John M. Asplund Wastewater Treatment Facility
The John M. Asplund Wastewater Treatment Facility, built in 1972, is Alaska's largest wastewater treatment facility. As wastewater treatment technology has evolved and the demands of the community have grown, the John M. Asplund facility has kept pace. It was upgraded in the mid-1980s to a 58 million gallon per day facility. Ingenuity and extensive maintenance have consistently enabled AWWU to operate this facility at its optimum level. Over the years, Asplund has been the recipient of a Platinum and numerous Silver and Gold Peak Performance awards from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).
The extreme high tides and natural water flow of Cook Inlet complement the treatment process. These factors allow the John M. Asplund facility's treated effluent to be discharged into Cook Inlet with no adverse effect to the environment. The dynamics of Cook Inlet, the high level of primary treatment removal of biological and particulate matter, and chlorine disinfection allowed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue Anchorage a deviation from secondary treatment requirements under the Clean Water Act, Section 301(h). To continue operating under the deviation, AWWU maintains an extensive marine monitoring program. The program makes certain that the treatment facility's discharge has no negative impact to the environment of Cook Inlet.
Treatment at the Highest Standards
AWWU's Eagle River and Girdwood Wastewater Treatment Facilities are modern, tertiary (three stage) treatment plants. Their effluent discharge into Eagle River and Glacier Creek respectively, is near drinking water quality. The Eagle River Wastewater Treatment Plant was expanded in 1991 to 2.5 MGD for enough capacity long into the future. In 1995 it received EPA's Medium Plant of the Year award for the Pacific Northwest/Alaska Region. Girdwood has a treatment capacity of 600,000 gallons per day. Both Eagle River and Girdwood have been the recipients of several Silver and Gold Peak Performance awards from NACWA.