Survey on waste water treatment in Iceland

Most places in Europe use secondary and/or tertiary waste water treatment to decrease the burden on the environment. In Iceland, we are currently only working on implementing preliminary treatment for all municipalities, to filter out large items like wet wipes and other rubbish. While this is an improvement, unfortunately preliminary treatment alone does not remove potentially harmful substances like disease-causing fecal bacteria, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, microplastics, or heavy metals. While the natural environment has some capacity to remove certain pollutants, others can be particularly problematic as they do not easily break down and can pose a risk to wildlife, including fish, whales, and birds, as well as the marine and coastal habitats themselves. Therefore, it is very important that we are all aware that everything we flush down the toilet, every chemical we use for cleaning and washing, will end up in the sea.

This survey is a student-initiated project at the University of Akureyri, within the green flag project (, and is part of the activities of the Environmental Council of the University of Akureyri. All answers are recorded and stored anonymously. In this survey we want to gather data on awareness and opinions regarding wastewater treatment, to inform decision makers.

You can participate here.

Thank you very much for your participation!