Officials: Don’t Drink the ‘Special Water’ on Route 443

A view of Route 443 from Tel Aviv to Yerushalayim. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

A popular natural spring along Road 443, the main road between Modi’in and Yerushalayim, is unsafe to drink from, according to officials quoted in a recent report in Maariv. The spring, where drivers can be seen filling up bottles and jerrycans to drink on the road, is the victim of untreated sewage from an Arab village in the area.

Many of those who stop at the spring have claimed that the water tastes far better than the water they get when they open the tap, while others have claimed medicinal and other benefits from the spring. The spring was opened only in recent years, when Road 443 was expanded, but it has taken on the aura of an “ancient medicinal spring,” according to the Health Ministry.

But tests of the water indicate that it has a very high bacteria count, the report quoted Ministry officials as saying – with bacteria counts five times what clean water would allow. “Anyone who drinks that water is liable to get at the very least a stomach ache, if not contract a more serious diseases,” the officials were quoted as saying. The source of the pollution seems to be sewage from an Arab village that has entered the water table and emerges in the spring, but it is not clear which village is at fault, officials said.

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