Treatment Methods

Via its subsidiary EMS Mekorot, Mekorot has established and operates a large number of wastewater treatment plants in Israel. These plants return two qualities of water for reuse in agriculture and industry:

*  Effluent water – Treated Water that has undergone a purification process, usually a multistage, which removes the contaminating elements from the wastewater and enables the reuse thereof for restricted irrigation of agricultural crops
*  Reclaimed water – Treated effluent water that is suitable for unrestricted irrigation of all types of agricultural crops  

As part of its activities, EMS Mekorot provides a comprehensive solution to the treatment and reclamation of water using the TURNKEY method – from the design stage through to “delivering the key”, according to the customer’s needs. This is done while implementing innovative manufacturing processes and providing maximum control capabilities, including the automatic functioning and optimal operation of the facilities.

Mekorot’s systems operate on the basis of two main treatment methods:


Conventional wastewater treatment –

During the 90s, many wastewater treatment plants began adopting the activated sludge method – a mechanical-biological method – according to which a dense population of microorganisms is held in a state of continuous circulation/mixing inside reactors (earthen ponds) into which raw sewage is pumped. This is in order to maintain the appropriate concentration of the sludge in the tanks and a high work rate. In order to exist, the microorganisms decompose the organic matter and the nitrogen and phosphorus compounds, they use the oxygen supplied, and they multiply their numbers at a very rapid rate, so that the process lasts 12-18 hours only. Thereafter, the liquid that is rich in satiated bacteria is moved to the sedimentary basins. In these basins the bacteria mass (sludge) is separated from the water by the physical process of sedimentation. The stabilized sludge is sent for extraction in order to remove the water and to obtain sludge in solid form, which can be disposed of in containers. The resulting gas, which is basically methane, can be used in producing electricity by means of a bio-generator.

Membrane wastewater treatment (Membrane Biological Reactor - MBR) –

Based on this method, the effluents flow through the membranes (UF) after the earthen treatment. The membrane treatment produces effluents that are suitable for unrestricted use in irrigation and gardening. The two activities, ventilation and filtration, without the need for sedimentation, are done simultaneously, thereby promoting cost savings, and enhancing volume and structure. This advanced treatment method is implemented by Mekorot with great professionalism, while maintaining the maximum level of performance and precision, as well as ensuring the reliability of the process and quality of water produced.

Types of advanced treatment plants:

The development of wastewater treatment methods has been instrumental in leading Mekorot to build and operate the most advanced wastewater treatment plants, based on a wide range of options and processes. These are treatment facilities that include earthen pools and sedimentation basins in various forms, and upgraded work capacities. Among these:

•  Fixed biomass technology - based on floating plastic cubes with a large surface area which is inserted into the biological reactor. The large surface area facilitates more efficient utilization of the reactor volume, for the encounter between the biomass and organic matter in the wastewater (reducing the infrastructure).
•  Wetlands – the wastewater passes through a bed where vegetation grows which is responsible for removing the pollutants, primarily through the roots.