Burst pipe kills river eels

Hot water from a pipe owned by the Reykjavik Energy Company (OR) escaped and flooded a 500 meter section of the Fossvogslaekur stream. Approximately 40 eels between? Reykjavik and Kopavogur died from the sudden change in water temperature.

The dead eels were brought to the attention of the Natural History Museum of Kópavogur (NK) by a pedestrian strolling the river banks. The Museum’s director, Hilmar Malmquist, surveyed the scene and concluded that any river organism had a slim chance of surviving the incident.

“The same goes for invertebrates and larger species. Most species were killed like the eel although you can’t see them with bare eyes, or they’ve been washed to sea,” Malmquist said. “It’s a shame that the eel was killed in that way after a 5,000-kilometer long journey from the Sargasso Sea out of the Gulf of Mexico.”

Although spokesmen for OR were uncertain as to the exact quantity of hot water which escaped from the pipe, the company’s department head of systems operations, Gunnar Adalsteinsson estimated it was probably about 40 tons. “Or even more,” he said. “There was a 10-centimeter rift on a water pipe and water leaked from it for about 30 minutes.”

The Reykjavik Energy Company is owned by the city of Reykjavik, the town of Akranes and the local officials of Borgarbyggð. The company provides electricity and water to over half of the population of Iceland.

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