The Reykjavík Municipal Health Authority has advised people not to swim in the sea due to potential risk of E. coli contamination, RÚV reports. Emergency maintenance is being done at a sewage pumping station located at Faxaskjól, which has resulted in two additional sewage valves being opened that are now spewing unfiltered sewage into the ocean.
The sewage station at Faxaskjól has been the subject of some controversy lately, as it came to light last month that it had broken down without the public being immediately notified. Passers-by had begun noticing all sorts of sewage-related trash turning up in the water in the days following. No surprise, considering 750 liters of unfiltered sewage were flowing directly into the ocean every second.
While the municipal health authorities had initially stated that this was no cause for public concern as far as swimming is concerned, recent water samples from the public beach area at Nauthólsvík showed a substantial presence of E. coli. Hence, as a precautionary measure, authorities do not advise swimming in the sea either today or tomorrow. It is anticipated that the maintenance work will continue until midnight tonight.