Ayalon, Yarkon Rivers Awash With Sewage Streaming Into the Med.

Sewage from the Ayalon River has been streaming into the Yarkon River, and from there into the Mediterranean Sea, for three days. The sewage flow had been blocked by an earth dam for more than a week beforehand, but the dam was opened to prevent flooding, due to the recent rains.

It will take several weeks to fix the problem, which began with a burst pipe near the Hiriya garbage dump next to Ben-Gurion International Airport, and figure out what caused it, the Environmental Protection Ministry said yesterday. "After the trash is removed, we will be able to know for certain what caused the problem," said ministry representative Alon Zasak.

The regional sanitation group responsible for the Hiriya site said the sewage pipe was blocked by fat, chicken carcasses and pieces of plastic.

The Environmental Protection Ministry blamed the sewage problem on Or Yehuda, and Water Authority head Uri Shani ordered the municipality to take action to fix the problem. However, the Or Yehuda municipality said it was not responsible for the problem since it took place outside its jurisdiction, instead blaming the dumping of a large quantity of construction rubble in the Hiriya area.

The Dan region and Yarkon sewage and drainage authorities adhered to protocol in building the dam to contain the sewage, while the Mekorot water company drained the sewage that collected near the dam. But the recent storm brought this activity to a halt, in an effort to prevent flooding in south Tel Aviv neighborhoods.