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UDC 628.1/.2 (98)

Kofman V. Ya.

Water supply and wastewater disposal in the Arctic region:
Greenland, Canada, USA (a review)


The specific features of the water supply and sanitation infrastructure in the Arctic Region are determined by the extreme dramatically changing climatic conditions, scattering throughout the vast territory of separate communities; the lack, with a few exceptions, of road communication between settlements; differences in the views of traditional and modern culture on the role of water supply and sanitation systems. The transport infrastructure involves the prevailing use of ships, aircraft and helicopters. In light of this almost all communities have autonomous systems of power supply, water supply and sanitation. Public water supply is provided only in some of the largest cities; in most cases, the water transported in tanks is stored by residents in tanks or independently delivered from water distribution points. Wastewater is either discharged untreated or passes passive purification under natural conditions organized in stabilization ponds and/or in marshy areas where self-purfication takes place due to sedimentation, biodegradation and inactivation of microorganisms under the impact of sunlight. After passive treatment the effluent is discharged into estuaries or the sea. In households of small settlements bio toilets with removable plastic bags are widely used. These bags are collected, transported and emptied at sea by municipal services, outsourcing companies or individual collectors. Recently local wastewater treatment and reuse systems have become common; monitoring of anthropogenic pollution of the natural aquatic environment is becoming regular.

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