We began our
teaching in an Athabaskan Indian village north of Fairbanks Alaska. When we first arrived, we were met by the
Chief and told not to drink the water in the housing, because it was polluted
with fuel oil. The village had electricity
supplied by four massive generators. Two
would run for 24 hours and then the other two would be switched on line. There was a massive fuel oil storage area,
and someone in their questionable wisdom had placed the village well in the oil
We were told
to haul water from the Lodge for drinking.
The Lodge was a large building with a kitchen, dining room, first aid
room and six rooms to rent to hunters and fishermen that could be guided by the
local Natives. The problem was, that the
men in the village were so hostile to outsiders, non-native sportsmen were
afraid to enter the village.
after we had arrived, the Chief came over and told us the water from the lodge
was found to be polluted. We were told
not to drink the water without boiling.
There were approximately one-hundred and
twenty-five people in the village and probably over two-hundred sled dogs. There were at least five big dog yards, and
almost everyone had from three to five dogs tied in their yard, so it seemed
likely that the well was probably polluted from dog feces.
clean water was supposedly in the next village about twenty-five miles away,
via one land dirt road with some harrowing drop-offs – about an hour trip by
truck each way.
My wife had
seen an advertisement for a water distiller from a company called Water Wise, located
in Florida. We immediately sent off for
one. This was in 1985. For
the rest of our time in the villages we distilled our water.
There were high cancer rates in the villages
and I am convinced that was probably due to water impurities.
time, we have distilled all our drinking water. The electricity cost appears to be about
fifty-cents per gallon. We are now on
our third Water Wise distiller in thirty-six years.
We moved to
a new house last year, and this is the first time in our married life that we
weren’t on well water. I don’t care for the taste of the city water, often
there is a chlorine taste, so we are still distilling our drinking water.
distillers cost about three-hundred and fifty dollars; but if you shop on line you can find them for as little as two-fifty.
you ask; a friend of mine borrowed one of our old distillers and made whiskey
(white lightning.) We both drank it and
didn’t go blind. I am not sure how
alcohol interacts with the aluminum tubing, so I wouldn’t recommend it.
you are looking for rot-gut whiskey, it is cheap enough to buy without taking
chances with alcohol poisoning.