The purification process is divided into three stages. First the water must be filtered to extract all large particles and objects. Then biological treatment is used to break down organic materials and cause bacteria to settle. At the same time, floating solids are removed and micro-organisms and disease carrying agents are treated using specialized disinfectants. Already at this stage, the water will be clear but this is not the end of the process. The water is processed further to ensure that it is suitable for agricultural use and that it will not damage the aquifer.
In order to obtain the required water quality, a third stage is needed. At this stage one of the following methods may be used: biological filtration of nitrogen, filtration of phosphates with chemicals or a biological process, gravitational filtration using sand (less common in Israel apart from the Dan region treatment plant).
Today, most farmers use treated waste water (a process that primarily removed organic elements from the water) and which contains remains of medicines, hormones and a variety of salts that, over the years, destroys the soil and even harms the aquifer. New research shows that the use of desalinated water for agricultural crops not only produces better produce but is also healthier and a significant saving of water as there is no longer a need to wash the ground of accumulated salts.
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