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Apr 07, 2020

Hoonah, Alaska Looks to Vacall for Cleaner Sewers

AllJetVac with boiler system maintains sewers and septic systems in frigid Alaska.

Vacall AllJetVac with boiler system produces hot water for sewer cleaning and hydroexcavation.
Vacall AllJetVac with boiler system produces hot water for sewer cleaning and hydroexcavation.

The city of Hoonah, with about 800 residents and 300 households, has become one of Alaska’s fastest-growing cities. Nestled along the Icy Strait of Chichagof Island in Alaska’s southeast panhandle, Hoonah is home to a large Tlingit community of Native Americans.

In the summer, the Hoonah population traditionally doubles with people drawn to hunt, fish, boat and hike. But now, the remote island has become a major destination for the Norwegian cruise line, bringing a half-million more visitors each year on 180 cruise ships. Extra people put extra pressure on city services including the need to flush and maintain its water and sewer lines and septic systems – something that hadn’t been needed before.

A Vacall AllJetVac combination sewer cleaner was Hoonah’s first investment in jet-vac sewer cleaning equipment.

“The cruise ship activity created a lot more waste and need for maintenance, and the Vacall had the power and versatility we were looking for,” said Dennis Gray Jr., city administrator for the city of Hoonah. Positive displacement blowers are available with 15 to 27 inches hg of vacuum power and jetting power from 50 to 120 gpm and pressures to 3000 psi.

Vacall AllJetVac combination sewer cleaner is ideal for cleaning manholes and septic systems.
Vacall AllJetVac combination sewer cleaner is ideal for cleaning manholes and septic systems.

Temperatures in Hoonah can easily dip below zero, so specifying a boiler system on the AllJetVac was important, according to Dave Marshall of Kendrick Equipment, Vacall distributor in the area.

“The boiler system produces hot water on demand and keeps it from freezing up, so they can put it to work year-round,” said Marshall. “The boiler also creates hot water for hydro excavation and makes it easy to clean greasy sanitary lines.”

“We are using it a lot to clean out manholes, especially ones where there’s lots of grease,” said Gray. “We also plan to use the hydro excavation capability to replace seven manholes that have bad leaks. With this machine, we will be able to cut them out and put in new ones.”

Providing septic system cleanout at homes is another primary job for the AllJetVac, said Gray. “We can now help service 25 homes that are not on our existing sanitary service system, handling two or three on each trip,” he said. “Our operators find the Vacall very easy to use and very productive in all kinds of work. We’re very pleased with our purchase.”

 

Editor's Note: Scranton Gillette Communications and the SGC Water Group are not liable for the accuracy, efficacy and validity of the claims made in this piece. The views expressed in this content do not reflect the position of the editorial teams of Water & Wastes Digest, Water Quality Products and Storm Water Solutions.

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