Interior Ministry Closes Down Tel Aviv Beaches Due to Pollution

Frishman, Gordon beaches closed until further notice after high concentration of coliform bacteria found.

The Interior Ministry ordered the closing of the Frishman and Gordan beaches in Tel Aviv Thursday, due to pollution in the water.

In a routine checkup of water quality by the Health Ministry, an abnormally high concentration of coliform bacteria was found Thursday morning.

The Health Ministry notified the Tel Aviv municipality and the Interior Ministry, who immediately shut down the beaches until further notice.

"As of now it is unclear what the source of the pollution is, and the matter is being investigated," said Yosef Amar, head supervisor of bathing sites in the Interior Ministry. "Another sample of sea water was taken, four hours after the first check, and we are waiting for laboratory results."

There was no previous warning of waste into the sea. The Dan Region Association of Towns for Sewage and Environmental Issues did announce they would be doing emergency work to replace a major sewage pipe in north Tel Aviv, but the work has not even started. There is also a chance that the new pipe connection might not even interfere with the water.

The association spokesman, Amnon Lieberman, said that, "after we performed a checkup it was quite clear that the source of the pollution is not in the association's systems, which are closed, and no leak was found." Lieberman also vowed his association would continue to prevent the flow of polluted water to the sea.