SVLT delegation with Dr. Yaron Zinger at the Kfar Saba Biofilter.
(photo credit: DENNIS ZINN KKL-JNF)
A delegation from the Swiss Association for Farm Machinery (SVLT) pays a visit to the Kfar Saba biofilter, a KKL-JNF supported pilot project that cleans polluted urban runoff for recycling.
Read more about the Biofilter visit, and see photos
“This visit to the biofilter is very interesting and important for us because while Switzerland may be known as the “Water Tower of Europe” due to our immense clean water resources, water pollution in our country is definitely on the rise, and we have much to learn in Israel,” said Dr. Roman Engeler, Vice Director of SVLT, on a 2-hour tour of the pilot Biofilter installation in Kfar Saba.
Dr. Engeler was accompanied by two other senior members of SVLT: Mr. Willi Zollinger who was accompanied by his wife Marianne, and Mr. Ulrich Günthardt. They came to visit and observe the Kfar Saba biofilter, which lies at the center of a green park surrounded by residential buildings.
The biofilter consists of a shallow depression of earth filled with consecutive layers of vegetation, sand and gravel. As urban runoff flows into here, each layer naturally filters out the pollutants until the water is fit to replenish Israel’s coastal aquifer.
The delegation was met by the Head of the Center for Water Sensitive Cities in Israel, Dr. Yaron Zinger, who led the tour and presented them with a detailed overview of the facility. All the Swiss participants were clearly familiar with the problems caused by city runoff and took great interest in the intricacies of the Biofilter solution.
Zinger explained in great details how the contaminated water is channeled to the catchment area above the biofilter and then fed through the different layers until it is purified and piped into the aquifer some 90 meters below. He said that the entire process takes two hours. The group lingered at the apparatus that enables accurate sampling of the purified water.
The Kfar Saba Biofilter was the first of three pilot facilities that were erected in Israel, the other two being in Ramle and Bat Yam. The biofilters were built with the support of JNF Australia and KKL Mexico.