The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) has issued an indictment against Algonal-Ilgon Service Ltd. in Holon and the director of its factory. They are accused of illegaly discharging hazardous substances into the municipal sewage system, which then flowed into the sea. Abnormally high concentrations of hazardous materials were found in the municipal sewer system in the area of factory, in the center of the country. Concentrations at the levels found can be a danger to people and to the environment, ,and can stimulate dangerous chemical reactions that produce cyanide.
According to the indictment filed in a Tel Aviv court this week, the Holon company submitted a wastewater treatment program that includes the use of a facility for the treatment of industrial waste containing heavy metals and other toxic substances. As part of the process to obtain a business permit, Algonal declared that it does not discharge untreated industrial waste into the municipal sewage system.
In 2012, however, surprise inspections conducted by MoEP and the Mei Shikma Water Corporation found significant irregularities in heavy metal concentrations in the sewage system. The concentrations were high enough to be considered dangerous.
A subsequent inspections found that pipelines connected to hazardous materials pools at the factory were also connected to the municipal sewer system. During this inspection, workers disconnected the pipeline, and began pumping clean water into the sewers.
Tests of wastewater coming from the factory found:
- heavy metal concentration up to 100,000 times the standard
- aluminium concentration up to 44 times the standard
- chromium concentration up to 10.9 times the standard.
The factory’s actions endangered the pipe maintenance workers as well as the functioning of the entire sewer system. Untreated industrial wastewater that is discharged into the sea harms the marine environment, fish stocks, and the sea’s biodiversity.
Learn more about pollution from land-based sources.