After three years of planning and more than two and a half years of infrastructure work, the Hagihon group of companies presented a progress report on one of the most complex and challenging engineering and environmental plans in Israel – the rehabilitation of the Kidron Valley stream.
Approximately 16 kilometers of sewage pipes out of 37 kilometers have been laid thus far, and a pretreatment and treatment facility has been built in the heart of the Judean Desert to absorb sewage flowing in the valley. The treatment facility includes a 60 meter deep, six meter wide, and 1,200 meter long infrastructure tunnel. More than 150,000 cubic meters of dirt and waste were separated, 20,000 tons of garbage were moved to landfills and 30,000 cubic meters of soil were returned for building in the valley.
Since the establishment of the State of Israel, no solution has been found for the Kidron Valley stream, the largest and most impressive of the Judean Desert streams. Approximately 50,000 cubic meters of raw sewage from Jerusalem and the surrounding communities flow through the valley daily. Over the years, building debris and garbage that comes with the sewage have piled up on the sides of the valley and around it, in addition to the growth of invasive plant species.
Since 2015, the Hagihon group of companies has been leading the planning and implementation of the work plan, which was prepared in cooperation with the Water Authority and coordinated with the Jerusalem Municipality, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Civil Administration, and various government ministries.
“We have been managing one of the largest environmental protection projects in Israel and the Middle East,” said Avi Balashnikov, chairman of the Gihon Corporation and the Jerusalem Sewage and Wastewater Treatment Plants Company. “This is a national mission that our staff is working on, day and night, for the benefit of the residents of Jerusalem and the surrounding area, for the values of nature and heritage, for the good of the land of Israel and the planet.
“The rehabilitation of the Kidron Valley will regulate the problem of wastewater discharge in the Kidron Basin and serve all the communities along the valley. We will restore to the Kidron Valley the majesty and splendor of the environmental, heritage, tourism and historical splendor.”