From Iceland — Soil Bacteria Detected In Reykjavík Drinking Water

Soil Bacteria Detected In Reykjavík Drinking Water

Published January 16, 2018

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Timothée Lambrecq

The City of Reykjavík has issued an advisory, cautioning people to boil their drinking water until further notice. This applies to a broad swath of the capital.

In a post from Reykjavík officials, they reveal that “soil bacteria” has been detected in Reykjavík wells across the city.

“Soil bacteria has been detected in water in several drinking water wells in Reykjavík,” the statement reads. “This has been caused by recent rains, and quick changes in air temperature, thawing and freezing in short time periods. In view of this, the Reykjavik Health Department recommends that the drinking water in certain parts of the city be boiled if consumers are vulnerable, for example with a poor immune system, infants, elderly or people with underlying conditions. This applies to all parts of the city except Grafarvogur, Norðlingaholt, Úlfarsárdalur, Kjalarnes and Mosfellsbær, but these districts get water from wells where samples have not exceeded the limit values.”

Before you panic, no, this is not e. coli. Rather, it is the type of bacteria that normally appears in the soil after a heavy rainfall. While not deadly or even especially poisonous to most people, the city does advise that people with “[a] poor immune system, infants, elderly or people with underlying conditions” may be especially vulnerable.

If you live in the affected regions, and cannot afford the bottle water being sold in stores all over the city, we advise you to use a tea kettle or pot to thoroughly boil your water for drinking.

An update will be given when the situation has amended itself.

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