About our water distribution network
We distribute water in the Suðurnes region and in Vestmannaeyjar.
We own and operate a distribution system for cold water in Reykjanesbær, part of Suðurnesjabær (Garður) and in Vestmannaeyjar. In addition, we operate the water utility in Keflavík International Airport’s security restricted area. Other municipalities in the Suðurnes region receive their cold water from us but operate their own distribution systems.
Water distribution in the Suðurnes region
Our main catchment area is in a ravine in the Lágar lava field. Freshwater floats on top of subterranean sea water in this area. The pumping station at Lágar is built in a ravine where five steel pipes were installed before the ravine was filled with stones and gravel. The station has three pumps, each averaging around 100 litres per second. Water demand in Reykjanesbær is approximately 140–160 litres per second. Pumps can be added if water demand increases, but the main pipe is designed for a maximum discharge of 400 litres per second. The main reservoir is at Grænásgeymir. There is an additional reservoir in Keflavík, along with a standby reservoir.
Garður receives its water from two boreholes located in Árnaréttur and Skálareykjavegur and the system has two distribution tanks.
Hafnir gets its water from two boreholes by the main road, approximately 0.6 kilometres east of the town. This water is highly saline. Special drinking water desalination equipment is used to rectify this, which reduces metal corrosion so the water fulfils regulatory requirements for drinking water.
Residents in the municipality of Vogar get their water from a borehole at Vogavík, but work is underway on a new water catchment area for Vogar.
Water distribution in Vestmannaeyjum
Water for Vestmannaeyjar is abstracted from Syðsta-Mörk at the foot of the Eyjafjöll mountains. From there, the water runs via a 22 km pipe to a pumping station, where it is pumped to Vestmannaeyja via a 13 km submarine pipeline to a storage tank on Strembugata. The gravity feed to Vestmannaaeyja is approximately 23 litres per second, but if water consumption exceeds this, pumps are activated to fill the tank. The first submarine pipeline was installed in 1968 and the second in 1971. Prior to that, there was no freshwater in Vestmannaeyja.
Water quality and chemical composition
There are numerous laws and regulations on water supplies in Iceland. Freshwater is classified as a foodstuff, so water distributors must comply with regulations on foodstuffs and have a specific internal control mechanism to obtain an operating licence.
The Suðurnes Health Authority monitors water quality in the Suðurnes region and the South Iceland Health Authority monitors water quality in Vestmannaeyjar. These authorities take water samples at regular intervals.