Released: February 18, 2021
By: Jeremy Zidek
DHSEM Public Information Office
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — The Native Village of Tuluksak’s water treatment plant and washeteria was destroyed by a fire, Jan. 16. The facility was the only source of potable water in the community. The community issued a local disaster declaration Jan. 21 requesting state assistance, and Governor Mike Dunleavy declared a state disaster on Feb. 8.
Currently, residents of Tuluksak have a number of options for access to water. Bottled water was donated to the community by responding agencies, and it is also available for purchase in the community store. The runway in Tuluksak is operational and many shipments of water have been delivered. Ten additional pallets of water in Anchorage are awaiting shipment to Tuluksak.
Tuluksak sits near the Kuskokwim River, and since prior to the fire, the residents of Tuluksak have used the river as a water source. The State Department of Environmental Conservation has reported that water from the Kuskokwim River is potable once boiled.
The ice road to Bethel and other nearby communities is maintained on a regular basis. The Village of Akiak, 17 miles from Tuluksak by ice road, has agreed to make water from their water plant available. Tuluksak has four donated 200-gallon tanks for storage and to transport water between the communities.
The Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation is establishing a non-potable water source in the community this week. The Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation is also planning to move a temporary water plant from Bethel to Tuluksak to decontaminate water from the new well head site in the community.
A multi-agency group continues meet to develop short- and long-term solutions to the community’s water issues.
Alaska’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is gathering information, including funding information, that will be used by the governor to determine if a request for federal assistance is needed.
Army Guard Road,
JBER, AK 99505