A pipeline for wastewater and an upgraded pumping system are about to solve the sewage problem in Kibbutz Bror Hayil, which is located near the Gaza perimeter. The project, which was undertaken with the support of Ma’alot 360, Friends of JNF in Victoria, Australia, is expected to be completed within a few weeks. The upgraded system will enable an influx of new residents, agricultural expansion, environmental protection and a higher standard of living for the people of the entire region.
The pipeline for wastewater and an upgraded pumping system in Bror Hayil have been completed thanks to the generous support of Ma’alot 360, Friends of JNF in Victoria, Australia.
Simon Guthrie in front of Jojoba groves. Photo: Yoav Devir
“The new system is very important to us and to other rural communities in the vicinity as far as ecology and agriculture are concerned,” said Simon Guthrie, the Economic Coordinator of Kibbutz Bror Hayil, regarding the upgraded sewage system. “The water is used for irrigating the fields, and without proper treatment of effluents, it would be impossible to absorb new residents and expand the kibbutz.”
The old oxidation pools provided low quality water and did not meet the standards of the Ministry of Health. The new facility includes an upgraded pumping station and the installation of sewage pipelines, 1.2 kilometres long, that reach the regional wastewater treatment plant in Sderot. The water will be treated in the Sderot Wastewater Treatment Plant and conducted back to irrigate the fields of Sderot and the local rural communities. Upgrading the sewage system keeps the environment clean, ensures a high standard of living for the people and prevents sanitation problems that could inhibit expansion of the kibbutz.
The old oxidation pool. Photo: Yoav Devir
About 900 people live in Bror Hayil at present, and the plan is to expand the kibbutz in the next few years from 280 families to 400. About 80 new homes are already in early construction stages, in addition to the 60 homes built over the last five years. Apparently, there are still many people with a pioneering spirit, who are interested in populating the Negev regardless of the security situation and proximity to the Gaza Strip.
Obviously, local farmers will benefit from the new system. “Until now, the effluents of the kibbutz were only used for growing animal fodder,” said Ofer Wiener, a farmer. “Thanks to this project, they will be treated to produce high quality water, which will be suitable for irrigating all edible produce. This allows us to expand our cultivated areas and provides us with better income.” Among the crops to be irrigated by the reclaimed wastewater are: maize, potato, carrot, sunflower, chickpea, onion and other vegetables. The new jojoba groves in Bror Hayil, which were planted right next to the pumping station, will also benefit from the water.
“I’m feeling incredibly proud of our group of friends for standing up and supporting this community and partnering with this community” Simone Szalmuk-Singer, co-President of JNF Victoria and National Vice President
“Twelve months ago, this was just an idea, a dream if you like, for the community” Michael Carp, co-President of JNF Victoria and National Vice President