Emergency Repairs Underway for Grindavík’s Hot Water Conduit Skip to content
An ambulance lingers just outside of Grindavík
Photo: Golli. The town of Grindavík after the eruption on January 14.

Emergency Repairs Underway for Grindavík’s Hot Water Conduit

Grindavík is experiencing low pressure in its hot water supply due to significant leaks, prompting emergency repairs and investigations to locate and fix the source of the issue. The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management has adjusted settings and taken measures to maintain heat in houses despite the challenges posed by the current infrastructure conditions.

Significant leaks in the main Grindavík conduit

Following significant seismic activity on November 10 and recent eruptions, the town of Grindavík on the Reykjanes peninsula has faced unprecedented challenges. An eruption on January 14 destroyed three houses and caused additional crevasses to form across town. This geological unrest has displaced the town’s 3,800 inhabitants for the foreseeable future. Maintaining heat in the houses in Grindavík has also proved a challenge.

As noted in an announcement from the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management today, the pressure in the hot water pipeline leading to Grindavík is low due to significant leaks both in the main conduit to Grindavík and in the town’s distribution system.

A search for the source of the malfunction has begun, the announcement notes, and efforts will be made to repair it as soon as possible. As opposed to laying a new pipeline over the lava, the civil protection authorities deemed it most appropriate, given the circumstances, to excavate towards the source of the possible malfunction. Maintaining heat in houses in Grindavik has proven a significant challenge.

“To ensure water flow through the heating systems of the houses under the conditions of the past weeks and months, plumbers working for the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management have adjusted the settings of pressure equalisers in the intake grids, shut off the potable water, and drained water from them for safety,” the announcement reads.

These measures were considered important given that ensuring normal water usage is nearly impossible. Any minor adjustments in the settings of the pressure equalisers or a slight change in pressure in the distribution system could mean that either the flow through the heating systems of the houses stops entirely or that the flow significantly increases.

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