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The Chocolate Factory

The Chocolate Factory

Pipelines in a Settlement in GreenlandThe magic of Greenland can be ruined if you walk along the coast around each major city or settlement and you find sewer pipes outflowing to the ocean. Locals call those spots the Chocolate Factory. It is much less yummy than it sounds. The difficulties to deal with wastewaters in Greenland are well known. There are only four types of waste waters collectors: Flush toilets (including house storage with vehicle hauling and Gravity sewer pipes) and Bucket toilets (Individual hauling and collective collection). As a matter of fact, the wastewaters including domestic and industrial are discharged directly into the ocean without treatment. Little is known about the actual impact into the sea of direct discharges of wastewaters. In a remarkably unpopulated area, such as Greenland, this might not be an apparent problem, yet. The poorly preserved pipeline system is a potential source of pollution, but the situation is not dramatic yet. However, continuous discharges will affect fisheries, drinking water, and tourism hitting the basics values of Greenland if a solution is not found.Greenland 013

The EU water policy from 1991 plans a long-term plan to require municipalities to have waste water treatment systems. The application was defined to be applied in three stages. The last stage, affecting towns down to 2000 inhabitants, were required to have a long-term plan to require municipalities to have waste water treatment system by 2005. Greenland, of course, is not part of the EU, and it is not mandatory for country’s policy makers to implement any treatment. However, largest towns should be aware of the risks for the Greenlandic society and be responsible.

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More Information in Ragnhildur Gunnarsdóttir PhD dissertation: Wastewater Treatment in Greenland

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