Industrial waste water contamination in Israel.
(photo credit: ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION MINISTRY)
A leakage of industrial waste water with high acidity occurred on Friday afternoon at the Rotem Amfert plant, causing acidic water to flow into the Ashalim area of the Judean desert, according to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.
Israel Nature and Parks Authority staff are in the area working to block further contamination and to prevent travelers from going to the area.
Gilad Gabbai, director of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority's Southern Region, said that they were working with all parties in order to minimize damage to plants, animals and travelers in the region.
He further stated that the impact of the spill would be felt long-term as the waste water seeped into the ground, contaminating water and endangering wildlife. Gabbai estimated that the area impacted is about 10 kilometers.
According to the Rotem Amfert chemical plant, the leak occurred at 11:45 a.m. and plant workers immediately began work to stop the leak. The flow of waste water has ceased, according to a company spokesperson.
The public is asked to avoid Ashalim and nearby routes until further notice.