Waste water treatment regulations approved

The regulations to put in place 37 parameters for treating waste water, Environmental Protection Ministry says.

January 26, 2010 06:46
1 minute read.
Waste water treatment regulations approved

sewage 248.88. (photo credit: AP)

The Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee approved regulations for treating waste water on Monday, after a 10-year process.

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The regulations will put in place 37 parameters for treating waste water, as opposed to the two that exist today, the Environmental Protection Ministry said.

Regulating treated sewage protects both the land and the water from contamination as well as residents' health.

The process began with the recommendations of the interministerial Inbar Committee, headed by Environmental Protection Ministry director-general Yossi Inbar long before he took up his current post. The regulations were then formulated and proposed by the health minister and the environmental protection minister and submitted to the Knesset panel.

Treated sewage water is an integral part of the country's water conservation policy. Seventy-five percent of sewage water is recycled - by far the highest percentage of any country.

The new regulations will go into effect for treated sewage water dumped into streams in five years and for agriculture in three years. The Knesset committee adopted the expedited schedule at the request of joint Knesset Health and Environment Committee head Dov Henin (Hadash) and waterways watchdog NGO Zalul. The original draft allowed twice as long for the regulations to take hold.

Under the new regulations, water treatment plants will have to adhere to the far more stringent conditions, prepare detailed supervision plans, take samples and publish the results. There is also a transparency component, in an attempt to make all of the information available to the public, the ministry said.

The ministry will have six months to extend the regulations to the effluence from fish ponds, the committee decided in response to a request from Zalul.

Both Henin and Zalul described the approval of the regulations as a "historic day" for the environment in Israel.

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