Israel: Tel Aviv Water Safe (fertilizer blamed) : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Headline: Israel: Tel Aviv Water Safe

Source: The Associated Press via Washington Post, 11 July 2001


JERUSALEM Israel's Health Ministry announced Wednesday that water in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area was safe to drink after a section contaminated by fertilizer was flushed out of the system.

Nearly 2 million Israelis were instructed Monday not to drink their water. Mineral water was sold out at stores within hours when local residents rushed to stock up.

Officials said it was the worse water crisis in years.

But the water was no longer polluted and residents could drink from the tap without fear on Wednesday, said Zion Cohen, an engineer with the national water company, Mekorot.

"This morning it is totally clean," Cohen told Army radio.

Officials were investigating suspicions that fertilizer used by a farmer who had made an illegal hookup to the water carrier caused the contamination.

Radios were abuzz Wednesday morning with accusations by local officials that the water company and Health Ministry had overreacted to what turned out to be a slight contamination only, forcing the public to stop drinking tap water in the peak of summer.

Israel has been suffering from a severe drought since 1999. About 40 percent of the country's drinking water is brought across Israel in an open aqueduct from the Sea of Galilee, which has reached dangerously low levels.

-- Andre Weltman (, July 11, 2001

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