New Stuyahok water outage persists, more than 30 homes affected

Jul 18, 2017

Since June, an increasing number of New Stuyahok homes have been dealing with low or no water pressure. It is unclear when water will be restored.

New Stuyahok homes have been dealing with low or no water pressure since mid-June.

At the beginning of July, the city said it had identified the problem as a broken pipe. Last week, however, a utility engineer from the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium flew in to fix the pump at the pump house. Even now that repairs have been made, it’s unclear how long it will be until water is restored.

“We have to wait for the pressure to build up and it’s hard to get that with everybody wanting to use water in the village," says Wassillie Gust Jr., a water and sewage plant operator for New Stuyahok. "They made an announcement on the VHF radio to try to conserve some water so that the tank can build up and get more pressure.” 

Residents without running water are getting water directly from the pump house and putting out totes to collect rain. It has been nearly a month since Dolores Saena’s house has had water.

“We’re frustrated. We’re tired of living without water. People need to shower, wash and do dishes. Water is a vital resource. The last update I heard was on VHF. Information was given that they got the pumps fixed and that hopefully in a couple of days we should have water. But a couple of days passed, and we have no water,” says Saena.

More than 30 households are affected, mostly old HUD homes. The city is now also reporting that the water at some new HUD homes is cloudy.

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.