Blankenburg (dpa/sa) – The origin and cause of the oily substance discovered on Wednesday on the water surface of the Rappbode dam in the Harz Mountains are still unknown according to initial investigations. “We can only say with certainty that it is a hydrocarbon compound,” said Joachim Schimrosczyk from the Saxony-Anhalt dam operation in Blankenburg on Friday of the German Press Agency. “There won’t be anything concrete before early next week.”

The substance floating on the surface of the reservoir was discovered during control work and was quickly contained near the shore using floating barriers. The extraction of raw water by the Fernwasser Elbaue-Ostharz company for drinking water treatment was never at risk, it said. According to the information, around one million people in central Germany get their drinking water from the Rappbodetalsperre.