Craig water issues continue, but officials say it’s safe to drink

Craig, Alaska
Craig, Alaska (KRBD staff photo)

City officials in the Prince of Wales Island community of Craig are responding to scattered reports from residents complaining about issues with their tap water. City officials maintain that the water is safe to drink.

Some Craig residents reported in a local Facebook group that their water tasted bad, left stains in their toilets or irritated their skin.

City Administrator Brian Templin said water crews have been responding to residents’ complaints. He said a recent spike in demand linked to a “large customer” briefly stirred up sediment in the water system and left some customers with murky water. But he said city officials have not been able to determine the cause of all residents’ complaints.

“It’s a difficult situation, when you have individual complaints, or a small number of complaints, in a wider system where you’re not getting other complaints, right?” he explained. “Because then there’s questions of, is it problems with the water mains? Is it problems with the individual systems, on property owners’ properties, you know, or where those problems are at?”

It’s been over a month since a failure at Craig’s drinking water treatment plant caused some residents to lose water, while others had low water pressure or discolored water. Residents were told to boil their water before consuming it for about a week after the failure, and to conserve it for another 10 days after that.

City officials lifted the boil water notice in mid-March.

Templin said Craig’s water remains safe to drink. He says the city’s drinking water system goes through regular testing and meets standards set by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

“There’s a regular schedule of tests that go on,” Templin said. “And all of those tests have shown that the water in the system is safe to use.”

As of Thursday afternoon, no new boil water notice has been put in place.

Raegan Miller is a Report for America corps member for KRBD. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution at

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