Wednesday, September 13, 2017
“This solution can be more useful in the Czech Republic than you can imagine.”
As they prepared to attend WATEC Israel’s premier water conference in Tel Aviv, a group of Czech water experts got a first-hand look at one of Israel’s innovative ways of tackling the issue of water wasted in urban runoff: The Biofilter in Kfar Saba, which is part of a KKL-JNF pilot project being held in cooperation with Monash University in Australia, with the support of JNF Australia.
Already in its fifth year, the project is continuing to progress and prove its effectiveness in dealing with a water problem
most urbanized areas are facing, KKL-JNF Central Region Deputy Director Yehiel Cohen
told the group.
With increased construction and development in cities, rain water is not absorbed into the ground, which is covered with cement and asphalt, and the rain flows along the streets before draining into the sea, rather than being harnessed as a resource that can benefit cities and neighborhoods. Sometimes, as little as five percent of rainwater enters the water table in urbanized areas because of this phenomenon.
In addition, Israel faces the challenge of non-operational fresh water wells due to sea water seeping up to one kilometer into the aquifers along the coastline, making the water saline and unfit for use.
The first engineered green water-treatment system in Israel, the Kfar Saba Biofilter
pilot project harvests and treats polluted water. It consists of a shallow basin with a multi-level filter system composed of sand, gravel, and especially suited vegetation which have been selected for their pollutant removal capacities. The entire filtering process can take two hours and the water at this stage can be used for irrigation and sanitation needs.
The water from the Kfar Saba biofilter is utilized to irrigate a community park enjoyed by the local neighborhood.
The system was built by KKL-JNF with the support of JNF Australia
and Monash University in Australia.
“I have seen the water prior its filtration in the system and it is brown and dirty. At the end of the process it is very clear,” said Cohen. “In the future we plan to coordinate this between the municipality and the Israeli Water Authority whereby the city will receive money back from the Water Authority for every cubic meter of clean water its system puts back into the aquifers.”