• 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

  • Weather

    Weekend weather forecast

    by KTVA Weather on Jan 24, 18:29

    Many areas across the Anchorage Bowl saw 3 to 5 inches of snow accumulation with this last snowfall. High pressure is already building in from the east, and it will produce lots of sunshine across the area as we head into Sunday. The trade-off will be pure cold weather with many locations barely getting out […]

  • Sports

    South Anchorage football hires Chris Borst, former Dimond head coach

    by KTVA Sports on Jan 24, 15:21

    After spending five seasons as head football coach for Dimond High School, Chris Borst is moving across town to coach alongside John Lewis at South. Citing differences in coaching philosophies, Borst left Dimond at the end of the 2014 football season. Former Lynx strength coach Nick Winkler will take over head-coaching duties at Dimond. This is […]

  • Politics

    Palin for president? Former AK governor ‘seriously interested’ in 2016 bid

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 24, 14:36

    Sarah Palin is “seriously interested” in running a 2016 campaign for the White House, according to a recent interview with the Washington Post. The former Alaska governor, the GOP’s 2008 nominee for vice president – and current star of the Sportsman Channel’s Amazing America with Sarah Palin — was asked by the Washington Post whether she was considering […]

  • News

    Anchorage man fatally struck by vehicle in Las Vegas area

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 24, 13:31

    An Anchorage man was struck and killed by a vehicle Thursday evening in the Las Vegas area as he crossed a highway, according to the Nevada Department of Public Safety. According to other local news outlets in the area, the Clark County coroner’s office has identified the man as 57-year-old Aarnout Michael Berry, of Anchorage. At […]

  • News

    Army soldiers at JBER, Fort Wainwright at risk of being cut

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 24, 12:39

    U.S. Army officials are holding meetings with 30 communities across the country as decisions are being made about where to cut around 120,000 troops by 2017. Alaska’s Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Fort Wainwright are on the list of bases where reductions could be made. Municipality of Anchorage staff are told that it will be up to […]

  • News

    Anchorage police: 58-year-old male found safe

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 24, 12:35

    UPDATE: Anchorage police say Marion Dale Quint has been located and is safe. Original story The Anchorage Police Department is asking for public help finding a missing 58-year-old man last seen Saturday morning. Marion Dale Quint left his assisted living home on foot around 9 a.m., according to a statement from APD. The assisted living home […]

  • Politics

    Gov. Walker: Not easy to be the messenger

    by Rhonda McBride on Jan 24, 12:04

    Gov. Bill Walker said, for the first time in a long time, he had a good night’s sleep after he delivered his State of the Budget address on Thursday. He said it felt good to get the job done. “It was a critical message to get out to Alaskans,” said Walker. The governor said the […]

  • News

    New report reveals behavioral health crisis in Mat-Su

    by Kate McPherson on Jan 23, 23:18

    Not enough is being done to help Mat-Su Valley residents with mental health and substance abuse problems, according to a new report published by the Mat-Su Health Foundation. The report examined the care Mat-Su residents receive when they are experiencing a behavioral health crisis, brought on by mental health and substance abuse problems. A lack […]