Thursday, May 1, 2014

Is My Health Endangered? Re:Jerusalem Water Contamination

Just after my friend and I finished an absolutely delicious meal in a Talpiyot restaurant I got a message from one of my kids who knew I had been in Talpiyot saying:
"Don't drink the water."
It was too late for us. I have no idea how dangerous the water really is/was.  When I checked my email etc. I saw that the Jerusalem Consulate sent out a warning.
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United States Consulate General Jerusalem
April 30, 2014


Message for U.S. citizens:  Water Contamination



Residents of several neighborhoods in the southern and eastern parts of Jerusalem should boil their drinking and cooking water for at least two minutes before use until further notice, according to the Ministry of Health in bulletin just issued today (Wednesday afternoon).



The reason is “a suspicion of contamination” of water supplies in Baka, Abu Tor, Talpiot, Tsur Baher, Silwan, Ras el-Amud, the Old City, Mamilla and Morasha (Musrara), the ministry said.



The Ministry advised not to use tap water for drinking, brushing teeth or “dealing with food” without first boiling the water for two minutes.  The Gihon water consortium and the Ministry are conducting checks to ensure the safety of the water, it added.  For more information, call the Gihon information number *2070.

We figured that it's some sort of bacteria that can make us sick, G-d forbid. As in all sorts of similar cases, some people get sick and others don't. And considering all of the salads we ate, the dangers weren't just from the drinking water. And considering that those areas are big tourist and commercial areas, this problem affects many more people than just those who live in the areas.

This morning there's an article explaining more about it in the Jerusalem Post.
Residents of affected neighborhoods still need to boil their water, the Health Ministry announced early Thursday morning.
On Wednesday, following a leakage of treated wastewater into the drinking water system, residents of some eastern and southern Jerusalem neighborhoods were instructed to boil all water......Results from preliminary tests conducted by Hagihon, the capital’s municipal water corporation, indicated that treated wastewater had leaked at a “high level” into the drinking water of several neighborhoods, the company confirmed on Wednesday evening. The affected neighborhoods are home to approximately 130,000 people and include Baka, Abu Tor, Talpiot, Tsur Baher, Silwan, Ras el-Amud, the Old City, Mamilla and Morasha (Musrara), Hagihon said.
The residents of these neighborhoods must boil their drinking and cooking water for two minutes before use until further notice, the Health Ministry said at noon on Wednesday.
Do not use tap water for drinking, brushing teeth or “dealing with food” without first boiling the water for two minutes, the ministry said.
Tests began immediately upon receiving calls from residents on Tuesday night, representatives from Hagihon said. Initial samples featured a decreased level of chlorine, which solidified the company’s concerns that the drinking water was contaminated, they said.
Now, it's just a matter of waiting I guess.

PS I still plan on giving the restaurant a great review.

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