Oxygen aerators at Israel’s IDF Nevatim Air Force Base are purifying sewage water for irrigation use. Photo: Trlabarge/Wikipedia
Many modern armies are now practicing clean technology by using equipment run on solar energy. This also holds true for the Israeli Defense Forces known as the IDF which aims to be greener. One of the prime issues in large military bases, often remote and off the grid, is finding greener solutions to getting rid of sewage. The solution to this problem is now on the way to being solved at Israel’s large Nevatim air force base in the country’s Negev desert region.
The solution at Nevatim, according to Haaretz, is in purifying the sewage water and then sending it to be used to irrigate a large park that will be built near the southern city of Beer Sheva.
The sewage treatment facility at Nevatim is also being used to purify wastewater from the nearby Bedouin town of Arara, a community from where a school principal created another kind of ‘water issue’ in the Knesset when he took his students on a field trip to a human rights rally in Tel Aviv.
The sewage water purification plant built at Nevatim uses special oxygenation pools to aerate the water to purify it. The water will then be sent to a holding reservoir before being sent for use in irrigation. The purifying and recycling of sewage wastes is a big improvement over former practices of simply channeling the sewage into a nearby wadi (valley) and thereby causing area ground and ground water pollution.
Another southern air force base, Ramon, is also involved in sewage water purification by using what is known as a constructed wetland system in which plants act as bio-filters.
Although the costs of this project in Nevatim are rather high, they have been assisted by a large donation of NIS 7.5 million ( $2 million USD) from the US branch of the Jewish National Fund.
Oded Galili, head of infrastructure and environment of the Israel Defense Ministry, commented that “the cost of the piping alone for this project within the large Nevatim base costs around NIS 10 million.”
Whatever the costs involved, the eventual environmental benefits are very worthwhile.
Read more on IDF and other military environmental improvement ideas and practices:
Israeli IDF Officers to be Trained at Green Training Base
Going Green is a Tactical Offensive in War
How Israel’s Military Secrets Translate to Clean Technology