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Restroom Plans Go down the Drain

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Restroom Plans Go down the Drain

Jökulsárlón

From Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

A disagreement between landowners and business owners by Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon prevents them from putting up badly needed restroom facilities at the location, Vísir reports. There is next to no such facility by Jöklusárlón, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, with hundreds of people arriving there every day. The problem is not new; a year ago, the Icelandic Tourism Board published a report, revealing that tourists complained bitterly about poor service at the location. Since then, nothing has been done to address the problem.

Business owners and landowners have, according to Vísir, had a dispute for long. The problem has been the subject of debate on the Facebook page Bakland ferðaþjónustunnar, where people involved in the tourism industry exchange views. They maintain that action is long overdue.

Business owner Björn Einarsson, who operates services on the location, claims in his comment on the page that he has been ready for two years to put up 18 toilets by the lagoon, but has failed to obtain permission from landowners.

“I’d like to know why they’re against it,” Ólafur Hauksson states, but he leads the discussion on the Facebook page. “You can hardly expect tourists to hold it until we’ve built up permanent facilities at the location in 10-20 years.”

In their defense, the landowners maintain that since the two toilets already in place work poorly, 18 additional ones in containers, as they say the plan entails, would never work. A permanent sewer system, they say, must be put in place with the necessary septic system, in accordance with regulations. Right now, they explain, sewer is released almost straight into the soil with a short stop in a septic system which is way too small to handle the amount of sewage.

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