(photo credit: Courtesy)
Women using one northern Jerusalem mivke might now be reentering the same waters
that they had enjoyed the month before.
Mikve Yair, in the northern
Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of Jerusalem, will be the first among the city’s 36
ritual baths to be piloting a special recycled- water system, in which the water
will no longer have to be changed at the conclusion of each day, according to
Alex Weisman, CEO of Moriah Jerusalem Development Company, the firm responsible
for overseeing the process.
The mikve staff members themselves are not
actually involved in the municipality’s implementation of the system, and a
receptionist at Mikve Yair told The Jerusalem Post that they didn’t know exactly
when the facility would begin using the new filtration mechanism – but Weisman
confirmed that this date would in fact be August 1.
“This is a pilot and
then we will see what is the impact on saving money and green issues,” he told
the Post on Wednesday night.
For six months, the Health Ministry will
monitor the water conditions of the mikve following the switch, and if all goes
well, will likely permit other ritual baths in the city to use the same system,
according to Weisman.
“We have a problem of water in Israel and if we can
save water – and demand of water in mikvaot is a huge demand – this is something
that is necessary in a country like Israel,” he said.
In its current
state, the mikve uses the same supply of water all day and then replaces it with
entirely freshwater the next morning – a huge amount, as each pool requires
about eight cubic meters of water, Weisman explained.
Meanwhile, he said,
the new freshwater must be heated from scratch; whereas, the new reusable water
system will bring back the water at 50 percent of its required bathing
temperature and therefore will save significant amounts of
“It’s a win-win situation, and the cost of the system is
less than what they’d be paying for new water plus warming the system,” Weisman
Only a tiny amount of additional freshwater will be required, as
some water will of course be lost due splashing of mikve users and natural
evaporation, but as a whole, he said, “you can clean the water everyday and
reuse it so that you don’t need freshwater.”