The Blue Lagoon: A silk purse from a sow’s ear

The Svartsengi geothermal power plant near Reykjavik found it necessary, due to salt water intrusion in to the groundwater; to use heat exchangers to heat the turbine feed water, to eliminate corrosion of the turbine from the salt in the groundwater. In 1976 their plan was to dump the waste water into the lava field. Unfortunately the waste water did not peculate into the ground leaving a lagoon of waste water blue in color. In 1981 people discovered that the warm waste waters rich in minerals like silica and sulfur help some people suffering from skin diseases such as psoriasis. In 1987, the first public bathing facilities opened. The new Blue Lagoon Spa formally opened on July 15, 1999.
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