People are prohibited from swimming in Laugarvatn until the presence of E. coli bacteria in the water has been eliminated.
Vísir reports that the health authority of south Iceland has issued the ban, effective immediately. Valtýr Valtýsson, a municipal official from Bláskógabyggð, told Vísir that the presence of the bacteria was due to an antiquated sewage system for the surrounding residential area emptying into the lake.
Valtýr also said that a special bacterial treatment for the lake had been ordered, and was on its way.
Anna G. Sverrisdóttir, the director of the health spa Fontana at Laugarvatn, said that while bathing in the lake is prohibited, other services are still available to guests.
Sigrún Guðmundsdóttir, a health authority official for the region, said that attempts had been made to remove the pollution before Fontana opened, but to no avail. As such, health authorities will not be letting anyone swim in Laugarvatn until the E. coli has been cleansed from the water.
E. coli comes in numerous different strains, as both beneficial flora and as a virulent form of food poisoning. Which strain of E. coli was found in Laugarvatn was not disclosed.