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      Knesset Committee OK's Waste Water Treatment Bill

      The Knesset Committee for the Interior and Environmental Protection on Monday approved a bill accelerating the treatment of waste water in Israel.
      By Hana Levi Julian
      First Publish: 1/26/2010, 12:40 PM / Last Update: 1/26/2010, 12:44 PM

      The Knesset Committee for the Interior and Environmental Protection has passed a bill regulating quality control for treatment of waste water in Israel. The decision ended a long process of debate over the issue of how to regulate a water resource rarely considered in public discussions: the quality of Israel's “grey water.”

      The committee voted to accept a proposal by MK Dov Hanin (Hadash), chairman of the joint Knesset Committee on Environment and Health Regulations, to accelerate implementation of quality control regulations on treated waste water.

      Compliance with quality control regulations on waste water that flows into rivers, for example, must now be implemented within a maximum period of five years, according to Monday's decision. The original regulation called for a maximum grace period of 10 years. In agricultural environments and those involving “standing water,” compliance must be implemented within the next three years, instead of the original five-year period mandated in the previous regulatory document.

      “Today we completed a very important step in a comprehensive settlement of an issue that involves the serious use of water and its regulations,” Hanin said.

      “It is essential to enable the use of treated waste water, but no less important to preserve its high quality in order to protect the reservoirs, to protect the environment, and to ensure the public health,” he added. “Today the Knesset took an important step in dealing with one of the most important components in the field of water management, protecting the quality of Israel's water.”

      Israel is a global leader in international water technology.