• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 11s

Fresh water delivered to elders

By Heather Hintze 7:40 PM February 20, 2014

The Kalskag Water Project makes sure elders with rusted wells get clean drinking water

KALSKAG – “We use this water for many years, but it’s always rusty,” said Dunia Holmberg as she turned on her kitchen faucet. While it may look clear, it’s not safe to drink.

She’s one of nine elders in Kalskag who now get fresh water delivered by the city through The Kuskokwim Corporation’s (TKC) Water Project.

“Before they used to pack water in five-gallon buckets either from other households that had a well or straight out from the middle of the river,” explained Dwayne Hoffman, the Kalskag city administrator.

TKC President Maver Carey said she got the idea for the project from a rotary group’s similar project in Africa. She worked with rotaries around the state and the Rasmussen Foundation to raise the $50,000 needed for the project.

In Kalskag it brings water directly to the elders’ homes. Hoffman stops by City Hall to fill up at 130-gallon tanker he pulls behind his pickup. Then he heads out to make weekly deliveries.

Hoffman is able to pump water directly from the tanker into a 60-gallon storage tank inside the home.

“It’s gravity-fed so there’s no electricity or pump,” he explained.

“It’s really good water,” said Holmberg as she walked over to her fridge. “I always keep some cold in here. Juice and water.”

Delivering water can be a challenge when the temperature drops.

“In wintertime they always freeze, so we have to use a tool or torch,” said Seraphim Evan, who helped Hoffman with the deliveries.

For the most part, the water project is a simple solution to a continuing problem: Failing water and sewer systems.

“My house was built in 1997 and from there nothing has been fixed,” said Maryann Vaska. Her bathtub is brown from years of rusty water. She even stopped washing clothes in her home.

Now she doesn’t have to worry about the rust.

“It’s nice and clean, not rusty,” Vaska said. “My dishes, most of them are no more rusty, I tried to scrub them. My little house is getting a little bit shiny, not rusty. I’m really happy for that water we have  now.”

Carey said she’s happy a small change can make a big difference it the elders’ lives.

“It warms my heart,” she said. “I’ve been coming out to our villages for several years. My family is from this area. My mom grew up with no running water and no flush toilets.”

For now the City of Kalskag will continue to help elders in need until something more permanent can be done to fix the aging infrastructure causing the rusty water.

Latest Stories

  • Lifestyle

    Facebook acknowledges election manipulation

    by CBS News on Apr 29, 18:07

    Without saying the words “Russia,” “Hillary Clinton,” or “Donald Trump,” Facebook acknowledged Thursday for the first time what others have been saying for months. In a paper released by its security division, the company said “malicious actors” used the platform during the 2016 presidential election as part of a campaign “with the intent of harming […]

  • There’s a celestial trick to the latest postal stamp

    by CBS News/Associated Press on Apr 29, 18:04

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The U.S. Postal Service is going all out for this summer’s total solar eclipse, with a first-of-its kind stamp. Just touch the stamp with your finger, and the heat transforms the image of the blacked-out sun into the moon. Remove your finger, and the eclipse reappears. The trick is using temperature-sensitive […]

  • Lifestyle

    Citywide Cleanup Week begins in Anchorage

    by Eric Ruble on Apr 29, 18:02

    As temperatures in Southcentral warm, Anchorage’s snowpack is quickly dwindling. The melting snow leaves behind garbage – lots of it. For the forty-ninth year, Anchorage Citywide Cleanup Week aims to beautify the city before summer. The cleanup kicked off Saturday, with a particularly large group of volunteers picking up trash in Mountain View. “We haven’t […]

  • News

    12 hazing complaints since 2014 confirmed at Marine base

    by Associated Press on Apr 29, 17:42

    BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) – Officials at the Marine Corps’ training base in South Carolina say half of 24 hazing complaints investigated since 2014 have been confirmed. The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette reported Saturday that documents obtained through a public records request show the complaints involve all four of Parris Island’s training battalions. The […]

  • News

    China deports US citizen convicted of spying after 2 years in custody

    by CBS News on Apr 29, 17:33

    China has deported an American citizen who was convicted and sentenced on an espionage charge after she was held in custody for more than two years. A spokesman for the State Department confirmed to CBS News that the U.S. is aware Chinese authorities deported 45-year-old Sandy Phan-Gillis on Friday. The deportation follows a trial last […]

  • AST: Stolen weapon found in stolen car after pursuit

    by KTVA Web Staff on Apr 29, 17:06

    A report of a stolen car led troopers on a chase in Ninilchik Wednesday evening. Someone spotted the stolen car on the Sterling Highway and called it in. When troopers tried to stop the car, the driver refused and a pursuit ensued before coming to an end when the driver stopped the car on a […]

  • News

    Ice jam raising flood concern on Kuskokwim River

    by Melissa Frey on Apr 29, 16:39

    Many rivers in southern Alaska are in the process of breaking-up. The first ice jam reported this season could cause flooding near Red Devil. The Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center reported the ice jam on the Kuskokwim River Saturday. They say the ice broke free near Red Devil Friday night, but ice is still in place […]

  • Corrections officer assaulted by inmate, troopers say

    by KTVA Web Staff on Apr 29, 16:27

    An inmate assaulted a corrections officer at Spring Creek Friday night. According to troopers, the assault happened at the correctional center around 9:15 Friday. The officer went to Seward Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Troopers haven’t identified the inmate who attacked the officer but say charges are pending.