• 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

  • Crime

    Brother of murder suspect accused of cleaning up West Anchorage crime scene

    by Daniella Rivera on Jun 30, 21:57

    Three family members are facing charges in a string of crimes that include torturing and killing a woman, then trying to cover up the tracks. Thursday, 28-year-old Connor Stefano appeared in court for his arraignment on charges of tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution. His defense attorney Wallace Tetlow told the judge Stefano contacted him the […]

  • News

    Dead humpback whale washes ashore near Hope

    by Melissa Frey on Jun 30, 21:45

    A dead humpback whale was found along the shore of Turnagain Arm near Hope Tuesday night. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) was notified. There was immediately no word on when or how the whale died, but researchers from the Alaska Sea Life Center and NOAA were able to extract numerous samples which are on […]

  • Politics

    Budget veto could stunt Alaska tourism growth

    by Liz Raines on Jun 30, 21:04

    Alaska saw a record breaking number of tourists last summer — 1.7 million visitors statewide, according to a report prepared for the Division of Economic Development. But a dramatic drop in the state’s Tourism Marketing Program could turn the trend. On Wednesday, Gov. Bill Walker announced a $3 million veto to the already scaled-back program, which went […]

  • Crime

    Mother of Point Woronzof murder victim calls on public for answers in daughter’s death

    by Eric Ruble on Jun 30, 20:21

    The last five months have been painful for Rose Mullenax. She is the mother of Selena Mullenax, who was killed alongside 20-year-old Foreignne “Onie” Aubert-Morisette in January at Point Woronzof. No arrests have been made in the case and now, the 19-year-old’s mother has become frustrated with police. “All I know is that they’re working on […]

  • News

    Southcentral Alaska Fourth of July festivities

    by Makayla Clark on Jun 30, 20:03

    ANCHORAGE Fireworks When: July 4, after the Alaska Baseball League doubleheader Location: Mulcahy Stadium Alaska Baseball League doubleheader When: July 4, 7 and 9 p.m. Location: Mulcahy Stadium Two games between the Anchorage Glacier Pilots and the Anchorage Bucs There will be fireworks after the second game July 4 Anchorage events at the Delaney Park Strip 8 a.m. — […]

  • Lifestyle

    Peony passion: Alaska expected to ship out a record number of luxury flowers

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 30, 19:34

    Whether they’re miles apart or side-by-side, sisters Rachel Christy and Becca Bryan are connected by peonies. Bryan lives in Texas, but for the past five summers she’s come to Alaska to help Christy harvest Alaska Blooms Peony Farm in Wasilla. “My favorite thing to do is, when we first arrive for our summer, Rachel and […]

  • On-Air

    Alaska Fishing Report for June 30, 2016

    by Carlos Faura on Jun 30, 19:23

    Anchorage King fishing is fair on Ship Creek. Lake fishing is ok, the mornings and evenings are best times to go. Bird Creek is closed until July 13. Seward Halibut fishing is good and they’re getting a lot of big fish. Rockfishing is really good. There are not a lot of silvers yet. King salmon […]

  • News

    APD to patrol part of the Seward Highway for the holiday weekend

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jun 30, 19:09

    Alaska State Troopers are getting some extra help patrolling the Seward Highway over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. A federal grant will pay for two to four Anchorage police officers to patrol the section of highway that runs between Potter Marsh and Girdwood. Anchorage Police Department chief Chris Tolley said the goal is to […]