Pollution detected in 'over half' of Danish drinking water sources

Ritzau/The Local
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Pollution detected in 'over half' of Danish drinking water sources
Health authorities have raised concerns over the condition of Denmark's drinking water sources. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

More than half of drinking water boreholes in Denmark are contaminated with the remains of pesticides or other pollutants, with one in ten polluted over threshold levels.


The figures come from a report in drinking water submitted by Danske Regioner, the governing body for health services, to Environment Minister Magnus Heunicke.

“Pollution is now so extensive that it is causing a resource problem,” vice chairperson of Danske Regioner Mads Duedahl said in a statement.

“More and more waterworks are forced to sanitise groundwater to maintain supply. And some drinking water boreholes have had to close completely,” he said.

The issue is worsened in some locations where consumption of water is outpacing flow from the boreholes, the governing body also said.

Ground water resources are overused in one fifth of Denmark, the report states.


Duedahl said this could be attributed to high industrial water consumption and longer periods of drought caused by climate change, meaning more water is used on crops.

“Alongside the pollution, this is putting our groundwater under further strain,” he said.

Danske Regioner has called for more focus and resources to be directed to Denmark’s water supplies so the trend can be reversed.


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