In 2022, Veitur Utilities secured the supply of drinking water to residents and the business community in the distribution area, in accordance with established quality standards, statutory and regulatory provisions, and objectives of Veitur Utilities. Please see appendices.
Veitur Utilities has fifteen water sources, and its water utilities’ distribution systems serve the capital area and the Western and Southern parts of Iceland. ON Power has two water reserves. The water utilities' distribution system serves 45% of the population in Iceland. Strategic water preservation, other preventive measures, and controls have been implemented in order to guarantee water quality. Constant improvements are needed due to the procedure for connecting pipes and flushing in Veitur Utility's distribution systems, please see appendices.
Quality of potable water in Reykjavik 2003-2022
Quality of potable water in West and South Iceland 2022
In West Iceland, the water supply wells at Seleyri areanear Borgarfjarðarbrú bridge were renewed in the summer of 2022 to ensure water supply from the area for the future. The wells will be put into use in the coming years. A test well was drilled in Grábrókarhraun lava to investigate whether changing the well design can reduce fine particles in the water, which has been a problem from the start of water utilisation. Improvements were also made to the equipment in the area, which improved the situation.
A dense network of water level meters exists in and around Veitur Utility’s water resource near the Reykjavik capital area. Preparations for research drilling in the Bláfjöll mountains took place by the Association of Local Authorities in the Capital Area. The aim is to better determine the watershed in the area and thus the catchment area of the capital area's water sources. Projects are still being worked on to better understand the connection between environmental factors, microbial pollution, and climate change. Research was undertaken to assess the impact of the eruption in Geldingadalur 2022 on quality of drinking water. No noticeable changes on water quality were observed.
A preliminary analysis was finished of the impact of an increase in groundwater production in Engidalskvísl by the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant. An examination of the possibilities for increased cold water utilisation in the vicinity of the power plant has begun. Increased demand for cold water at Hellisheiði geothermal power plant is predictable as well as increase demand from ON Power’s customers in the Geothermal Park in Hellisheiði.
To ensure water quality, water purifying equipment, using ultraviolet (UV) light, have been installed since 2018 at Veitur Utility’s water sources, both in the Reykjavik capital area and in the countryside, and that work is still ongoing. By doing so, microorganisms that can enter the water supply are rendered inactive before the water is distributed to customers.
Water conservation areas are delimited around the water sources of Veitur Utilities and ON Power. Water conservation areas in Heiðmörk are monitored with regard to, among other things, the transport of oil, petrol and other hazardous chemicals. Accidents and incidents, caused by dangerous behavior within the protected water areas, are registered, addressed, and appropriate action taken. Veitur Utilitites' and ON Power's employees and contractors, that work at the protected water sources, are required to take environmental courses before projects commence, to prevent contamination accidents. This requirement is stipulated in tender documents.
In order to reduce the risk of accidents from oil- or hazardous chemicals accidents in protected water zones within the area, Veitur utilities has consulted with the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration (IRCA), the Association of Local Authorities in the Capital Area, and local health inspectorates. These include improvements to the Suðurlandsvegur road, development in the Hólmsheiði Area, closures and improvements to roads within the water protection area, as well as conducting further groundwater research in the area.