Eco-friendly Sewage Treatment Comes to the West Bank

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A new scheme has just got underway for Palestinians to treat their sewage waste and purifying it for agricultural use by using wetlands.

Forsaking electricity, the system instead relies on a system of man-made pools which utilise plants to assist in the organic breakdown of the sewage.

The West Bank village of Um a-Rihan, not far from Umm el-Fahm in Israel, is home to 50 families and until now has not been connected to a proper sewage system. The wetlands will not only prevent pollution to the aquifer but will also provide the village residents with purified water for their crops, reports the Jerusalem Post.

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A pilot project, administered by the Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI), has operating in a handful of homes for around a year and has just recently been expanded to the entire village. IPCRI hope that their Ecological Wastewater Treatment for Rural Communities project will be rolled out to more Palestinian communities in the future.

As well as offering a green alternative to conventional sewage treatment, the scheme represents practical Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, including expertise from Israeli engineer Arnon Goren and former Tel Aviv city council member Hadas Shachnai. It also has the blessing of the Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank and the Israeli Army is even considering using it in some of its military bases.

We’ve written earlier on the life-threatening sewage problem for the Palestinians in Gaza. And reports from the field – Green Prophet’s Rami – say the situation is grim. We’ve also written on Ayala to remediate pollution wastelands in Israel with plants. Also on wetlands and how they work to clean sewage. Maybe the new West Bank solution can be transferred to Gaza as well. 

:: IPCRI, Ecological Wastewater Treatment for Rural Communities in the West Bank.

:: Jerusalem Post, Artificial swamps in the West Bank

[Photo via klynslis]

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