Mapal wastewater system 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy Mapal)
The Jerusalem municipality announced on Thursday that residents of the capital could return to regular water use, with the exception of the Abu Tor neighborhood.
The municipality asked residents of Abu Tor to continue boiling their water.
On Wednesday, following a leakage of treated wastewater into the drinking water system, residents of some eastern and southern Jerusalem neighborhoods were instructed to boil all water.
Results from preliminary tests conducted by Hagihon, the capital’s municipal water corporation, indicated that treated wastewater had leaked at a “high level” into the drinking water of several neighborhoods, the company confirmed on Wednesday evening. The affected neighborhoods are home to approximately 130,000 people and include Baka, Abu Tor, Talpiot, Tsur Baher, Silwan, Ras el-Amud, the Old City, Mamilla and Morasha (Musrara), Hagihon said.
The residents of these neighborhoods were asked to boil their drinking and cooking water for two minutes before use until further notice, the Health Ministry said at noon on Wednesday.
Do not use tap water for drinking, brushing teeth or “dealing with food” without first boiling the water for two minutes, the ministry said.
Tests began immediately upon receiving calls from residents on Tuesday night, representatives from Hagihon said. Initial samples featured a decreased level of chlorine, which solidified the company’s concerns that the drinking water was contaminated, they said.
“Hagihon is treating this incident in coordination with the Water Authority, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Health Ministry, in order to restore life’s routine to a normal situation as soon as possible,” Hagihon CEO Zohar Yinon said. “Immediately upon the end of the event we will make an announcement in an orderly manner in coordination with the Health Ministry and the Jerusalem Municipality.”
Yinon has been presiding over a situation room on the incident, with the participation of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Hagihon chairman Avi Balashnikov and representatives of the municipality, the Health Ministry and company professionals, the company said.