The Public Health Authority of Northeast Iceland has approved a joint plan between Skútustaðahreppur municipality and 13 local companies to reform sewage treatment in the region, RÚV reports.
The territory in question includes Mývatn lake, a popular tourist destination. The lake’s biosphere has been threatened by increased human activity in recent years. Sewage, fertilizers, and industrial runoff have dramatically increased the level of bacteria in the water.
The sewage treatment plan has undergone major changes since it was first put forth. It now involves separating blackwater (from toilets) and greywater (e.g. from showers, sinks, and washing machines). The blackwater will be collected in a closed tank, and the nutrients used for the reclamation of nearby Hólasandur sand plain in collaboration with the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland. The reclamation project eliminates the need to build a waste processing plant for this material in the municipality and therefore greatly brings down the cost of the project.
The municipality is now in talks with the state government about its financial involvement.