Chlorine Leaks into River, Ecosystem in Danger Skip to content

Chlorine Leaks into River, Ecosystem in Danger

By Iceland Review

About 800 liters of chlorine leaked into Varmá river near Hveragerdi, south Iceland, on Friday, when a plug came loose in a chlorine talk in a nearby swimming pool. An environmental accident is feared; dead fish have already been found.

The accident was not reported to the local authority until yesterday morning, four days after the accident. “We are very sorry that we weren’t notified about this sooner, but it wouldn’t really have mattered. We would have taken the same actions,” Mayor of Hveragerdi Aldís Hafsteinsdóttir told Morgunbladid.

Yesterday, Hafsteinsdóttir met with representatives from the South Iceland Health Authority, the State’s Occupational Safety and Health Authority, a limnologist from the Research and Educational Center of the University of Iceland, the director of the swimming pool, a planning and a building commissioner.

The engineering company of Sigurdur Thoroddsen has been asked to propose improvements for the chlorine tank and the limnologist is to investigate the damages to the river’s ecosystem. “We won’t know the impact of the pollution until the investigation is completed after two or three weeks,” Hafsteinsdóttir said.

Head of the Varmá Fishing Association Hannes Sigurdsson said the accident could have very serious effects on its operations, which have blossomed in recent years. “The condition of the river has been improving and fishing has increased every year.”

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