Groundwater in Danish capital at risk of contamination

Capital Region prefers to remove water pollutants from less densely-populated areas

Groundwater in Copenhagen and Frederiksberg may be at risk of contamination, claim the two municipalities.

The Capital Region has decided to bypass the two municipalities in their effort to rid the region of pollutants from old factories, gas stations and laundries, reports Ingeniøren newspaper.

Over the next 10 years, these pollutants may be absorbed into the soil and contaminate groundwater, the municipalities contend.

Too expensive
The Capital Region says Copenhagen and Frederiksberg are the most densely populated municipalities in the region and removing the potential sources of pollution would be too expensive.

According to the environment and transport committee in the Capital Region, it would cost 20 times more to clean Frederiksberg alone than west Zealand and it has decided to start the remediation process in low-cost areas in order to secure as much groundwater as quickly as possible.

READ MORE: Less fertiliser has benefited Denmark’s groundwater

Drinking water
According to the Capital Region, it takes about 20-40 years for a raindrop to seep into the groundwater, but many of the pollutants that the region is aware of, are already 30-40 years old.

Both municipalities have officially complained to the Capital Region and are hoping that the two cities will be prioritised.

“In worst case, we would have to get drinking water from somewhere else”, said Jan Jørgensen, the chairman of the committee for urbanisation and environment at the Frederiksberg Municipality.

Hansen noted that getting drinking water from elsewhere would have significant environmental and economic consequences.