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 Case Study #2

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories



The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation (NWTHC) installed wastewater reuse systems in five single family homes in Yellowknife Dene First Nation communities. Three of the 3-bedroom homes are located at Ndilo on Latham Island; two are located at Detah, 15 km east of Yellowknife. All grey water and black water is treated and recycled for non-potable uses, which may include bathing. The capacity of each system is 1,000 L/day.


This project is intended to:

  • reduce the demand for trucked water, and make more water available for all household uses,
  • reduce the costs of truck haulage of potable water and wastewater, and
  • demonstrate the application of wastewater recycling in the North, in conjunction with truck haul systems.

Description of Technology

The wastewater renovation system, based on that developed for the Toronto Healthy House, is located in the crawl space of each house. It includes a specially designed septic tank, biofilter, roughing and slow-sand filtration, and ozonation.

Each house includes truck haul water and wastewater storage tanks. Excess wastewater is stored and removed by the community's truck haul system.

Responsibility for operation and maintenance of the systems is shared by the NWTHC and the Yellowknife Dene First Nation. The systems will be monitored for a two year period by an independent consultant.


The total cost of each system including purchase and shipping of the treatment system, modifications to the plumbing and building structure to accommodate the system, and installation was $13,295. Estimated operation and maintenance costs are $1,125 per year for each house. The cost of monitoring the three systems at Ndilo for two years is $26,511.


Anticipated benefits of this project are:

  • significant reductions in the demand for potable water,
  • availability of more water for non-potable household uses such as clothes washing,
  • savings of nearly $5,000 per year per house in the cost of trucked water, and reduced cost for truck haulage of wastewater,
  • demonstration of a technology that has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of residential water and wastewater services in northern communities that are served by truck haul systems


Creative Communities Research Inc.
152 Sparkhall Ave.
Toronto, Ont. M4K 1G8
Phone: (416) 466-5172
Fax: (416) 466-5173

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