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Israeli wastewater treatment plant, a global model

The Dan Region Wastewater Treatment Plant is among 30 projects from around the world chosen by the United Nations, to demonstrate the ability of local authorities to deal with environmental problems.

The plant, known to Israelis as Shafdan, was included on the list for its unique method of using the natural filtration qualities of sand in order to improve the quality of sewage. After wastewater is purified in an ordinary facility, it is recharged into the ground, where it undergoes an additional, natural filtration in the sands of Rishon Letzion and Yavne. This improves the quality of the water such that it can ultimately be used safely for all forms of irrigation.

The list of projects was published in a special report of the UN Environment Programme and ICLEI, an international association of local governments that have made a commitment to sustainable development.

Urban areas comprise only 1-2% of the area of the earth’s surface, but they cause the emission of almost 80% of greenhouse gases. Today, about half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and the forecast is that this figure will increase to over 60% within a decade.

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