Herzliya residents demand inquiry into water supply

Residents of the Weizmann neighborhood claim that their area suffers from a "worryingly high" rate of cancer-related illnesses and deaths.

Residents of the Weizmann neighborhood in Herzliya are demanding a government investigation into their water supply, claiming that their area suffers from a "worryingly high" rate of cancer-related illnesses and deaths, reports www.local.co.il. The residents have sent letters to the municipality, the Health Ministry, the Ministry for Environmental Protection and the Ministry for Infrastructure demanding an investigation and saying that they will take legal action to obtain compensation for the damage caused to them. According to the report, the residents say their water supply has been polluted over a number of years with dangerous and carcinogenic chemicals from a nearby service station and car mechanic's workshop. The letter said the city and the government departments had not acted as they should have against the pollution, which was a "worrying and grave phenomenon that has endangered and endangers lives." It said the city knew as far back as 2003 that the wells were polluted with carcinogens, but had decided not to close them because the Health Ministry had found only a "small dose" of carcinogens. "It should be emphasized that the rate of death and illness from cancer in the neighborhood is worrying and extraordinary," the letter said, adding that in one street alone, 10 residents had died of cancer in recent years. "This phenomenon of such a high death rate in one street should rub the sleep out of the eyes of the authorities and demands urgent examination and treatment," the letter said. A municipal spokesman responded that neither the city nor the Health Ministry were aware of any extraordinary rate of illness in the area.