Steam tracer
lines are often used to keep the outfall open and operable. Conventional
pumping stations are expensive to construct in permafrost areas, and permit
excessive heat losses. A more suitable pumping station design should be
developed for use in the Arctic.
SEWAGE TREATMENT
The ultimate disposal of sewage, in the past, has not troubled arctic
dwellers to any great degree; however, with further development of the Arctic
it is realized that more consideration must be given to this important phase
of sanitary engineering. Arctic and subarctic dwellers have made several
attempts to deal properly with this part of the waste-disposal plan, but
there are few successfully functioning examples of an economically feasible method (word missing)

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for use in the continued development of the Arctic. The most common method
of ultimate disposal has been by dilution in the larger water courses and
tidal waters. Disposal by dilution has meant the discharge of sewage into
the receiving waters with little or no treatment.
Several plants have been installed which have utilized only plain
settling and steam and condensate to keep the tanks from freezing (Figs. 54;
55 and 56). Effluent has been discharged into streams and lakes. Sludge
has been drawn off into the same receiving waters or pumped into trucks and
hauled to a relatively isolated point and discharged on the surface of the
ground.
Large septic tanks have been used in some places, and it has been found
that septic action takes place very slowly even when the tanks are heated with
steam. Open-bottom tanks with sand floors have been used with little success
as either septic tanks or leaching pits. Deposition of solids clogs the inter–
stices of the sand bottom, and, unless considerable heat is applied, septic
action does not occur and the tank freezes. Attempts to heat sewage and treat
it by means of an Imhoff tank appear to be economically unfeasible. The entire
amount of sewage and sludge must be heated to a suitable temperature for di–
gestion of the sludge. A great amount of heat must be added to the sewage and
into the Imhoff tank to secure proper operation.
All sewage works facilities, except the sewers and outfalls, have been
protected with tight buildings or enclosures surrounding them. Many of the
plants that have been constructed have been mounded with earth well toward the
top of the enclosing structure, and, in many places, destruction of the
permafrost by heat from the sewage as well as seasonal frost action has
seriously damaged the treatment units, causing walls to break and units to settle.
[Figure] Fig. 54
Sewage Disposal Plant
near Fairbanks, Alaska Fig. 55
Coal Fired Portable Boiler Thawing
Sewers at Fairbanks, Alaska Fig. 56
Small Coal or Wood Fired Rental Unit
for Sewer Thawing at Fairbanks, Alaska

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Irrigation has been successful in a few instances where the sewer system
and outfall have been located in such a fashion that sewage may be discharged
from a bench and irrigated onto lower ground in a valley below. Such a
method is highly undesirable as communities develop. Wide areas are heavily
contaminated with wastes and organisms which remain dangerous and objectionable
for indefinite periods of time. The permafrost prevents proper leaching into
the soil, and ground water and sewage mix to form a veritable surface cesspool
of large extent.
Theoretically, primary and secondary treatment with incineration of the
sludge and adequate dilution of the effluent appears to offer the most promise
as a means of ultimate disposal of both sludge and effluent.
Low temperature operation of sewage treatment facilities and the design
of facilities for such service present many problems, most of which have not
been satisfactorily answered.
Plain Sedimentation. In plain sedimentation under low temperature condi–
tions, certain physical factors must be considered which may well spell the
success or failure of this stage of sewage treatment. Temperature has a
marked effect upon the subsidence of sewage particles. Settling velocities
decrease with falling temperatures (Fig. 22), viscosity of sewage increases
at low temperatures, and more resistance is offered to the settling of sewage
particles. It takes almost a third longer for particles to settle at 32°
to 35°F. than it does at 50°F., and twice as long for them to settle at 32°F.
as it does at 74°F. Settling tanks, for operation in the Arctic, should be
designed for settling at minimal rates. Designs perhaps should be based on
surface area loadings. Tray-type settling basins lend themselves more readily
to arctic construction, since deep tanks may be difficult to construct in such
a fashion that the structure does not interfere with the permafrost.

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Too much heat and uneven heating of the enclosure in which settling
tanks are located may seriously affect the operation of the process. Proper
ventilation and vapor barriers must be provided in the enclosing structure
to prevent undue condensation on the walls of the enclosure. As a result of
increased viscosity of water and decreased rate of subsidence of sewage par–
ticles, plain settling tanks in the Arctic should be increased to one and
one-half times the size necessary in a temperate climate.
Settling tanks for flocculent material at low temperatures may be more
desirable if they are designed for upward flow and if the tanks are deeper
than necessary for settling of plain granular material; however, tray-type
unite may be best protected from freezing. Design of settling tanks for use
in the Arctic should be preceded by a laboratory determination of required
settling time. Pilot-plant tests should be made where there is sewage
available for testing. Field temperatures and conditions should be faithfully
duplicated in the laboratory determination. A detention period as great as is
required for effective sedimentation in a glass tube, which is as deep as the
effective depth of the proposed settling tank, may be used as a guide in the
design of a pilot plant.
Flocculation. Flocculation, by use of chemicals, appears to be signifi–
cantly speeded up by relatively low temperatures (Velz, 1934). Increased
viscosity of the sewage at low temperatures may play a part in this occurrence,
as may a change in electrochemical phenomena under low temperature conditions.
The floc may form readily but precipitation of the floc is retarded by low
temperature, as mentioned under plain sedimentation. Very little change in
the quantities of chemicals needed for flocculation is noted at low or average
sewage temperatures. In certain instances it is necessary to add more chemicals

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when the sewage is at about 32° to 35°F. (for good precipitation in a minimum
time) than may be necessary at average sewage temperatures. Efficient opera–
tion is dependent upon both time of settling and the concentration of chemicals.
Conservative design for chemical precipitation basins, under low tempera–
ture conditions, would include the following: ( 1 ) Moderate mixing of chemicals
in sewage prior to sedimentation; ( 2 ) Use of deep-type tanks, which are enclosed
and located above the surface of the ground or at a point where they will not
affect the permafrost; and ( 3 ) Application of a factor of 1½ to tank size or
other adjustment in design as determined from a pilot plant.
Sludge accumulation may amount to as much as 0.5% of f t he volume of sewage
treated, and special consideration must be given to handling this large amount
of sludge. The cost of chemicals for treatment may frequently become very
high under arctic conditions because of relatively high costs for shipment and
handling of such materials.
Screens . Low temperatures have little or no effect upon the screening of
sewage to remove coarse suspended and floating matter, unless the temperature
of the sewage is permitted to drop low enough that icing of the screen may
occur. Frazil ice may form in the channel following the screen if the tempera–
ture of the sewage is too low. Screen chambers must be enclosed in heated
structures.
Skimming Basins . Skimming tanks for the removal of grease and oil operate
much more efficiently under low temperature conditions than they do in temperate
climates. Skimming chambers should be kept as cold as possible without lower–
ing the temperature to freezing.
Grit Chambers . The design of grit chambers that will function properly
under low temperature conditions is difficult. Due to change of viscosity,

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it takes almost 1½ times as long for many mineral solids to settle at 32° to
35°F. as it does for them to settle at 50°F.
Septic Tanks . Septic tanks must be heated, enclosed, and constructed so
that they do not destroy the permafrost. Septic tanks for use under arctic
or subarctic conditions should be approximately twice as large as may be
necessary where sewage temperatures are 55° to 60°F. (Figs. 22 and 48) .
Imhoff Tanks . Heat must be added to the sewage in an Imhoff tank, as
ordinarily designed, to make it operate properly. If sufficient heat is added
to permit mesophilic digestion of the sludge in the sludge digestion chamber,
excessive heat is lost to the effluent of the tank and the process becomes
economically unfeasible under low temperature conditions. An enclosure must
be provided to protect the tank from freezing, in addition to the heating of
the sludge compartment of the tank to permit mesophilic digestion. Utilizing
psychrophilic digestion, the sludge storage space would have to be almost three
times as great as is required for this process in the mesophilic range (Fig. 48).
Minimal heating of the raw sewage may be required to prevent freezing. Sedi–
mentation rates are only about 2/3 as great as at normal temperature, and the
sedimentation chamber must be increased in size accordingly. The size and
proportions of such a tank make it cumbersome for use in an enclosure. Further
research and investigation might reveal possibilities for use of certain psychro–
philic organisms for more efficient treatment of sewage in the Arctic.
Sewage Filters. Rapid filters with a magnetite, sand, or coal filtering
medium might be used under arctic conditions if all facilities are enclosed and
heated and careful operation is provided. Although experience with certain
filters has not been satisfactory in some places in temperate climates, it
appears that rates of filtration might be lowered as much as 30 to 40% at RELATION OF DIGESTION TANK CAPACITIES TO MEAN SLUDGE TEMPERATURE
(After Imhoff and Fair)
Fig. 48

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sewage temperatures of 32° to 35°F. as compared to rates at sewage temperatures
of 50°F. (Fig. 24). It appears that the maximum space may be conserved in the
enclosing structure if upflow-type fil f t ers are used.
Rapid filters of the vacuum type can possibly be used to great advantage
under low temperature conditions. However, an investigation should be made to
better determine their application under arctic conditions. They do not occupy
much space, and heating them should not be difficult, but their operation is
somewhat complicated as compared to other filtering methods. These filters
appear to be most suitable for the de-watering of sludge after either plain
or chemical precipitation.
Biological Treatment . Present-known biological methods for separation o f r
stabilization of sewage solids in suspension or in solution, such as contact
beds, trickling filters, and activated-sludge processes, will require modifi–
cation for use in the Arctic. Units must be housed properly and special arrange–
ments made for ventilation. Although Eddy and Fales (20) report that volumes
of air in the ratio of 3,250 parts air to 1 of water are necessary to impart the
same heat change in sewage, it must be remembered that extremely severe operating
conditions may be experienced in the Arctic and Subarctic. In Siberia, a tem–
perature of −89°F. is reported by Ko j zh inov; a temperature of −103°F. ? −94°F ? has been better restore original text. p. 103 original
reported at Oimekon . Alaska newspapers have reported that at Snag, Yukon
Territory, a temperature low of −81°F. has occurred; other sources have reported
the low at Snag to be −84°F. Such temperature would mean at least a minimum
difference of 113°F. between unheated ventilating air and minimum permissible
sewage temperature.
Pilot-plant studies should be made over an extended period of time before
biological treatment facilities are installed for use under arctic conditions.

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Chlorination of Sewage . Use of chlorine gas or similar disinfectants
may be indicated in some instances where a relatively safe effluent is re–
quired, and where sewage temperatures permit effective use of chlorine. It
is generally not necessary to chlorinate for odor control, although in
instances where little or no treatment is provided and dilution is insuffi–
cient, unsatisfactory conditions may occur. Ice cover during a great part
of the year may prevent re-aeration of the receiving water. Accumulations
of waste may give trouble during the warm period. Low temperature and rela–
tively high dissolved oxygen content of arctic waters tend to minimize the
immediate effects of pollution but greatly prolong self-purification of the
receiving water.
It appears that pathogenic bacteria in dilution water under much conditions
may remain viable for great lengths of time, and, where there is any possibility
of sewage wastes contaminating water or food sources, disinfection should be
provided for proper treatment of sewage wastes. The solubility of chlorine
in water is increased under low temperature conditions down to the point where
chlorine hydrate forms (Fig. 23) but the contact time must be lengthened
greatly over that at normal temperatures for proper results. Cold retards the
action of chlorine.
The pressure of chlorine gas at 70°F. is more than five times as great as
it is at 0°F., and special considerations must be given to control of chlorine–
dosing in arctic areas. Slight variations in temperature of the enclosing
structure may affect dosing equipment and vary dosage considerably.
Sludge Digestion . Tanks for separate sludge digestion by biological
processes require the use of considerable heat, but they may be useful in
certain instances even under arctic conditions. Heat losses for digestion in

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the thermophilic range may be so great that this range of digestion is probably
impractical. Digestion capacity for the mesophilic range at 40°F . must be
approximately twice that provided for digestion at 60°F. (Fig. 48). Since,
under arctic conditions, heating is necessary throughout the entire year
for optimum mesophilic digestion, it is possible that additional gas recovery
might more than offset operation at this temperature in certain instances.
Insulation of the digester, and efficiency and economy of heating methods
would have to be highly favorable for such operation. Digester capacity for
digestion at the optimum mesophilic temperature of 100°F. would be only
about one-quarter of the capacity required for digestion at 40°F. (Fig.48).
At present, known psychrophilic digestion is impractical, but it has been
suggested that further investigation should be made of the possibility of
more efficient use of this range. Properly digested sludge can be readily
dried and represents only approximately one-fourth of the volume of the
undigested sludge. This reduction in volume and resultant simplification of
final de-watering and incineration or burial represent an appreciable saving
in effort and money in ultimately disposing of the sludge.
Sludge Disposal . Ultimate disposal of sludge may be accomplished in
several ways, but under low temperature conditions de-watering and incineration
or filling appear to be the more positive means. Undigested sludge, except
for chemically precipitated sludge, contains sufficient fuel for incineration
without additional use of fuel except for certain periods, but the water content
may make incineration of it impractical. Chemically precipitated sludge does
not burn as readily as undigested sludge, and additional fuel must be added
for its incineration. Under arctic conditions, available gas from digestion
processes probably will not mee d t added fuel requirements necessary to incinerate

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digested sludge, and added fuel will be necessary for burning of digested
sludge.
Provision must be made for adequate preheating of cold air used for
drying and for combustion. Arctic air is comparatively low in moisture con–
tent and upon heating becomes very dry.
Drying of sludge on sand beds is generally impractical because of slow–
ness of evaporation, heating difficulties, and the water-logged conditions
of the soil during thawed periods.
GARBAGE AND REFUSE DISPOSAL
Refuse and garbage collection and disposal present somewhat different
problems in the Arctic from those encountered in temperate climates. Very
little readily combustible refuse is mixed with the garbage in native com–
munities, since the arctic dweller usually utilizes all combustible scrap
materials. The lack of commercially valuable woody plants in the Arctic, and
high costs of transportation of lumber and wood from other areas, tend to
cause all scraps to be utilized. Dunnage is frequently used for building
material to construct and repair homes. Almost any combustible material,
wood, paper, cardboard, etc., which is not suitable for construction or repair
material, is frequently used as fuel. Although coal, oil, and other fuels
are available, they are co n s tly, and combustible refuse helps keep to an
absolute minimum that portion of the very limited Eskimo income which must
be spend for fuel. Lack of combustible materials increases the difficulty
of incineration of garbage and refuse.
The early Eskimo method for disposal of the dead (48) may furnish some
clue to appropriate arctic garbage-disposal methods. The dead were decomposed

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by placing the corpse in a fetal position and leaving it exposed to the elements
several feet above the ground. The role of insects in use of such a practice
is not known, but it is quite probable that filth would be disseminated by
insects.
There are many insects in the Arctic, although the housefly is not common,
and rodents are prevalent in many arctic communities (62). Where garbage and
wastes are accessible to rodents and insects, problems similar to those found
in temperate climates may be expected in the Arctic.
GARBAGE COLLECTION
Very few of the smaller arctic communities have organized collection
systems for the removal of refuse and garbage. Accumulations of tin cans,
bones, and other waste materials are frequently found near the home of the
arctic dweller. Prevailing low temperatures tend to prevent obnoxious odors
during most of the year, and the people are not immediately reminded of these
unsightly conditions. Sled dogs eat whatever edible scraps of foods or meats
may be discarded near the homes.
Better organization of garbage and refuse collection and disposal systems
is apparent in recent years throughout arctic Alaska. In communities where
garbage and refuse are collected and hauled out of the community, these
wastes are usually thrown on a dump near the city or village, or they are
thrown into water courses or into shallow lakes or tidal waters if convenient.
Such disposal methods are highly undesirable under certain conditions, since they
may contaminate water supplies or serve as food for rodents, as well as become
unsightly and offensive during a part of the year. Tin cans and scrap metals
are not usually commercially salvagable in the Arctic because of local utiliza–
tion and the high cost of transportation.
A Refuse Dump in a Trailer Camp at Fairbanks, Alaska
Fig. 49

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Lack of streets and roads in many Eakimo communities and lack of order
in community arrangement make such a service difficult to provide. Many
communities are not platted and subdivided, and development is on a personal–
choice basis rather than according to plan. Community planning is usually
practiced to a certain extent in the larger communities.
Special equipment, suitable for operation under low temperatures and
designed for trav le el over tundra, is needed for collection and hauling by other
than dog teams. Refuse and garbage collection in cans, which must usually
be stored outside of heated structures, is complicated by the freezing of
wastes in the cans. In the past, this has been combatted by the use of
nonuniform containers for collection and by disposal of the container with
the garbage. Emptied oil barrels, etc., have been used for collection because
present economy does not permit their re-use as oil containers. These con–
tainers do not have fitted covers and are subject to depredation and spillage.
Can-washers on trucks are not practical under arctic conditions, and as
yet few arrangements have been made for central can-washing and emptying of
garbage such as had been done in the box and can sewage - disposal system.
SANITARY FILL
Burial of garbage and sanitary land-fill methods for garbage disposal do
not appear to offer any great promise, at the present time, as a means of
garbage and refuse disposal in the Arctic. Extended periods in which the
ground may be almost completely frozen down several hundred feet do not permit
ready use of this method. Stockpiling of earth for fill during the long winter
period is impractical because of excessive frost penetration and the resultant
complications and cost of earth movement. If the garbage is stockpiled for

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several months until it may be conveniently buried, the garbage might as well
be disposed of by plain dumping at the outset unless it is enclosed in rodent–
proof bins. Stockpiled garbage may be instrumental in the dissemination of
disease. It may serve as a source of food for rodents, dogs, or other
animals and may contaminate a water supply. Assimilation by the soil is
greatly retarded and the garbage is mostly preserved after burial rather n than
decomposed.
I t s the garbage is placed within the permafrost, preservation may be
almost complete. Rosenau reports the discovery of mastod e o n flesh and hide
intact after centuries of existence in the frozen state in Siberia.
OTHER METHODS OF GARBAGE DISPOSAL
Lack of domestic animals, such as hogs, throughout much of the Arctic,
and the small quantity of edible materials usually left in garbage make it
impractic a l e to try to feed garbage to pigs, chickens, etc.
Reduction of garbage and refuse materials is not economically feasible.
Fermentation processes for the destruction of garbage require considerable
heating over a long period of time and do not appear to present any advantages
over complete incineration.
Incineration appears to offer the most promise for disposal of refuse
and garbage in the Arctic where a properly controlled dump or dumping at sea
are objectionable. The small quantity of combustible material and the
frozen condition of much of the refuse and garbage may increase the cost of
incineration considerably above that for normal incineration.
Grinding of wastes for disposal along with sewage may be suitable in large
communities but does not appear to offer immediate promise for use in most
arctic communities.

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UTILITY CONSTRUCTION COSTS
Utility construction costs in the Arctic and Subarctic are affected
chiefly by such factors as the accessibility of the area to regular shipping
routes; local labor costs; local availability and demand for building mate–
rials and construction equipment; and the need for modification of standard
construction because of terrain, climate, or other factors.
In southeastern Alaska, which has ready access to year-round shipping
points, a fairly tight labor and materials market, a moderate climate, and
no special problems of terrain other than steep grades, construction costs
are approximately one and a half times as high as the average cost of utility
construction in continental United States (Fig. 50). The increase in cost
in this area is due chiefly to high shipping rates, high wages, and a con–
tinued demand for construction materials.
Construction costs in northern Alaska are five times as high as the
United States' average, and almost three and a half times the cost in south–
eastern Alaska. In the Fort Yukon area of Alaska, for example, all construc–
tion equipment and materials must be shipped by water to the nearest port on
the Gulf of Alaska at Seward, where all cargoes are transferred to the Alaska
railroad, taken to the Tanana River, put on the river boat downstream to the
Yukon River and then up to Fort Yukon. During the winter, in interior Alaska,
all materials must be transported by air or overland by dog sled. Otherwise
the equipment and materials must be flown directly from Outside points to
Fairbanks, and transplaned to Fort Yukon at relatively high air-freight rates.
Skilled labor forces for utility construction in the Fort Yukon area
are practically nonexistant, and workmen for any extensive project must be
imported to the area from elsewhere in the Territory or f or ro m continental
United States. In addition, Fort Yukon lies within the approximately 60% CONSTRUCTION COST
INDICES FOR ALASKA
Fig. 50

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of Alaska which is underlaid by permafrost. Permafrost complicates the task
of the design engineer, and raises the cost of construction accordingly.
Specially designed systems, such as recirculating or utilidor systems,
are usually necessary. Both systems are much more expensive than conven–
tional installations, as may be seen on Figure 51.
Figures 50 and 51 (21) were prepared from recent cost data available to
the Alaska Department of Health. It is realized that construction costs are as
shown cannot be more than general approximations because of the large number
of variables involved. However, these data indicate relatively high costs
for water and waste - disposal facilities in the Alaskan Arctic and Subarctic.
The four curves shown in Figure 51 indicate the approximate per capita cost
of constructing each of four types of community water or water - disposal systems
on the basis of population size. The map (Fig. 50) indicates the cost indices
which must be applied in different sections of Alaska. By way of illustration,
for approximation of the cost of constructing a recirculating water system in
Fairbanks, Alaska, data from Figures 50 and 51 are used as shown below:
Design population of Fairbanks 10,000
Per capita cost of utilidor system (curve 2 on Fig. 51) $69.00
Cost index for Fairbanks area (from Fig. 50) 3
Approximate cost $ 2,070,000.00
POPULATION IN THOUSANDS
Figure 51

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SUMMARY
Sanitary engineering in regions where the subsoil remains continuously
frozen is called Arctic Sanitary Engineering. In these regions temperature
is the initial variant from temperate climate conditions, but this results
in a changed exhibition of certain common phenomena. Biological and chemical
reactions are retarded and the physical state of fluids, soils, plastics,
and other materials are appreciably different. Heat conservation, humidity,
light, construction and operation costs, and the efficient use of materials
and resources assume significant proportions in sanitary engineering planning.
Communities and industry are developing in the Arctic despite the diffi–
culties associated with low temperature. People have been living in the
Arctic for many centuries. With appropriate modification, sanitary control
of the environment can be maintained in low temperature regions.
The history of diseases associated with faulty environment shows the
need for sanitary engineering in these regions.
Satisfactory water supplies are difficult to obtain. Many surface
supplies freeze and much of the ground water is in a frozen state. With
intelligent systematic search, suitable supplies may be found. The high
V v iscosity of water at low temperatures has an appreciable effect on certain
treatment practices, and design and operation must be adjusted accordingly.
Special provision must be made for the distribution of water in regions where
portions of the ground remain continuously frozen. Water may be heated and
circulated in the distribution system or it may be distributed from mains
placed in heated conduits : . Without such facilities the water must be dis–
pensed by carboy or tank truck.

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The soil does not assimilate wastes as readily under low temperature
conditions as it does under normal conditions. Bacteriological processes
involved in waste disposal are retarded by the low temperature. Special
arrangements for heating and additional capacity to accommodate retarded
processes must be provided.
Air temperatures and flows in sewers should be controlled to minimize
freezing. Sewers placed in permanently frozen ground must be constructed
so that alignment may be maintained. Special construction such as heated
conduits is sometimes employed in sewer construction. Potential danger of
contamination of potable water is present whenever sewers and water mains
are placed in the same heated conduit.
Unusual problems are presented in the disposal of garbage and refuse.
Such materials do not appear to decompose readily in the soil, and frozen
conditions make sanitary fill difficult. Yet, improperly handled garbage
may serve as food for rodents and may be instrumental in the spread of
infection. The arctic economy does not make reduction and salvage feasible.
Bacteriological processes are retarded. Fuel cost makes incineration
expensive.
CONCLUSIONS
( 1 ) Further research and investigation are indicated in practically every
phase of arctic sanitary engineering.
( 2 ) A thorough investigation of permafrost, ground temperature, and soil
characteristics in addition ot to usual investigations should precede
the construction of all arctic sanitary facilities.

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( 3 ) Where possible pilot facilities should be operated for at least one
year prior to the design and construction of permanent community
sanitary facilities.
( 4 ) Operation costs assume great importance under arctic conditions and
they should be carefully compared with construction costs in deter–
mining the most desirable design.
( 5 ) Practical experience indicates that the principles of arctic sanitary
engineering are no difference from those of temperate climate sanitary
engineering, but the application of those principles may vary signi–
ficantly from established practice.
( 6 ) The viscosity of water and sewage increases as temperature is lowered,
and this has a significant effect on the design and operation of all
treatment operations involving mixing, settling, and filtration.
( 7 ) Without special arrangements for heat conservation or heating, water
distribution lines, sewers and appurtenances will freeze under arctic
conditions.
( 8 ) Arctic waters do not readily show the immediate effects of pollution
with organic wastes but require a great length of time for recovery.
( 9 ) Incineration of garbage and refuse appears to offer the most promise
as a means of disposal where dumping at sea and burial cannot be used.
( 10 ) Utility construction costs in Alaska range from 1.5 to 5.0 times as
much as in continental United States.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Prescott, S.C. and Horwood, M.P. Sedgwick's Principles of Sanitary Science
and Public Health
. N.Y., Macmillan, 1935.

2. Stefansson, Vilhjalmur. Arctic Manual . N.Y., Macmillian, 1945.

3. Rosenau, M.J. Preventive Medicine and Hygiene . N.Y., Appleton-Century, 1935.

4. ----. Bibliography on Ice of the Northern Hemisphere . U.S. Navy Department.
H.O. Publ . 240. Wash.,D.C., G.P.O., 1945.

✓ t 5. ----. Russian Arctic Engineering Doc g t rine. A Bibliography . Fort Belvoir,
Virginia, Engineer School Library, Building 270. August, 1947.

6. Whittaker, H.A. Proposed Program of Research in Arctic Environmental
Sanitation
. Alaska. Department of Health. Division of Sanitation and
Engineering. Bull . Juneau, Alaska, Sept., 1948.

7. ----. Arctic Health Institute. Juneau, Alaska, 1949. Alaska. Department
of Health. Bull .

8. ----. General Information Regarding Alaska . Juneau, Alaska Planning
Council, 1941.

9. ----. Monthly Climatological Summary . Wash.,D.C., Weather Bureau, 1945-47.
Covers various Alaska stations.

10. Breed, R.S., Murray, E.G.D., and Hitchens, A.P. Bergey's Manual of
Determinative Bacteriology
. 6th ed. Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins,
1948.

11. Phelps, E.B. Stream Sanitation . N.Y., Wiley, 1944.

12. Alter, A.J. "Sanitary Surveys of Nome, Teller, Wales, Shishmaref, Deering,
Candle, Kiwalik, Selawik, Kiana, Noorvik, Køtzebue, Noatak, Kivaline,
Tigara, Wainwright, Barrow, Umiat, Mile 26, Ladd Field, Fairbanks,
College and Nenana, Alaska," Juneau Alaska. Department of Health.
Division of Sanitation and Engineering, Juneau (Unpublished reports.)

13. ----. Heating Ventilating Air Conditioning Guide . N.Y., American Society
of Heating and Ventilating Engineers, 1948.

14. Smith, P.S. Areal Geology of Alaska . Wash., D.C., G.P.O., 1949. U.S.
Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap Prof. Pap . 192.

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

15. Muller, S.W. Permafrost or Permanently Frozen Ground and Related
Engi [: ] n eering Problems . Ann Arbor, Mich., Edwards, 1947.

16. ----. "S t udies determine proper construction procedures in permafrost
areas," Civil Engng ., Easton, Pa. vol.17, no.7, pp. 29-31, July, 1947.

17. Robinson, R. "Permafrost arctic building problem," Constructor vol.29, no.6,
pp. 28-32, June, 1947.

18. ----. Water Quality and Treatment Manual . N.Y., American Water Works
Association, 1941.

19. Imhoff, Karl, and Fair, G.M. Sewage Treatment . N.Y., Wiley, 1940.

20. Metcalf, Leonard, and Eddy, H.P. American Sewerage Practics . N.Y.,
McGraw-Hill, 1935. Vol.3.

21. ----. Community Facilities in Alaska . Juneau, Alaska, 1949. Alaska.
Department of Health. Bull .

22. Spofford, C.M. "Low temperatures in inaccessible arctic inflate construction
costs," Civil Engng ., Easton, Pa., vol.19, pp.12-15, Jan., 1949.

23. ----. "Soap and water," Alaska's Hlth . vol.6, no.1, Jan., 1948.

24. Totter, J.R., and Shukers, C.F. "Nutrition surveys of Eskimos," Ibid .
vol. 6, no.10, Oct., 1948.

25. ----. "Well known facts that aren't so," Ibid . vol.2, no.1, Jan., 1944.

26. ----. Public Health Progress in Alaska . Juneau, Alaska, 1949. Alaska.
Department of Health. Bull .

27. Kozhinov, V.E. Russian Water Supply Systems in Areas Where the Ground is
Perpetually Frozen
. (Unpublished Paper.)

28. Perry, A.H. "Water works and S s ewerage practices in areas of perpetually
frozen ground in Canada." (Personal Communications to Alaska
Department of Health.)

29. Lambert, L.E. "Sanitary surveys of Bethel and McGrath, Alaska," Juneau,
Alaska. Department of Health. Division of Sanitation and Engineering . , Juneau.
(Unpublished reports.)

30. Waring, G.A. Mineral Springs of Alaska . Wash., D.C., G.P.O., 1917. U.S.
Geol.Surv. Wat.Supp.Pap . 418.

31. Lewin, J.D. "Essentials of foundation design in permafrost," Public Wks .
vol.79, pp.28-30, Feb., 1948.

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

32. ----. "Test study of foundation design for permafrost conditions,"
Engng.News Rec . vol.193, no.12, pp.404-407, Sept. 18, 1947.

33. Andriashev, M.M. "Symposium. (Municipal Construction)," Kommunstroi , 1935.

34. Fritz, M.H. "Corneal opacities among Alaska natives," Alaska's Hlth .
vol.5, no. 12, Dec., 1947.

35. ----. Operations in Snow and Extreme Cold . Wash.,D.C., G.P.O., 1944.
U.S. War Department. Basic Field Manual. FM 70-15.

36. ----. "Sanitary surveys of Unalakleet, Hooper Bay, Dillingham, [: ]
Naknek, Kodiak, Palmer, Anchorage, and Several Other Alaska
Communities," Juneau, Alaska. Department of Health. Division of
Sanitation and Engineering . , Juneau. (Records) 1936-1939.

37. Alter, A.J. "Water supply problems of the Arctic, " Alaska's Hlth . vol.7,
no.3, Mar., 1949.

38. Ellsworth, C.E., and Davenport, R.W. Surface Water Supply of the Yukon–
Tanana Region, Alaska
. Wash., D.C., G.P.O., 1915. U.S. Geol.Surv.
Wat.Supp.Pap . 342.

39. ----. "Earth-fill dam built on frozen ground," Engng.News Rec . vol.140,
no.6, pp.182-184, Feb. 5, 1948.

40. Barnes, H.T. Ice Engineering . Montreal, Renouf, 1928.

41. Chernyshev, M.J. "Searth for underground water in perpetually frozen areas,"
Amer.Wat.Wks.Ass., J . vol.27, no.4, p. 581, April, 1935.

42. Fagin, K.M. "Petroleum development in Alaska," Petrol.Engr ., Aug., Sept.,
Oct., and Dec., 1947.

43. Willson, C.O. "Full-scale exploration under way by Navy in arctic Alaska,"
Oil & O G as J ., Aug. 9, 16, 23, 1947.

44. Morley, L.A. "Typhoid outbreak at Nenana, Alaska," Alaska. Department of
Health. Division of Senitation and Engineering . , Juneau. (Unpublished report.)

45. Williams, K R .B. "Echinococcosis or hydatid disease," Alaska's Hlth .
vol. 6, no.2, 1948.

46. ----. "As a newcomer sees us," Ibid . vol.1, no.4, Sept., 1943.

47. Williams, R.B. "Tularaemia in Alaska," Ibid . vol.3, no.12, Dec., 1945.

48. Aronson, J.D. "The history of disease among the natives of Alaska," Ibid .
vol.5, no.3, Mar., 1947.

EA-I. Alter: Sanitary Engineering

49. Taber, Stephen. "Some problems of road construction and maintenance in
Alaska," Public Rds ., Wash. vol. 23, no.9, pp.247-251, July, Aug.,
Sept., 1943.

50. ----. Construction of Runways, Roads, and Buildings on Permanently
Frozen Ground
. Wash.,D.C., G.P.O., 1945. U.S. War Department.
Technical Bull. TB 5-255-3.

51. Lambert, L.E. "Municipal water treatment in western Alaska," Alaska's
Hlth
. vol.6, no.3, Mar., 1948.

52. Chernyshev, M.J. "Water services in regions with perpetually frozen ground,"
Amer.Wat.Wks.Ass. J . vol.22, no.7, p.899, July, 1930.

53. Hyland, W.L., and Mellish, M.H. "Steam heated conduits--utilidors--protect
service pipes from freezing," Civil Engng ., Easton, Pa. vol.19,
pp.15-17, 61, Jan., 1949.

54. Hardenbergh, W.A. "Arctic sanitation," Amer.J.Public Hlth . vol.39, no.2, Feb.,
1949.

55. U.S. Navy Department. Bureau of Yards and Docks. Cold-Weather Engineering .
Wash.,D.C., The Department, 1948-1949. Its Navdocks P-17.

56. Hardenbergh, W.A. "Protection against freezing," Water Wks. e E ngng .
Feb. 26, 1941, p.253.

57. DuFreane, Frank. Mammals and Birds of Alaska . Wash., D.C., G.P.O., 1942.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Circular 3.

58. Alaska. Department of Health. Biennial Report July 1, 1944 to June 30, 1946 .
Juneau, Alaska, 1947.

59. Wak e s man, S.A., and Starkey, R.L. The Soil and the Microbe . N.Y., Wiley,
1947.

60. Alaska. Department of Health. Biennial Report July 1, 1946 to June 30 ,
1948 . Juneau, Alaska, 1949.

61. Echelberger, E.E. "Waste disposal at 55° below," Alaska's Hlth . vol.5,
no.3, Mar., 1947.

62. Shelesnyak, M.C. Across the Top of the World . Wash., D.C., G.P.O., August,
1947. U.S. Navy Department. Office of Naval Research. Navexos P-489.

Amos J. Alter

Arctic Insect Pests and Their Control

EA-I. (Leo A. Jachowski, Jr.)

ARCTIC INSECT PESTS AND THEIR CONTROL

CONTENTS
Page
Protection for the Individual 2
Treatment of Fly Bites 5
Protection of Quarters 6
Area Insect Control 8
Mosquitoes 9
Mosquito Control 11
Black Flies 13
Black Fly Control 14
Biting Midges 15
Control of Midges 16
Horseflies and Deer Flies 16
Control of Horseflies 17
Snipe Flies 17
Bluebottle Flies and Flesh Flies 17
Control of Filth Flies 18
Bibliography 19

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Posts

Protection for the Individual . In many areas personal protection
from the swarms of biting insects is a necessity. Adequate protection for
most of the body can be obtained by a careful selection of clothing. It
has been known for many years that white, khaki, and certain other light
colors will attract fewer mosquitoes than will black and other dark colors.
Research during World War II has shown that byrd cloth and several other
tightly-woven fabrics provide excellent mechanical barriers to biting
insects. Zippered or pull-over shirts are preferable to the buttoned
type. The protection is increased further if the clothing fits loosely
rather than tightly against the body. Ankles can be covered by tucking
trousers into socks or by wearing leggings, and wrists can be protected
to some extent by having the cuffs of the outer garment fitted tightly.
Thus, by judicious selection and wearing of clothing, all but the hands
and face can be covered sufficiently to prevent insects from biting.
These exposed surfaces can be protected either by wearing headnets and
gloves with gauntlets or by using one of the more efficient insect
repell a e nts.

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Pests

When headnets are used, they should stand out from the fac t e so that
they do not touch the skin. It is most practical to wear them over a hat
with a brim. They can be sewed directly to the crown of the hat or attached
with an elastic band that fits snugly to the crown. At the bottom there
should be a strip of strong cloth encasing a drawstring for tying snugly
at the collar. With a broad coil of lightweight flat steel wire fastened
on the inside, the net will stand out from the face, and at the same time
will allow it to be packed flat. The nets should be made of the best grade
of fine-meshed bobbinet, having at least 18 meshes to the inch, for ordinary
mosquito netting is too coarse and too easily torn. Visibility through nets
is improved by dyeing them black. In wooded country, large r nets, which
provide better ventilation, are cumbersome and are easily snagged. The most
durable and airy headnets are made of wire screen with cloth and drawstring
at the bottom.
Gloves are necessary when the insect pests are really numerous. Old
kid gloves with a six-inch cloth gauntlet closing the gap at the wrist, and
ending with an elastic band halfway to the elbow, are best. Cotton work–
gloves are better than no protection at all, but mosquitoes can bite through
them. However, treating the gloves with insect repellent will increase the
protection. For delicate work, kid gloves with the fingers out off are
good. Use of insect repellent on the fingers is advocated.

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Pests

Insect repellents serve but one purpose - to keep the pests from
biting. They may be applied either to the clothing or directly to the skin,
preferably both. The application of repellent by hand to the outside of the
clothing, especially across the shoulders, around the waist and on the seat
of the trousers has definite protective value. The new synthetic chemicals
now used as repellents are liquids which have been found safe for use on
human skin. However, most of them have two disadvantages in that they irri–
tate the mucous membrances of the eyes and lips on contact and that they
dissolve plastics. The most satisfactory materials which are commercially
available are dimethyl phthalate, 6-12 (2-ethyl hexanediol- 1,3), 6-2-2
(a mixture containing dimethyl phthalate, 6-12, and Indalone), and 448
(a mixture of 2-phenyl cyclohexanol and 2-cyclohexyl cyclohexanol).
There is little apparent difference in the effectiveness against
mosquitoes of the four standard repellents noted above under conditions of
actual use. With a heavy and aggressive population of mosquitoes, and normal
activity of the individual in field work, the best of the repellents may
require renewal at least as often as once every hour. Under severe conditions
--perspiration, working in water or through heavy vegetation, and with very
heavy insect pressure--the period of adequate protection may be further
reduced.

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Pests

Dimethyl phthalate appears to be the best repellent for protection
against black flies. Experimentally, protection for 6½ hours was obtained,
but under working conditions protection is reduced to an hour or less (7).
Since black flies persist in getting inside clothing and biting there,
repellents applied to the exposed skin and to the outside of clothing do
not always give complete protection from bites.
When these newer synthetic chemical repellents are not available,
home remedies may be used. Oil of tar and oil of lavender protect against
black flies; citronella against mosquitoes; and creosote, spirits of camphor,
and oil of cedar against biting midges.
Treatment of Fly Bites . The itching and pain of insect bites can be
alleviate s d by use of Circa 42, a remedy developed by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (11) which contains :
n n -butyl- p p -aminobenzoate ( "B b utesin " ) 100 gm. — —
benzyl alcohol 170 cc.
anhydrous lanolin (melted) 22 cc.
cornstarch 640 gm.
sodium lauryl sulfonate 64 gm.
The material is applied in a moderately thick layer to skin moistened
slightly with water. Relief should be obtained in less than 30 minutes.
If this formula is not available, cold wet compresses made with baking soda
or weak ammonia water, glycerine, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, one percent
solution of menthol in alcohol, and even moist toilet soap will offer some relief.

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Posts

Protection of Quarters . The insect problem in the Arctic and Subarctic
can be reduced if quarters can be located on wind-swept ridges near the coast,
or in widely cleared areas in timberlands. If such location is impossible,
quarters should be protected either by screening or by frequent use of in–
secticides.
In permanent quarters, insect screens made of noncorrosive weather–
resistant material (copper, bronze, aluminum, or plastic) having at least
18 meshes to the inch should be provided. Standard 18-meah wire screen
with a wire diameter of 0.009 to 0.010 inch and meshes 0.0456 inch across,
will exclude most of the insect pests. If copper screen is used, the frames
should be painted with lead - base paint and fastened with nongalvanized nails.
Electrolytic reactions between copper screen and zinc - base paint and galvan–
ized nails will cause the screens to separate from the frame (9). Screen
doors should open outwardly. All rents and tears in screens should be repaired promptly.
The entrance to tents can be screened by the addition of a bobbinet
curtain weighted with shot or of a solid bobbinet panel pierced by a cir–
cular opening which can be closed with a drawstring. Further protection is
afforded by the addition of a complete floor or of cloth extensions,
approximately 12 inches wide, extending inwardly from each wall and anchored
to the ground.

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Pests

If screens are not available or if the quarters are temporary,
insecticides should be used. Application of five percent DDF in kerosene
to walls and ceilings as a residual spray for mosquitoes and non - biting
flies is highly effective. DDT in diesel oil may be used where staining
is not objectionable. When applied at the dosage of one quart of five
percent DDT to 250 square feet, the residue is usually effective for the
entire insect season. Tents and sleeping bags can be similarly treated.
Three quarts of a five percent solution will properly treat a 16 by 16
pyramidal tent. In applying a residual coating of DDT, the spray should
thoroughly wet the surfaces but should not run off.
Cylindrical sprayers (3-gallon capacity) equipped with fan nozzles
are excellent for this purpose. Continuous pressure hand-sprayers (2-quart
capacity) are second choice. Nozzles giving a coarse, wet spray are
preferred. While spraying they should be held about a foot from the surface
being sprayed. Air pressure should not exceed 40 pounds per square inch.
Finely atomized sprays, such as those produced by aerosol dispensers
( a A erosol "bomb s ") and paint sprayers, are not suitable for this type of
application but are recommended for the application of space sprays to
kill insects while flying.

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Pests

The five percent solution of DDT used for residual spraying is pre–
pared by adding ten pounds of DDT to each 25 gallons of kerosene. A
general utility spray to be sprayed directly in the air or on the insects
contains one percent DDT and 2.5 percent thiocyanate insecticide or 0.1
percent pyrethrin e s in refined kerosene. Whenever those materials are used
in enclosed spaces all flames should be extinguished and the quarters aired
before fires are lighted.
The ancient practice of burning pyrethrum or jimson weed will suffice
if sprays are not available. As a last resort, smudges will repel insects
but are usually irritating to the men as well. Built in a pail or pot, a
bucket smudge is very useful since it can be moved if the wind shifts or
can be taken inside quarters until the insect pests are driven out. Two
inches of sand or soil should be placed in the bottom of the bucket before
the fire is started. The smudge is completed by adding green vegetation,
damp leaf mold, or rotten wood to a burning fire.
Area Insect Control . Control of arctic and subarctic insect pests
within a defined area has become feasible by the development in recent years
of DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) and of new methods of dispersal.
The methods and equipment necessary to achieve a reduction in the insect
population are constantly being improved (10). Because of the difficulties
involved in surface transportation, serial spraying appears to be most
suitable, provided adequate landing strips for the planes are not too distant.
A wide variety of aircraft and of spray equipment have been tried in experi–
mental work (2), with the larger planes favored because of their greater
load capacity.

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Pests

Control measures are based upon a knowledge of the biology of the
pests. At present this basic information is incomplete for the arctic
pests, and control measures are necessarily subject to improvement. Some
experimental work in the Arctic and Subarctic, together with data on
similar pests in other parts of the world form the basis for tentative
recommendations.
Mosquitoes (Family Culicidse) . Over most of the land areas of the
Arctic, mosquitoes are the most important problem. On the tundra all the
known species of mosquitoes appear to belong to a single genus ( Aedes ),
but in the forested areas several genera ( Aedes, Culex, Anopheles , and
Culiseta ) comprise the mosquito fauna.
Mosquitoes of the tundra have but a single generation annually and
overwinter in the egg stage. Eggs are deposited in the summer in muck or
on water. The following spring they hatch as soon as the water around them
thaws. In northern Alaska, it has been observed that larvae are absent in
large bodies of water which are subjected to continuous wind and wave action,
and in the smaller pockets of water between hummocks which are slow to
thaw (3). Since these types of water represent a large percentage of the
total water surface, mosquito breeding is not ubiquitous, as formerly
believed. The immature aquatic stages are completed in approximately 30 days,
after which adult mosquitoes emerge. Consequently for a period of about one
month after the thaw the tundra is free of mosquitoes. Emergence of all
mosquitoes is completed within a period of two weeks, after which time no
aquatic forms can be found.

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Pests

Wind velocity and temperature noticeably influence the activity of
flying mosquitoes. They are most troublesome on clear, warm days when the
wind velocity is less than five miles per hour, but they disappear when
velocities exceed ten miles per hour and when the temperature is less than
45 ° F. or greater than 80 ° F.
The source of blood meals for the myriads of mosquitoes on the tundra
has not been determined. If such meals are necessary to produce eggs, there
is an abundant supply of birds and mammals to provide them.
Mosquitoes of the subarctic regions are usually either arctic species
or temperate species which have adapted themselves to a slightly different
environment. As in the temperate zone, a wide variety of breeding sites are
used, varying with the species. Some, such as Culiseta , Anopheles , and Culex ,
apparently overwinter in sheltered places as adults. Consequently, they
appear soon after the spring thaw and the biting season lasts from thaw until
the first freeze. Eggs are laid early in the season and the larval and pupal
stages are passed in a month or less. The resulting adjults overwinter again.
The Aedes overwinter as larvae and follow the same life history as the arctic
forms.

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Pests

Mosquito Control . Until recently, mos q uito control in the arctic and
subarctic regions was considered impossible, and the permanent measures,
such as draining, filling, and flushing , are still impracticable. However,
progress has been made in the development of temporary control measures.
The most promising approach appears to be the prehatching application of
DDT in the winter or early spring to the ice and snow covering mosquito
covering mosquito breeding places. Highly effective control of mosquito
breeding has been obtained with as little as 0.1 pound of DDT per acre
applied in emulation and in water-dispersible forms and with 0.25 pound
of DDT per acre applied in oil solution (7). In view of the difficulty
attending ground movement after the spring thaw, this procedure appears
more likely to achieve complete control than treat e ments made after larval
development has begun. Aerial spraying is preferred, however, especially
where large areas are involved.
Larviciding, after the thaw, not only is more difficult to conduct
but requires a heavier dosage of DDT. When applied from the ground, 0.2
pound of DDT per acre, either as emulsion or fuel oil solution, gives
complete kill of larvae in most areas, but 0.4 pound per acre is required
when mosquito breeding occurs in the moss-heath associations of the tundra
(10). Aerial spraying requires a minimum concentration of 0.5 pound of DDT
per acre. Pure diesel oil, often used as a larvicide in the tropics, is
not effective in the Arctic because the low temperature of the water
prevents proper spreading of the oil film (3).

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Pests

In the arctic tundra regions, where all mosquitoes seem to have but
a single brood annually, the prehatching larvicide should suffice, if a
large enough area is treated. The extent of this area has not been
determined, for the flight ranges of the mosquitoes are unknown. However,
the available evidence indicates that the area will be in terms of square
miles rather than acres. In the subarctic regions, secondary sprayings
must be made to destroy the larvae of mosquitoes which overwintered as
adults.
Sprays of DDT dispersed from planes will markedly reduce the adult
mosquito population if the area sprayed is sufficiently large. Five percent
solution of DDT in fuel oil applied aerially in a dosage of 0.2 pound of
DDT per acre over a 2.5 square mile area has yielded a 75-80 percent
reduction in the mosquito density for five days (3). After this interval,
mosquitoes migrate into the treated area from outside. If the area is less
than one square mile, the effects of spraying are lost in 24 hours.
Black Flies (Family Simuliidae) . ("buffalo gnats", "humpbacks",
"white-s i o x"). Various species of Simulium , Eusimulium , and Prosimulium
commonly known as black flies occur in enormous swarms, causing great
annoyance. While usually found near running water, these insects may be
numerous a mile or two away, presumably in search of food. They are more
serious as pests in the forested areas than on the open tundra. The females
of many species are vicious biters during daylight or bright moonlight hours.
While some species prefer to attack eyes, ears, and nostrils, most will bite
any exposed skin surfaces. The bite is painlessly inflicted, but soon the
site becomes painful and swollen, and itching sores may develop and persist
for several days.

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Pests

Immature forms of black flies develop in running water. Some species
prefer swift, cold streams, while others select more slowly - moving water.
Eggs (usually about 400 per female) which are deposited in masses on aquatic
plants, logs, and water-splashed rocks, hatch after an incubation period
which varies from four to thirty days, depending on the temperature and
activity of the water. The newly - hatched larvae then attach themselves
by means of silken threads to submerged rocks and logs where they undergo
both larval and pupal development.
Some species have two or three overlapping generations annually,
emerging from early spring until late fall, while others have but a single
generation which emerges about a month after spring thaw. Adult flies
persist in annoying numbers until frost (6). From the available information,
black flies appear to overwinter in the egg and larval stages of development.

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Pests

Black Fly Control . Area spraying either from the ground or from the
air to kill adult black flies has not proved very satisfactory, but destruc–
tion of the aquatic larval forms is effective. Where only one breed of
black flies emerges annually, a single treatment of the streams should
markedly reduce the pest problem. More frequent treatments (probably
monthly) are necessary when two or more generations emerge in a season.
When black flies are the only important post, control work can be limited
to the treatment of streams with insecticides. A five percent solution of
DDT in kerosene or fuel oil applied to streams in concentrations of one part
per million for 15 minutes has been effective against black fly larvae in
Alaskan streams (1). The dosage must be very carefully controlled in waters
where game fish are important, for ten parts per million of DDT will also
kill fish (5). When area spraying is employed and DDT is applied at a rate
of 0.5 pound per acre, sufficient insecticide will be deposited in black fly
streams to kill larvae and keep the streams free of black flies for the
season. Although not yet commercially available in large quantities, TDE
(trichloro-diphonyl-ethane) has proved to be more toxic to the larvae and
less toxic to fish than DDT (4).

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Posts

Biting m M idges (Family Heleidae) . ("punkies", "no-see-ums") . The blood-
sucking species of Culicoides are the smallest of the biting flies. Although
their distribution is usually limited to a two-mile range from breeding sites,
within those areas they constitute a serious pest problem. The biology of
arctic and subarctic Culicoides has not been studied in detail and very little
is known of their taxonomy, distribution , or habits. In North America,
Culicoides obsoletus, C. yukonensis , and C. tristriatulus are abundant and
are serious pests (8). The former two species select inland fresh water
marshes while the latter prefers salt marshes and tidal flats of the coastal
areas. Eggs are laid and larvae develop in moist decaying humu e s . Th ye ey
probably overwinter in immature stages of development (eggs or larvae), since
the adults do not appear immediately after the thaw.
As with the other biting flies, only the females of Culicoides are
pests. When the air is calm, they will bite any part of the body to which
they gain access; in a light breeze they collect on the legs, and in a
strong breeze they are absent. Maximum activity of biting midges is between
6 P.M. and 1 A.M. and seems to be correlated with reduced air movement, tem–
perature, and light intensity, and increased relative humidity (8).

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Pests

Control of Midges. Culicoides can be controlled by serial spraying
p o f DDT in fuel oil at the rate of 0.5 pound DDT per acres over a square
mile area. Experimental spraying in New Hampshire against C. obsoletus
has resulted in a 99.2 percent reduction in biting midges in 12 hours and
an appreciable reduction in the population for 1.5 months (4). Spraying
from the ground has not proved as successful, primarily because of trans–
portation problems over difficult terrain. Appreciable reduction in the
numbers of biting midges were observed for 24-hour periods after spraying
in Alaska, but infiltration of insects from inaccessible areas was rapid.
Horse F f lies and Deer Flies (Family Tabanidae) ("bulldogs ", ," "moose -
flies ", ," "gadflies"). The small deer flies of the genus Chrysops and the
massive horse flies of the genus Tabanus are very numerous over most of
the arctic region, but they are not serious human posts. In certain
subarctic areas, however, they do cause considerable annoyance and pain.
Female flies silently inflict a painful bite and the large puncture may
bleed for some time after the fly has completed its blood meal.
Larval life of these flies is passed in the water or in wet soil.
Eggs are glued in masses, usually in a single layer by species of Chrysops
and in several layers by those of Tabanus , to rocks or vegetation over–
hanging water. The egg stage is short, usually less than two weeks. Upon
hatching, the larvae drop into the water or on the moist ground. Larvae
are usually predaceous and require at least one and more probably two years
to complete development. Nature L l arvae migrate to drier soil where they
pupate, and after a week or two the adult fly emerges.

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Pests

Control of Horse F f lies and Deer Flies . No successful methods of
controlling this group of flies has been developed. Drainage of swamps
has proved valuable in reducing the numbers of Tabanidae in subarctic
regions, and oiling of water surfaces, especially with kerosene, also
has shown some promise.
Snipe Flies (Family Rhagionidae ). Snipe flies are not commonly
known because of their limited distribution. Aggressive, they inflict
bites silently and suddenly on exposed parts of the body. Nothing is
known of the breeding habits or life history of these pests, except that
their predaceous larvae breed in mo i st soil. Consequently, until more
biological data is available, control measures cannot be defined.
Blue - bottle Flies (Family Calliphoridae) and Flesh Flies (Family
Sarcophagidae). The large metallic blue - bottle flies and the equally
distinctive flesh flies with gray and black "checker-board" appearance
are considered together because of their breeding habits. Adults of both
groups feed on filth and their larvae (maggots) develop in carrion and
animal excrement. In the Arctic, overwintering apparently occurs in either
the egg or early larval stages of development. Adults appear four to six
weeks after the thaw. They tend to swarm near the breeding place e s until
new sources of food are located. These flies can travel several miles
from their breeding place in search of food. In subarctic areas these
and several other forms of blow - flies and flesh flies with similar habits
are abundant.

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Inspect Pests

Control of Filth Flies . Prevention of fly breeding is the simples t
and most effective manner of controlling fifth flies. Sanitary disposal
of garbage and human ex c reta is not always possible in the Arctic. Mere
removal of these waste s from the camp area is not sufficient, and burial
of the materials is impractical. If camp is located near swiftly running
water, they may be emptied there and quickly washed away. When store s d
during the winter months, they should be dumped as soon as the thaw permits.
If such disposal is impractical, sanitary wastes should be removed from the
camp area and sprayed heavily with a five percent solution of DDT in kerosene
or fuel oil. Drums used to transport garbage and excrement must be cleaned
by washing or by burning them out at least at monthly intervals. Privies,
particularly attractive to flies, should be treated with a residual spray–
ing of a five percent solution of DDT in kerosene. One treatment will
suffice for the entire season. The practice of urinating or defecating
in the snow near quarters during the winter may be convenient, but it will
attract swarms of flies in the spring.
Foods, especially moats, should be stored in screened, fly - proof
containers to prevent contamination by the flies.
Leo A. Jachowski, Jr.

EA-I. Jachowski: Arctic Insect Pests

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Gjullin, C.M., Cope, O.B., Quisenberry, B.F., and DuChan l o is, F.R. "The
effect of some insecticides on black fly larvae in Alaskan streams,"
J.Econ.Ent . (In press)

2. Husman, C.N., Longcoy, O.M., and Hensley, H.S. Equipment for the Dispersal
of Insecticides by Means of Aircraft
. National Research Council,
Insect Control Committee. Report no. 151, Dec. 6, 1945.

3. Jachowski, Jr., L.W., and Schultz, C. "Notes on the biology and control of
mosquitoes of at Umiat, Alaska," Mosquito News . (In press)

4. Kindler, J.B., and Regan, F.R. Black Fly Studies in New Hampshire during
1947
. Wash., D.C., 1948. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Interim Report
no.0-134, May 3, 1948.

5. Prevost, G. "DDT-effects on fish and control of black fly population,"
Quebec. Fish and Game Department. Report for Year Ending March 31,
1946
, pt.5(c), pp.77-86.

6. Twinn, C.R. "The black flies of eastern Canada (Simulidae, Diptera),"
Canad.J.Res . D, vol.14, pp.97-150, 1936.

7. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Joint United States-Canadian Biting Fly Survey
and Experimental Control at Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, 1947
.
Wash.,D.C., 1947. Its Interim Report no.0-129, Dec. 24, 1947.

8. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Progress Report of the Alaska Insect Control
Project for 1947
. Wash., D.C., 1947. Its Interim Report no. 0-128,
Nov. 19, 1947.

9. U.S. Dept. of the Army. Insect and Rodent Control, Repairs and Utility .
Wash.,D.C., June, 1940. Its Technical Manual TM 5-632.

10. U.S. Entomology and Plant Quarantine Bureau. DDT and other Insecticides
and Repellents Developed for the Armed Forces
. Wash.,D.C., August,
1946. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Miscellaneous Publication
no.606.

11. Yeager, J.F., and Wilson, C.S. "Circa 42, a new itch remedy," J.Lab.Clin.Med .
vol.29, pt.2, pp.177-78, 1944.

L. A. Jachowski
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