City takes the lid off sewage pits

A municipal spokesman said the pits were a major source of pollution.

Tel Aviv has declared war on the 700 sewage pits that blight parts of the city and pollute the environment around them, reports Yediot Tel Aviv. The city plans to empty all the old pits and connect the neighborhoods to the sewerage system. But residents are already protesting against the city's expectation that they will pay NIS 15,000 for each pit to be emptied and sewerage pipes to be connected. According to the report, sewage pits are to be found mostly in Jaffa and in the south and east of Tel Aviv. Waste flows into them from household toilets, and they are emptied every few months. In some cases one pit serves several households, but in many cases one pit serves one household. A municipal spokesman said the pits were a major source of pollution, with the collected waste seeping out into the surrounding soil. "We must act in every way possible to get rid of them. Sewage pits have no place in an advanced city," the spokesman said. The city acknowledged that many of the impoverished families who live in areas where there are sewage pits would be hard-pressed to come up with NIS 15,000 to have them emptied, but said the families could apply for subsidies. Green councilor Pe'er Visner said the city was determined to remove the pits and would act against land owners who refused to enable the connection to the sewerage system.