The Ministry of Environmental Protection today (Tuesday) issued a warning to the Haifa Municipality about continuous pollution of Nahal Saadia in sewage flowing from the municipal drainage outlet to and from the natural drainage system, and from leachates from the old waste site and flowing into the river channel; And on waste pests on the banks of the creek.
The Haifa District of the Ministry of Environmental Protection demands that the Haifa Municipality immediately stop polluting the river. The municipality is required to submit to the ministry for approval a plan to stop the pollution from the drainage system, a plan for a complementary solution that includes installing additional infrastructure to protect the creek, a plan to treat and stop stream pollution from garbage mountain washes and a plan to increase waste management. Plans should include schedules, in a way that will ensure the implementation of solutions as soon as possible.
Regarding the protection of the stream against pollution from the drainage system, the municipality is required to take care from the end of the current rainy season, until the final and permanent disposal of all sources of sewage to the drainage system.
An earlier alert regarding the pollution of Nahal Saadia from the drainage system in the Check Post area was sent to the Haifa Municipality in August 2021. Following the alert, the municipality took an internal photo of the drainage line, where sewage and industrial materials were found from one of the businesses to the municipal drainage system. The business printing house from the municipal drainage system.
Despite the actions taken, the flow of sewage from the source of the drainage line which is owned by the municipality to the canal and from there to Nahal Saadia did not stop. Since then, tours of the Ministry of Environmental Protection have taken place at the old waste site and in the open areas in the Saadia River area.
Following the pollution, there were also joint tours and meetings between officials from the Ministry of Environmental Protection, officials from the Association of Cities for the Environment of Haifa Bay and city officials. At a recent meeting, representatives of the ministry returned and demanded without delay a plan to treat the dung from the garbage can and prevent the pollution of the stream. As of this date, and despite the opportunities given to the municipality, it has not yet submitted a plan or any reference regarding the cessation of the hazard in Nahal Saadia from leachates originating from the Garbage Mountain.
The municipality is obligated to prevent pollution of streams, canals and water races, as well as to prevent a situation in which pipes intended for the disposal of rainwater will be used for the disposal of wastewater. By virtue of the municipality’s responsibility as a local authority for the treatment of waste hazards within its area of law, the municipality is required to increase supervision and enforcement to ensure the cleanliness of river banks and stop dumping waste in the public domain, including strengthening local supervision, blocking access and using enforcement cameras.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection considers the continued pollution of the Saadia River to be serious, which is a lovely corner and a unique ecosystem that a great deal of effort is invested in its conservation. To the extent that the municipality does not meet the ministry’s requirements set out in the notice document, the ministry will consider additional enforcement options, including issuing orders against the municipality.