Greenland Arctic Construction Techniques at Thule


How the Sewer Pipes Were Installed

This background on how these pipes were installed comes from a guy who was there. Here is his description:


FROM: Ben Davidson
date: Sun, May 24, 2009 at 1:59 PM
subject Re: Thule Greenland

Really enjoyed the visit to your web-site of Thule, Greenland. Looks like only minimal changes since I was there 12/24/57 to 12/23/58. The heated pipelines were being installed while I was there. At that time we had water and waste hauled in trucks.

As a note of interest (on the construction). A gravel bed had to be laid for the pipe lines at Thule. The Sea Bees did the job by drilling 8-foot holes 18 inches apart and putting a stick of dynamite in each. They did about 30 feet at a time. The bed had to be 8 feet deep and 15 feet wide. When the charges were set, they covered the field with about 4 feet of cargo nets and a steel mesh net over the whole thing. When it went off, the whole thing jumped about 6 feet in the air and came down about 3 feet higher than before the blast. The nets were removed, and the rubble (perma-frost) was hauled off, and then the ditch was filled with the crushed rock base.

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Arctic pipesThis went on 24 hours a day (between the barracks) and was hell during a good dream session. I left before it was put in operation. A real draw-back to the old system was that each barracks had a water tank and a waste tank that were serviced by trucks. The waste tanks always had a drip going outside. You didn't want to screw up because the routine punishment in those days was to be assigned to chop and haul off all the "poop-cycles."

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