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Adak Calls For Residents To Boil Water



The city of Adak is calling for all residents to boil their drinking water after their treatment system started malfunctioning. City Manager Layton Lockett says drinking the untreated water could make you sick.


“It’s like drinking out of a stream or a lake in that you might ingest some organisms that make your stomach upset,” Lockett said.


Because Adak does not have a filtration system Lockett says the community has been on a boil water notice since 2007. Instead, the community uses chlorine gas to eliminate potentially dangerous organisms.

“We’re trying to get assistance from the Department of Environmental Conservation," he said. "However because so many systems are not using gas-chlorination, it's becoming harder to find the institutional knowledge to help trouble shoot what is going wrong.”


Lockett says the problem isn’t due to lack of chemicals. Chlorine just isn’t getting into the treatment system.


He says this breakdown makes the case that a new water treatment plant is needed in Adak. A project that is in works.


For now, Lockett’s hoping for an easy fix. If it is, everything could be back to normal by Tuesday. If not, the holidays might throw a wrench in the repairs and the community might have to wait for clean water until after Christmas.

Zoë Sobel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2019. She returned to KUCB after a year living in Nepal and Malaysia as a Luce Scholar. She then returned to KUCB as a ProPublica reporter August of 2020 through August of 2021.