The Norton Sound city of Stebbins currently lacks running water or sewer to residential homes — but $7.5 million will help build a sustainable water and wastewater system for the community. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the funding in a news release Wednesday. The funds are part of the WIIN Act, or Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act’s Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities grant.

The city will use the $7.5 million to build a water source and raw water line. 

Dennis Wagner with the EPA in Anchorage says a washeteria serves as Stebbins’ only water source but it won’t support a system that would service the entire community. Once plans and funding for the program are approved, the planned construction would be the initial work to a centralized water system. 

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium will conduct the planning and designs for the water source. The planning stage is expected to finish by 2022 and construction would be finished in 2025. 

The EPA also announced Wednesday that the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta village of Tuluksak will also receive $1.5 million to replace a washeteria that burned down in January.

Image at top: Recently-cut salmon hangs out to dry near the Stebbins beach (Photo: Gabe Colombo, KNOM)