Clean, safe, reliable water. It’s essential for life and is often taken for granted. The original water supply for Old Crow, Yukon, was drilled through 90 metres of permafrost and included a small truckfill station constructed above the well. The 30-year-old pumphouse was in poor condition, situated on the flood plain, and lacked a redundant water supply.
We were retained by Yukon Government to assess alternate pumphouse locations, water treatment options, and provision of redundant water supply. Our challenges? The accessible-by-air-only location, flood plains, permafrost, thawing a frozen water well, extreme climate conditions, and maintaining operation of the existing facility while constructing the new plant.
The new plant was designed to fit in a Hercules aircraft, and structural insulated panels were used to speed construction and improve quality. The building was built on an elevated steel foundation with the floor above the 100-year flood level (also protecting the permafrost). To address water supply redundancy, a previously drilled frozen artesian water well was thawed and put to use.
The new water system is now serving the community of Old Crow with fresh water, every day.