The Remote Maintenance Worker (RMW) Program has boots on the ground in Gambell to repair the sewer service line, after a local operator struck a main sewer pipe a week ago.
Since September 11th, last Monday, the community of Gambell has been operating with intermittent water access while an RMW team has been pumping water out of a sizable hole near the terminal lift station, where the sewer line is located.
According to the RMW Program Coordinator, John Johnson, about two feet of water need to be pumped out of the hole before the team can repair the main sewer line. Johnson, operating out of Anchorage, says extra pumps, hoses, and the parts for the line were flown into Gambell last week for his team on the ground.
Due to equipment problems with the excavators, as well as water being turned on for the Gambell school building over the weekend, Johnson says the community sewer line has not been addressed yet. As of mid-day today, one of the two excavators was operational along with at least five pumps actively draining water out of the hole, but they haven’t gotten ahead of the flooded area.
According to Johnson, repairing the actual sewer pipe won’t take much time, but it is unclear when the water will be pumped away from the line so the RMW team can repair it.
Image at top: Gambell School. Photo: Davis Hovey, KNOM (2017).