How is the Water Supply System Different in Fairbanks Alaska?
February 1, 2018 | Brian Stoltz
We get this questions a lot: How much are monthly city utility costs for this home. The answer more often than not, is the only utility you are going to pay for is power. A large portion of homes in Fairbanks and North Pole, AK are not connected to city water, sewer, natural gas, or anything else for that matter. Today we're going to outline the different water delivery systems common in the Greater Fairbanks Area.

  • City Water: There are certain areas within both Fairbanks and North Pole city limits where water is delivered by a public utility. This is highly desired and can increase a property's value because of a no hassle water supply. Something unique about Fairbanks is that homes are required to have two water lines that run to a house and must circulate water so lines do not freeze in the winter. 

  • Private Well: When you are not connected to city water, an attractive option is to have a well. Most of the time that means you have an unlimited water supply. The only problem with wells is that they are expensive. They get more expensive the deeper you have to drill, thus in area where the water table is relatively close to the surface you'll see a lot more wells. When contemplating whether or not to put in a well you need to consider the possibility of poor water quality, the possibility of arsenic or other chemical contamination. We always recommend getting your well water tested before consuming. 

  • Water Delivery: Some homes that are outside of utility service area have water holding tanks or cisterns. They range in size from 500-4000 gallons. How water gets this tank is different story. The most seamless method of getting water is though a water delivery service such as Water Wagon. The haul water around in huge tanker trucks and can fit them into some really tight spaces. They can even keep you on an autofill schedule and you will never know the difference between a holding tank and being on city water. 

  • Haul Your Own Water: Many view it as a right of passage to haul your own water in Fairbanks. You'll often see folks driving around town with a huge Greer water tank in their truck so they can get water in town and deliver it to their home. This is a very cost effective way to get water, but it is no small feat to fill your water tanks when the temps fall south of -20 degrees. There are several bulk water fill stations around town.

  • Water? Not Here: Surprisingly enough there are a number of homes in Fairbanks and North Pole that do not have water - more affectionately referred to as Dry Cabins. Most people who live in dry cabins use outhouses, shower at work or school, and drink water from 5 gallon camping containers. Definitely a different lifestyle, but one that is fully embraced up here in the Far North!
If you have any questions or want to go check out what water supply a house for sale has, give us a shout!
Brian

Additional Resources:
Fairbanks Water Utility - http://www.akwater.com/
Flint Hills Groundwater Contamination Info - http://www.northpolegroundwater.com/
Water Wagon - http://www.waterwagon.net/
Greer Tank - http://www.greertank.com/
North Pole Utilities - ​http://www.northpolealaska.com/utilities​​​
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