The community of Akhiok is almost done replacing and improving parts of the system that delivers its water.
The city of Akhiok is getting a new 100,000-gallon fresh water storage tank. It’s the final piece in an effort to make sure the community has a safe and reliable water source, which has not always been the case.
Dan McCoy, Akhiok’s mayor, says the community’s water troubles started about 15 years ago when its water treatment plant began deteriorating. The plant eventually stopped filtering water properly. The mayor says, residents went without clean water for almost a decade. To get drinkable water people had boil it or turn to a more expensive option.
“Most people if they had young infants or elders with failing health, they would bring in bottled water for them.
Two years ago, the city installed a new modular water treatment plant, with the help of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. McCoy says it works great.
“ Now we’re probably running some of the best water in the state through the water plant.”
But that wasn’t the end of the city’s problems with its water infrastructure . The two 10,000-gallon tanks Akhiok uses to store its fresh water were next. .
“Five years ago during a bad freeze they froze solid like big ice cubes. 10,000-gallon ice cubes.”
McCoy says it took until summer for the water inside the tanks to thaw.
One thing McCoy finds exciting about the new water tank is its size. He says, it’s large enough to support the needs of both the residents and the city’s fire department. That’s something the city hasn’t been able to do in the past.
“Because with two 10,000-gallon tanks you didn’t have enough volume for fire protection at all.”
McCoy says, there are a few things to be done before the new tank is up and running, but it won’t be long.