Official: Israel’s Water Safer Than Most

View from the Eshkol Water Filtration Plant in northern Israel. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Panic over the levels of lead in drinking water are out of place, said Professor Itamar Grotto, director of public health issues in the Health Ministry. Speaking to Army Radio, Grotto said that the reports of higher levels of lead in water in several towns and cities in Israel were true, but that even so, the levels of lead in water were well within the permitted amount.

The higher levels of lead, according to a Health Ministry investigation, are to be found in the water supplies of 29 towns and cities, Haaretz reported on Sunday. Among the locations where the higher levels of the material were found were Haifa, Holon, Afula, Hadera, Zichron Yaakov and the Krayot suburbs of Haifa. “The World Health Organization’s recommendations are not being violated in these places, and the danger from lead is negligible,” said Grotto. “The main message I would like to convey is that the water in Israel is safe.”

So safe it is, the Ministry said in a separate report, that Israel’s water is among the cleanest in the world. Basing its comments on reports by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Ministry said that Israel’s clean water standards were among the world’s toughest, and that the water flowing from taps had a near-100 percent perfect record (99.7 percent, to be exact). The report was based on 6,000 spot checks of water quality over the past three years. In the rare cases where there were problems, action to correct the issues were swift and effective. There is no need to drink bottled or mineral water, the Ministry added; tap water in Israel was as good, or better, as any of the waters for sale.