Aug 16 2011
Former Resident Relates Akhiok Water/Sewer Troubles
Tuesday, 16 August 2011

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            Yesterday, KMXT gave you a glimpse into the failing water and sewer infrastructure for the small village of Akhiok, located on the south end of Kodiak Island. Because the water plant can't treat the water to the standards the Environmental Protection Agency sets, Vice-Mayor Dan McCoy said village residents often boil water to ensure its safety.

            Teacon Simeonoff grew up in Akhiok but has since moved to Old Harbor. He visits Akhiok regularly and wishes the water was as good as it is in Old Harbor. Because he grew up in Akhiok, he said he knows when and when not to drink the water.

Another obstacle for the village is getting water into the tanks. Electricity is shut off for nine hours each night so the plant cannot pump water up to the tanks to be stored for the residents.

Because the reservoir is shared by animals in the area, the village is forced to be on constant water watch.


--          (Akhiok Sequel 1:                  :32 sec                        "Yea it's always been on ...  fish it out of there.")


When Simeonoff brings his family to visit, he rarely lets them near certain parts of the beach because of the raw sewage that runs out onto it.


--          (Akhiok Sequel 2:                  :07 sec                        "It's pretty bad  ...walking on the beach.")


            Akhiok is no stranger to rotting, unhealthy infrastructure. Many of the homes and buildings in the village are in a dilapidated state. In recent years the village struggled to keep teachers longer than a year because the housing for the teachers was so poorly insulated and rotting from the inside out. But thanks to some help from the Kodiak Island Borough, McCoy said the teacher housing situation was dealt with this summer.


--          (Akhiok Sequel 3:                  :18 sec                        "Our teacher housing and  ... it's like a new home.")


            McCoy said the village also received funding to build a much needed tsunami shelter.


--          (Akhiok Sequel 4:                  :13 sec                        "I just got off the ... shelter up on the mountain.")


            McCoy said every little improvement helps, but the dire state of the water and sewer systems still leaves the village on the verge of catastrophe.