Contamination detected in Reykjavik drinking water

The Reykjavik Health Authority has issued a statement to warn people that slight contamination has been found in drinking water in some areas of the city. "It's a very small level of water pollution but above the recommended levels so we thought it right to warn the public," said Árný Sigurðardóttir at the City of Reykjavik.

Two samples taken from cold water in Reykjavik do not comply to standards.  On January 11th, E-Coli bacteria was found in drinking water in a borehole the Heiðmörk park just outside Reykjavik. The reason for this bacteria being present in the water is believed to be caused by recent flooding, when water flowing over the land surface, may pick up contaminants from wildlife and soils. 

The water from that particular borehole never entered the Reykjavik water supply which means that drinking water was never contaminated with E-Coli. However, other seamples taken on January 14th show bacteria from soil in the water in several boreholes. "This could be from vegetation or soil lying on top of the ice."  Sigurðardóttir adds that in most places abroad this level of contamination is not even reported. "But we're used to clean water, these are our regulations and that's why we issued the statement."

The Health Authorities will be placing the boreholes under close surveillance. "But there is no danger." However, elderly people, ill people and babies should preferably drink boiled water for the time being. People in good health are in no danger from drinking the tap water. 

The areas affected are all the city's districts except Grafarvogur, Norðlingaholt, Úlfarsdalur, Kjalarnes and Mosfellsbær. 




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