The public's investment in AWWU’s two water treatment and three wastewater treatment facilities, water and sewer mains, laboratories, reservoirs and other buildings is over $8 billion. More than 50 million gallons of treated potable water can be stored in reservoirs strategically situated throughout AWWU’s distribution system. The Utility and invests over $50 million in capital projects annually to ensure its water and wastewater systems perform efficiently.
AWWU provides best-in-class service as measured against industry benchmarks such as drinking water compliance rate, water quality complaints, water pipeline breaks, unplanned service disruptions, compliance with discharge permits, collection system failures, and sewer overflows. However, the working systems required to provide water and sewer service are aging and will require significant annual capital investments to maintain current service levels.
Anchorage water system’s physical assets are considered to have about one-half of their useful lives consumed. The water transmission and distribution system pipe network consists of over 842 miles of pipe, has a weighted average age of over 35 years. Other water system assets include treatment facilities, reservoirs, wells, booster stations, and major valve vaults of varying age, but collectively, have reached one-half of their useful lives and undergone or have been scheduled for major re-investment in the next 5-10 years.
Anchorage’s sewer pipe network has over 757 miles of pipe, and, again, has collectively serviced our community for over one-half of its estimated useful pipeline lives; and three-fifths of the estimated useful lives of the Municipality’s three sewer facilities – Asplund near Pt. Woronzof, Eagle River and Girdwood Wastewater Treatment Facilities.
In the Anchorage Bowl, more than $40 million of treatment plant investment over the past decade has included new headworks, solids handling upgrades, building improvements and liquid processing improvements at the Asplund. In Eagle River, new process improvements and support systems - UV disinfection, mechanical and HVAC systems worth over $3 million - were built. Girdwood WWTF has been providing service for 30 years old and is reaching the end of its useful life. Its wastewater discharge permit is administratively extended pending reissuance by Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC). The Utility is working closely with ADEC to ensure a proposed upgrade to the facility is consistent with terms and conditions of the new permit, when it is reissued.