This Friday evening, September 2, nearly 3,000 tonnes of water leaked when a waterline failed in the Reykjavík neighborhood of Hvassaleiti. According to RÚV, the manager of utility company Veitur stated that they reacted as quickly as possible.
The leak lasted for about an hour, with mechanical crews responding to the incident within 30 minutes. However, because much water remained in the system, it continued for another some 30 minutes after the initial shutoff.
Residents of the area reported the leak around 10PM Friday evening.
Authorities claim that they responded to the situation as well as possible. In a statement to RÚV, Sólrún Kristjánsdóttir, managing director of Veitur, said: “We have reviewed this and it seems to me that we have reacted quickly and well. But it’s really just a train of water coming from Heiðmörk that we’re stopping. It’s not just a button that you turn off, you have to do it deliberately and slowly, because it can otherwise be a very big blow to the system.”
The pipe in question was 60 years old, having been installed in 1962. As of now, it is unclear what the cause of the failure was, but many older pipes are at risk of breaking at their joints. An investigation is currently underway to determine if the proper maintenance had been performed on the pipe, and if the accident was preventable.
Those affected by the flooding are advised to contact VÍS, Veitur’s insurance company, to apply for damage compensation.