Planning for water and sewer systems at Mertavik is critical to efficient, orderly development at Mertarvik. Because homes at Newtok are not plumbed for water and wastewater, the ability to have these amenities at Mertarvik is extremely important to the community. The community has been considering alternative systems that that the community is able to operate, and maintain.
Mertarvik is blessed with a pristine ground water source and topography that lends itself well to gravity-fed water and sewer systems. Engineers have suggested that locating the base of the community water storage tank at least 150 feet above the elevation of the foundation of the highest home in the village would allow for a completely gravity-driven water distribution system that will provide sufficient pressure (60 psi at the highest point of the system) for residential use. Once the water from the community well is pumped up to the storage tank, there will be no electrical requirements.
Two wells drilled at Mertarvik indicate there may not be a need for a water treatment plant. The well water is high quality as the levels of Primary Inorganic Chemical Contaminants are all below the regulatory standard. Since this is a ground water source, the distribution system may not need to be chlorinated either.
The first test well drilled at Mertarvik. Photo: Sally Russell Cox
Drill rigs near the Mertarvik Evacuation Center. Photo: Bob Lundell, DOT/PF
Division of Community and Regional Affairs
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1640
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 269-4588 FAX: (907) 269-4066