• 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

  • News

    In Kenai, search continues for missing family

    by Bonney Bowman on Oct 30, 22:46

    Kenai police are making a last push to find a missing family of four and their dog. Rebecca Adams, her two daughters and her boyfriend, Brandon Jividen, have been missing since late May. Kenai police conducted what could be their last search for the family Thursday. They focused their efforts on the large wooded area […]

  • News

    LNG project open house draws large crowd, many questions

    by Dave Leval on Oct 30, 22:39

    It’s the biggest project for the state since the trans-Alaska pipeline. Backers of a proposed LNG pipeline hope they have more support for it. People packed the Crowne Plaza of Anchorage for the latest open house Thursday. The Alaska LNG Project would build a gas liquefaction plant near Prudhoe Bay. The natural gas would then travel […]

  • News

    Judge rules on National Guard document release

    by Emily Carlson on Oct 30, 21:30

    On Friday, Alaskans will get a glimpse into what Gov. Sean Parnell knew about the Alaska National Guard scandal, and when he knew it. Thursday afternoon, a Superior Court judge ruled the state must provide a detailed log of hundreds of pages of emails by Friday at noon. Judge Greg Miller lectured state attorneys on Alaska […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Oct. 30

    by KTVA Weather on Oct 30, 20:06

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound: It will be turning mostly cloudy along the coast with a chance of snow and rain by afternoon. Western Kenai will have mostly dry conditions tomorrow. Southeast: There will be rain showers for the panhandle. Interior/Slope: The Interior will have mostly cloudy skies with a flurry or two. Heavy snow […]

  • News

    Keeping kids safe on Halloween

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 30, 19:20

    The key to Halloween safety starts with the costume, and Dooley’s Tuxedos and Costumes in Anchorage has dozens of options for little ones. Many manufacturers have avoided adding masks and instead found a unique way to create characters. “We have a lot of ones that come with the hoods,” explained owner Starla Heim. “They don’t want […]

  • News

    ConocoPhillips unveils shrinking capital budget plans

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 30, 18:10

    While oil giant ConocoPhillips announced a reduced capital budget during a Thursday earnings call, a spokeswoman for the company said there are no plans to decrease spending in Alaska. “Capital reductions reflect the tapering off of major project spending as well as reductions in some of our less mature unconventional areas,” said Amy Burnett, a […]

  • Politics

    Campaign 2014: Forrest Dunbar

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 30, 16:14

    This week, KTVA is running a series of interviews with the main candidates for office. Today, the focus is on Forrest Dunbar. He grew up in rural Alaska, became a wildland firefighter and a fisherman, joined the Peace Corps and wound up with degrees from Harvard and Yale. Quite the resume for a 30-year-old guy, […]

  • News

    Survey ranks Alaska low in energy efficiency

    by Associated Press on Oct 30, 14:32

    A new survey on how states are improving energy efficiency programs ranks Alaska near the bottom. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has been tracking energy inefficiencies for eight years. It issues an annual survey on whether states are making progress. This year’s survey ranked Alaska 47th in the nation. Much of Alaska’s low […]