A sample from the water was taken after reports were published that it was yellow, and people who swam in Palmachim felt a burning sensation and smelled a pungent odor. The yellow color was present from March 13-19th.
There were concerns that the algae was toxic, and was the result of the discharge of effluents from the Sorek Wastewater Treatment Plant, which contain nutrients that spark algae growth. This is as yet unconfirmed, but tests are being conducted to determine whether this is the case.
The ministry notes that people should avoid contact with water containing Cyanobacteria, and should avoid swallowing it. This is true regardless of whether the Cyanobacteria is a result of an effluent discharge or natural spring blossoms.
The ministry also reminds people that they should only swim on authorized beaches (those with lifeguards), and only in accordance with the lifeguard’s instructions.