• Alaska mining and water quality

      Zemansky, Gil M.; Tilsworth, Timothy; Cook, Donald J. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1976-06)
      The Institute of Water Resources has sought financial assistance for some time in an attempt to initiate research relative to the impact of mining on water quality. Attempts were made as early as 1971 by Dr. Timothy Tilsworth and later by Dr. Donald Cook and Dr. Sage Murphy. These investigators anticipated growth in placer gold mining and the development of natural resources in Alaska during a period of national and environmental concern. The subsequent energy "crisis," the major increase in the price of gold on the world market, and dwindling nonrenewable resource supplies have resulted in large-scale mineral exploration in Alaska. This exploration, coupled with development of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, has attracted considerable capital for potential investment and development in Alaska. Expected industrial growth has already started and major new projects are "just around the corner." Yet, as of 1976, no major research effort has occurred to determine the extent of or potential for water quality impacts from mining operations in Alaska. Recently a series of interdisciplinary research projects have been completed in Canada; however, the application of Canadian data to Alaskan problems is uncertain. Although, state and federal government agencies have been advised and are aware of this potential problem and lack of baseline data they have not sought out new information or rational solutions. Even now, with deadlines of Public Law 92-500 at hand, some regulatory agencies give the impression of attempting to ignore the situation. Interim limitations are proposed and permits are issued with no discernible rationale or basis. Data have not been obtained relative to the Alaskan mining operations and thus are not available for use in seeking solutions compatible with mining and environmental protection. Numbers appear to have been arbitrarily assigned to permits and water quality standards. When permits are issued, self-monitoring requirements are negligible or nonexistent. Nor have regulatory agencies demonstrated the ability or inclination to monitor mining operations or enforce permits and water quality standards. It was hoped that the project would bring together miners, environmentalists, and regulators in a cooperative effort to identify the problems and seek solutions. The investigators recognized the political sensitivity of the subject matter but proceeded optimistically. Relatively good cooperation, though not total, occurred early in the project. In April 1976, a symposium was held to exchange ideas and determine the state-of-the-art. Although the symposium had good attendance and an exchange of information occurred, the symposium itself was somewhat of a disappointment. With few exceptions, the participants aligned on one side or the other in preconceived fixed positions. Some even chose not to attend and were therefore able to avoid the issues. Little hard data was presented. Optimistically, some of the miners, environmentalists, and regulators are prepared to resolve their differences. This report, hopefully, will be of benefit to them. It is our experience that miners and environmentalists share a love of the land that is uniquely Alaska. We feel that technology is available for application to this problem for those who care about doing the job right in the "last frontier." Whether or not it will be effectively applied to protect Alaska's water resources is a question which remains unanswered.
    • Carbon Monoxide Exposure and Human Health

      Joy, Richard W.; Tilsworth, Timothy; Williams, Darrell D. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1975-02)
    • The Characteristics and Ultimate Disposal of Waste Septic Tank Sludge

      Tilsworth, Timothy (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1974-11)
    • Cold climate water/wastewater transportation and treatment - a bibliography: completion report

      Tilsworth, Timothy; Smith, Daniel M.; Zemansky, G. M.; Justice, Stanley R. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1977-12)
      This bibliography contains 1,400 citations, including published and unpublished papers, on cold-climate water and wastewater transportation and treatment systems. Sources listed include state and federal agency files which contain information on systems in Alaskan communities and the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company camps. References to systems in other northern countries are also included. The objectives of this study were to identify causes of the failure of Alaskan water and wastewater treatment and transportation facilities and to seek methods for design improvements. Originally, the investigators contemplated an evaluation of systems performance in remote areas in relation to the original conception, planning, design, and construction. Because of the tremendous amount of literature examined, the evaluation was undertaken in a subsequent study, "Alaska Wastewater Treatment Technology" (A-058-ALAS) by Dr. Ronald A. Johnson.
    • Effects of Thermal Discharge Upon a Subarctic Stream: Completion Report

      Carlson, Robert F.; Tilsworth, Timothy; Hok, Charlotte (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1978-06)
    • Envirnonmental Standards for Northern Regions: A Symposium

      Smith, Daniel W.; Tilsworth, Timothy (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1975-03)
      The environmental standards for water, air, and land are of prime importance to all members of the northern community. Many of the ecological systems are easily disrupted. Some of the systems are extremely stable. Although the volume of scientific and engineering research on various aspects of the total environment is expanding rapidly it appears that those studying the conditions that exist and those setting the standards for these areas seldom, if ever, communicate. Due to the increased attention being paid to the meaning and impact of regulations, the sponsors of this symposium proposed an opportunity for open discussion of the issues. The program was designed to address the full range of environmental situations. The principal objectives of this symposium were: 1. to review environmental standards and regulations 2. to identify environmental problem areas 3. to examine the adequacy, pertinence, enforcement, and effectiveness of environmental control in the North. While these objectives could not be completely satisfied by this meeting, doors were opened; participants discussed issues brought forth; and progress was made toward a better understanding of needed environmental standards for northern regions.
    • Organic and Color Removal from Water Supplies by Synthetic Resinous Adsorbents: Completion Report

      Tilsworth, Timothy (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1974-01)
    • Radon Concentrations in Public Facilities in Alaska

      Leonard, Shelby J.; Hawkins, Daniel B.; Tilsworth, Timothy (1987-07)
      Radon levels were measured in forty public facilities throughout Alaska. Test buildings consisted mainly of schools, DOT/PF maintenance garages, and office buildings. The project had two general goals: 1) To determine whether areas of potentially high indoor radon levels can be identified based on knowledge of the bedrock geology in the area, and 2) to determine if there is cause for concern regarding radon levels in public facilities in Alaska. Radon levels measured ranged from 0.0 to 5.2 pCi/l with a mean value of 0.6 pCi/l. No conclusive evidence was found correlating radon concentration with the geology of an area. The data suggest no urgency regarding radon levels in public facilities in Alaska, especially where mechanical ventilation and positive building pressure influence the dispersion of concentrations. However, the small size of the sample and the fact that most of the buildings sampled were mechanically ventilated does not rule out the possibility that higher radon levels may yet be found.
    • Sludge Production and Disposal for Small Cold Climate Bio-Treatment Plants

      Tilsworth, Timothy (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1972-12)
      Ultimate disposal of wastewater sludge has long been a problem which to a large degree has been ignored. Haney (1971) stated that: "Until process sludge can be handled with minimum environmental impact, we cannot claim to have a viable wastewater treatment process". The relationship of sludge disposal to total treatment processes is emphasized by the fact that sludge handling and disposal represents up to 50 percent of the total treatment capital and operating costs (Burd, 1968). Processing of wastewater sludge will, no doubt, receive increased attention in the future because of environmental concerns for our air, land and water. The present technology for processing wastewater treatment plant sludge is well established and includes conditioning, dewatering, and disposal. Many of these processes are highly sophisticated and relatively expensive. Most of the more advanced processes are unsuitable for small wastewater treatment facilities in Alaska.
    • Water/Wastewater Evaluation for an Arctic Alaskan Industrial Camp

      Tilsworth, Timothy (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1973-04)
      Discovery of a huge oil field at Prudhoe Bay in the late 1960's resulted in a great deal of industrial activity on the North Slope of arctic Alaska. This flurry of industrial activity was accompanied by environmental concern across the nation. The fact that Alaska was "the last frontier” placed it high on the list for ecological scrutiny.