Sunday, November 25, 2007

Alternative Suggestion for Battling Poverty with a Proven Track Record of Success

This article is in response to an article that appeared in the 23/11/07 issues of "Kol HaIr" and "Chadash B'Galil", the two largest local newspapers in Tzfat.

The article reports the conclusions of a convention of social workers that was held at the Tzfat College, which is a branch of Bar Ilan University.

The gist of their conclusions is summed up in the following quote, which I will herein translate:

"One of the principle conclusions that arose from the convention (is that) in spite of the devoted care of the social workers, who are positioned on the vanguard of the social battle, and the professional values that accompany their work, the (social) workers are occupied with preserving the existing policy and are not sufficiently involved in the practical processes of social and communal reform. It behooves the social workers, who work in the establishment's service, to change the situation and transfer (their efforts) to the level of change."

The following is my response to their statement:

Not possessed of the analytical abilities of those who studied mathematics; the real sciences or philosophy at university; the Social Workers, products as they are of the very least intellectually demanding and rigorous courses that colleges and universities have to offer, cannot be expected to perceive the inherent contradictions in the passage above.

One cannot receive one's salary from "the establishment", be in and at its service, as the vast majority of Social Workers are, and fight against it. One cannot be more moral than one's boss. One does not do battle with one's boss.

They are correct in describing themselves as being in "the vanguard", but not in the way that the establishment they work for has made them think. Rather than being given equitable salaries and being provided with work conditions in which they will be able to affect some good, they are given illusions about themselves. They are told that they are doing "holy work" and that they are among the most socially aware. They are, as anyone who has ever had the misfortune of needing their services knows painfully well, neither.

Think for a moment. Think about all of the scandals and corruption of the government that we hear about almost continuously. Think about the exposes in the press. Think about the scathing reports of the State Comptrollers. Think about the police investigations. Think about the many times that they have increased their salaries by many percentages, even as they raised the prices of staple food items.

Are we to believe that the social workers, in the employ of a government such as this are really working for the benefit of society at their behest? Is the government ruining society only to send out its employees to fix what they systematically destroy to their own ends? Is the government employing social workers to re-empower the populace while they invest so very much in de-empowering us? Not likely.

How then are the social workers in "the vanguard"? They are the government's first line of defense, and its cheapest one, against the desperate becoming radicalized revolutionaries. It is the social workers' job to keep the potentially explosive sectors of society on a low flame of rage. If the rage of those systematically impoverished and disempowered by the government does flare up, it is the job of the social workers to keep them frightened, confused, threatened and most of all helpless.

I understand that these are very difficult realizations to absorb. But if you will consider these matters, and I, unlike those in whose employ the social workers are, respect your intelligence enough to know you can understand these matters if you set your minds to them, you will apprehend matters that heretofore have confounded you.

There is great re-empowerment in understanding the truths about a far-reaching, deeply entrenched social phenomenon. But this is not enough to right the wrong. We must be able to proffer a better alternative. To this purpose I will turn presently.

A quiet revolution is well underway in the Kibbutz Movement.

Literally hundreds of small Urban Kibbutzim, or K'vutzot as some call themselves due their small size, are springing up all over the country - most of them in development towns and in distressed neighborhoods.

They are models of mutual sufficiency based on cooperation.

You'll read a bit about the Urban Kibbutzim and K'vutzot on the following links. The second was written by a member of one of those K'vutzot.

They are small groups of people who not only pool their resources, live their lives according to direct democratic principles that they carry out in their regular meetings; they devote their lives to helping others in distress.

A number of them have developed innovative programs of education for people of all ages.

Kibbutz Mehanchim (Educators) help youth at risk in the Hadar neighborhood of Chaifa. See: Note that the article states that "the city (of Chaifa) called on 70 young people from all over the country, members of the Noar Haoved Vehalomed (Working and Learning Youth) youth movement, to establish an urban kibbutz to work with the neighborhood's at-risk youth. That means that they provided housing and initial services for the program to get underway.

Kibbutz Tamuz in Beit Shemesh (a rapidly developing town near Jerusalem) is the oldest of the Urban Kibbutzim. We visited Kibbutz Tammuz when it was about five years old. We were very impressed with the warmth and dedication of those young people. They had received a building from Amidar that was pretty run down and renovated it themselves. It is a pleasure to present an idea to you of how far they've gotten since and how much they contribut to Beit Shemesh:

And now we get down to takhlis. K'vutzat Re'ut is located in the housing project Gilo Aleph in Jerusalem. It is one of two urban Kibbutzim in Jerusalem. One of the Urban Kibbutzim in Jerusalem is entirely religious. It is called Reishit (The First).

The population of Kvutzat Re'ut is mixed - more and less religiously observant. They run a number of projects of neighborhood aid. Additionally, they have a beit midrash and a pre-army leadership training program (a mekhina). My son visited K'vutzat Re'ut when he was doing his pre-army leadership training course at Meitzar. Meitzar took their students to K'vutzat Re'ut because their program is so very good. : Please see their web site:

There are people that are considered "Friends of Urban Kibbutzim". While they are not members themselves, they support the programs and learn and work with the K'vutzot for the betterment of the environs.

I believe that the model of K'vutzat Re'ut would be perfect for Tzfat. K'vutzat Re'ut is all about Jewish learning and mutual tolerance. It is a model of cooperation. They go beyond mere toleration of varying viewpoints. They incorporate them into one beautiful, and very productive mosaic.

I find it odd that Tzfat with all of its problems has not extended a hand to the youth movements to set up an urban K'vutzah here. The City of Chaifa did. Why not Tzfat? We certainly have as many problems as does the city of Chaifa per capita and goodness knows there are neighborhoods in this town that would benefit greatly from the input of a bunch of idealistic, energetic, educated youngsters.

I urge you to consider the information on the links I've provided.

I have been in touch with the Kibbutz Movement about beginning an Urban K'vutzah here in Tzfat.

I was told that they are aware of the problems in Tzfat as they have received reports from the youth movements here.

They know very well that Tzfat is in dire need of one of those programs. They would very much like to begin a K'vutzah here.

The problem seems to be funding.

We see, then, that there are many advantages to having Urban K'vuotzot and Kibbutzim in one's town.

They are not in the employ of the government, and so may act as independent
moral agents.

They are themselves examples of independence and the attaining of a very respectable standard of living based on mutual aid.

Their approach to the communities that they take up residence is not patronizing and not one of superiority. They don't see the people that they worth in tandem with as those needing treatment. They work shoulder to shoulder and eye to eye with people and empower them to help themselves. This is an essential point. Dependence on a "vanguard" to do one's fighting, even if that were possible, and we have seen that it is not, can only lead to increasing dependence and weakness. Those whose dependence is cultivated and perpetuated by those who rule over them with a heavy hand and who are made to think of themselves as "weak" or "miserable", cannot ever help themselves. Only those who are shown and convinced of the power that resides within them when they work together on the basis of mutual aid are in the position to really improve their lives and the lives of others.

We should like to see Urban K'vutzot of some 25 members set up in all of the problematic neighborhoods in Tzfat. There is no doubt in my mind that they will prove to be a great boon to our deeply troubled town even as they have proven themselves in equally troubled towns and neighborhoods.

You probably won't be surprised that neither "Kol HaIr" nor "Chadash B'Galil" published the Hebrew version of the message below. It was, however, published on a number of fora, including YNet and was accepted very warmly and with understanding and sympathy by readers who responded to it. So, it having been suppressed in Tzfat was a bit of a joke.

Since Yoram left "Chadash B'Galil" it has been turned into nothing but another propaganda sheet for the Municipality and the families that are running this town (into the ground). Of course, "Kol HaIr" has never been anything but the House of HaMeiri version of reality sounding board.

I wonder why it is that "Chasifa L'Tzafon", the only newspaper that took the bull by the horns in this town is only coming out irregularly. There is a chance, if the religious establishments in this town would support "Chasifa L'Tzafon" more (many already do), the newspaper could be revived and there might be a newspaper that tells the truth about this city coming out every week and having a thriving site.

If you can read Hebrew, I suggest you read the article לימודים אקדמיים לאמהות חד-הוריות that appears in this weekend's edition of "Kol HaIr" on pg. 12. Pay strict attention to the last two paragraphs.

Shabbat Shalom,

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"ISSTA" - One of the Companies that Makes Workers Pay for their Errors

The day my son flew to the US, the woman who sold him his ticket called the house asking for him.

I told her he was en route to the States.

She told me that a mistake had occurred with the amount he was charged for the ticket and that he owed "Issta" another 150 NIS.

I asked her how that happened. She said she made an error.

I asked if they have anything in writing saying that he still owes them money. She answered in the negative. In fact, the receipt indicates that he paid in full.

I asked my son about it and he said that he thought a mistake occurred, but not to pay it as it was the ticketing clerk who made the mistake.

I called her back and said: "If you made a mistake and the receipt says my son paid in full, then you have no legal charge against him. Would you pay your local grocer if he one day said to you that you owe him 150 NIS but had no proof that you in fact owed the money? It's a bad precedent."

She answered: "I understand, but if you don't remit the money; I will have to pay the difference out of my pocket."

That pulled the worker solidarity strings of my heart as two memories came back to me. In the first, I was a 15-year-old worker in McDonald's, my first job. A quick change artist came to my counter and ripped me off. The rip off was deducted from my salary, as was the amount that my cash register was once *over*. Fast forward six years. I am working as a cocktail waitress at the Fountainbleu Hotel on Miami Beach once got bumped into by a customer as I was carrying a full tray of drinks that went all over the floor. *I* had to pay the full price of those drinks, which was considerably more than I made that night of eight hours on my feet.

I sent the check - which the company said should be made out to "Issta".

I also sent a letter to the main branch of "Issta" telling them that I am utterly disgusted with their policy of making workers pay for errors when they make so much money hand-over-fist.

Many of you will be in a Capitalist state of mind and will agree with the company policy. "Hey, you'll say, she made the mistake. She has to pay for it. Right?"


A simple clerk earns enough working for a company like "Issta" to live an upper middle class lifestyle after two hours of work per day on the average. All the rest goes into the company's pocket.

That's right. A full 75%, at least, of your work time is for the benefit of the company, not to your benefit. If your boss is a real SOB, even by Capitalist standards, and forces you to work overtime, without reimbursing you time-and-a-half, and some don't reimburse at all, that too goes to their advantage, obviously. When I worked in a "Telma" food factory*, the workers were forced to work overtime, *LOTS* of overtime, and still earned so little that they had to get an income supplement from National Insurance.

*(That's right; I've worked as a counter girl, waitress, factory worker and lowly clerk at about 50 low-class various jobs despite my fancy shmancy education, which, as Jim Croce said so very eloquently "prepared me for life in the Middle Ages", because my heart is with the workers and I wanted to know their lives first hand. I've done jobs that involved more "prestige" too, including teaching and conducting research, and found that, with one notable exception when I tutored at a boarding school for asthmatic youngsters with a prince of a General Manager and a dream staff, that those "respectable" jobs always involved the moral degradation of shutting up and covering up, which I could not conscience and also paid far below the worth of the workers.)

Take into account too that when a worker "reimburses" hir (hir is the accepted non-gender specific form of both his and her) boss for a mistake zie (zie is the gender non-specific form of both he and she) doesn't pay the net cost of the good or service, but the resale cost.

I realize that this abuse of workers is so very much the norm that it is taken as a given. As I wrote, I have been a victim of it. I also realize that it is the corporations that determine what people are generally made to think is right and wrong and they train people how to react emotionally to them via the mass media, but this practice is an abuse and must be stopped. People have the right to make honest mistakes. Don't the owners and bosses tell themselves they're only human when they make mistakes? Too bad they don't tell themselves they're only human when they relate to their workers and set company policy.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

Monday, November 19, 2007


Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

Sunday, November 18, 2007


The 16/11/07 edition of "Kol HaIr" ("Voice of the City"), one of the local Tzfat newspapers, reported that in response to a nationwide, and in fact worldwide, outbreak of infections that are contracted in hospital, the Rivka Ziv Hospital will be undertaking heroic measures to prevent an outbreak of infections among the patients, even though hospitals in the periphery of the country have a much lower incidence than larger hospitals in the main towns.

The article claims that the worldwide average of patients in hospitals who contract infections is
9% (nine percent!).

As a result of the high overturn of hospitalized people, the bacteria grow easily and they become resistant to treatment by antibiotics.

The infections contracted can be very aggressive and sometimes fatal.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Tzfat's own Felicia Hazen has prepared the following report on drinking water. It was sent out as a special edition of Tzfat-Line, the e-mail bulletin that Yaffa and Moshe Smolensky have taken it upon themselves to edit and distribute. The bulletin is a great boon to our community

Read the report - and weep.

Physical, biological and common chemical characteristics Found in Drinking Water (H2O)
What is really in the water we drink?
Actually, I wish I could give you a reliable and accurate answer, but I can not. One thing I do know, is that water is definitely, not just H2O but much more, water has natural trace elements, tends to "pick up" ingredients on its way to our taps and has many different chemicals added to it.
I must say that I have conducted my own personal research on this matter and found Water, to be an amazing Element of nature. Although, I am still waiting for answers regarding the quality of our water as well as quantities of minerals and biological chemicals found in the Water of Tzfat, In the past couple of months, I have approached several places such as: Iriat Tzfat, "Mekorot" (Mrs. Anat Kinderman), Spokesman for water in Israel (Mr. Uri Schor), "Milgam" ( Manager of Tzfat office), Office of "Mevaker Hamedina" (Mrs. Gila Yekutiel), Department of Health, (Mrs. Orly Sarousi-Zohar) Engineer of National Water System (Mrs. Irit Hen) and many more. This has been an ongoing correspondence adventure for several weeks now, but I will not give up until I get some straight answers, regarding the Drinking Water in TZfat.
Yet, the things I have found out are that: The city of Tzfat gets its water from natural sources. According to Mrs. Anat Kinderman of Mekorot, ""Mekorot" is responsible for providing the Municipality (Iriat Tzfat) with our water, The municipality of Tzfat is not only in charge of providing us with our clean water in our taps but they are responsible for inspecting and reporting the quality of our water supply, as well as making sure it has the correct amount of elements: minerals and chemicals such as Fluoride, chloride, calcium, lead, etc… which are carefully calculated according to the city's population". Consequently, they must send this report to the Ministry of Health and Environment as well as publish a quarterly report to the public. This very report I have been trying to get.
Liquid water (H2O) one
molecule of water has two hydrogen atoms covalently bonded to a single oxygen atom and is frequently perceived to be ordinary as it is clear, unscented, tasteless and omnipresent. It is the simplest compound of the two most common immediate elements, consisting of just two hydrogen atoms attached to a single oxygen atom. Indeed, very few molecules are smaller or lighter. The small size of its molecule belies the complexity of its actions and its singular capabilities. Water's unique properties and chameleonic nature seem to fit ideally into the requirements for life as can no other molecule. Water: in some way or the other, have levels of natural trace elements and chemicals such as: nitrogen, iron, sulfur, phosphorus, lead, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, fluoride, and more…..Epidemiological studies have examined the relation between exposure to trace elements (e.g., copper, zinc, arsenic) and minerals (e.g., magnesium) and the occurrence of disease, including reproductive outcomes, certain forms of cancer, rare congenital malformations of the central nervous system, cardiovascular disease, and sudden death., this matter is still a controversial arguments. Yet, because waterborne minerals are in ionic form and are easily absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract, it has been suggested that drinking water may be an important source of mineral intake. For example; calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), and sodium (Na+) levels may be abundant in drinking water. In addition, Ca2+, Mg2+, and Na+ have important physiological functions, and an unsuitable intake of these minerals may increase the likelihood of disease.
The information provided below is according to The Department of Health and environment, Israel, *EPA, *WHO and international guidelines for regulation and standard settings of chemical, biological and physical parameters and MCL- Maximum Contaminate Levels existing in drinking water which comes from our taps. *"EPA" (Environmental Protection Agency) Which provide Drinking Water Methods for Chemical Parameters and *"WHO" produces international norms on water quality and human health in the form of guidelines that are used as the basis for regulation and standard setting, in developing and developed countries world-wide.
All Maximum Contaminate Levels are presented in: milligrams per liter of water. (Unless stated differently). Alongside the chemical element is the periodic table symbol= For instance: Water = H2O
The chemical characteristics of water include natural substances such as dissolved minerals and man made toxic metals and organic chemicals. (Alkalinity, Chlorides, Copper, fluoride,etc…) The physical characteristics of water include turbidity, color, taste and odor, temperature, and foam ability (detergents).
The biological characteristics: water for drinking and cooking purposes must be free from disease causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, protozoa, viruses, and worms, eliminated by temporarily introducing a high chlorine concentration and others…
Organic Chemicals: include pesticides, herbicides, trihalomethanes, and volatile synthetic organics. Careless use of pesticides and herbicides can contaminate water sources and make the water unsuitable for drinking. The use of these chemicals near wells is not recommended. Maximum contaminant levels for several common pesticides and herbicides have been established.
Mercury – כספית = (Hg) The current Drinking Water Standards MCL- 0.001 per mg/liter Mercury; also called quicksilver is one of the least abundant elements in the earth's crust. It exists in two forms, an inorganic salt or an organic compound (methyl mercury). Mercury detected in drinking water is of the inorganic type. Organic mercury inters the food chain through fish and comes primarily from industrial chemical manufacturing waste or from the leaching of coal ash. If inorganic mercury inters the body, it usually settles in the kidneys. Where as organic mercury attacks the central nervous system. The MCL (maximum contamination level) for mercury set by the EPA is 0.002 mg/l.
Lead – עופרת (Pb) The current Drinking Water Standards MCL in Israel- 0.01 Lead, like
mercury, another heavy metal, lead is a potent neurotoxin which accumulates in soft tissues and bone over time. Lead (Pb2) found in fresh water usually indicates contamination from metallurgical wastes or from lead-containing industrial poisons. Lead in drinking water is primarily from the corrosion of the lead solder used to put together the copper piping. Lead in the body can cause serious damage to the brain, kidneys, nervous system, and red blood cells. The US EPA considers lead to be a highly toxic metal and a major health threat. The current level of lead allowable in drinking water is 0.05 mg/l.
Arsenic trioxide ארסן - (As) The current Drinking Water Standards MCL 0.01
arsenic (As), chemical symbol for the chemical element is the most important commercial compound of arsenic, and the main starting material for arsenic chemistry. Arsenic (As) is not easily dissolved in water, therefore, if it is found in a water supply, it usually comes from mining or metallurgical operations or from runoff from agricultural areas where materials containing arsenic were used as industrial poisons. Arsenic and phosphate easily substitute for one another chemically; therefore, commercial grade phosphate can have some arsenic in it.
Barium –בריום (Ba) The current Drinking Water Standards MCL 1.0 Barium is a
metallic element that is chemically similar to calcium but more reactive. This metal oxidizes very easily when exposed to air and is highly reactive with water or alcohol, producing hydrogen gas. Barium has some medical and many industrial uses Barium (Ba+2)is a naturally occurring alkaline earth metal found primarily in the Midwest. Traces of the element are found in surface and ground waters. It can also be found in oil and gas drilling muds, waste from coal fired power plants, jet fuels, and automotive paints. Barium is highly toxic when its soluble salts are ingested.
Chromium – כרום (Cr) The current Drinking Water Standards 0.05 - mg/I. It is a steel-gray, lustrous, hard
metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. It is also odourless, tasteless, and malleable. Chromium is found in drinking water as a result of industrial waste contamination. The occurrence of excess chromium is relatively infrequent. Proper tests must be run on the water supply to determine the form of the chromium present. Trivalent chromium (Cr-3) is slightly soluble in water, and is considered essential in man and animals for efficient lipid, glucose, and protein metabolism. Hexavalent chromium (Cr-6) on the other hand is considered toxic. The US EPA classifies chromium as a human carcinogen.
Nickel - ניקל (Ni ) The current Drinking Water Standard is 0.05 It is clear that in common with massive forms of
chromium, aluminium and titanium metal that nickel is very slow to react with air, but it is a very reactive element. Nickel (Ni+2) is common, and exists in approximately 85% of the water supplies, and is usually around 1 ppb (part per billion). The US EPA has classified nickel as a possible human carcinogen based on inhalation exposure. Nickel has not been shown to be carcinogenic via oral exposure. No MCLG (maximum contamination level goal) has been proposed.
Selenium – סלניום (Se) 0.01 It is a
nonmetal, chemically related to sulfur and tellurium, and rarely occurring in its elemental state in nature. In humans, selenium is a trace element nutrient which functions as cofactor for reduction of antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidases and thioredoxin reductase. It also plays a role in the functioning of the thyroid gland by participating as a cofactor for thyroid hormone deiodinases.[5] Dietary selenium comes from nuts, cereals, meat, fish, and eggs.
Bromine ברומיד (Br) ( MCL 1.8 mg/l) is found in seawater and exists as the bromide ion at a level of about 65 mg/l. Bromine has been used in swimming pools and cooling towers for disinfection, however use in drinking water is not recommended. Ethylene bromide is used as an anti-knock additive in gasoline and methyl bromide is a soil fumigant. Bromine is extremely reactive and corrosive, and will produce irritation and burning to exposed tissues. Over 0.05 mg/1 in fresh water may indicate the presence of industrial wastes, possibly from the use of pesticides of biocides containing bromine Bromide is extensively used in the pharrnaceutical industry, and occurs normally in blood in the range of 1.5 to 50 mg/l.
Cyanide – ציאניד (C≡N), MCL 0.05 exposure to cyanide: Breathing air, drinking water, touching soil, or eating foods that contain cyanide. Smoking cigarettes and breathing smoke-filled air during fires are major sources of cyanide exposure: Breathing air near a hazardous waste site containing cyanide. Eating foods naturally containing cyanide compounds, such as tapioca (made from cassava roots), lima beans, and almonds. Cyanide specifically is the
anion CN-. Many organic compounds feature cyanide as a functional group; these are called nitriles in IUPAC nomenclature (for example, CH3CN is referred to by the names acetonitrile or ethanenitrile per IUPAC, but occasionally it is labeled using the common name methyl cyanide). Of the many kinds of cyanide compounds, some are gases, others are solids or liquids. Some are molecular, some ionic, and many are polymeric. Cyanide is one of the simplest and most readily formed organic moieties. Cyanide and compounds of cyanide are almost universally present where life and industry are found. Besides being very important in a number of manufacturing processes they are found in many plants and animals as metabolic intermediates which generally are not stored for long periods of time. In addition to the simple hydrocyanic acid (HCN), the alkali metal salts such as potassium cyanide (KCN) and sodium cyanide (Na CN), are commonly occurring forms and sources of cyanide. The latter compounds are readily dissolved in water; the extent of HCN formation ispH-dependent. A significant fraction of the cyanide exists as HCN molecules up to pH of approximately 8, and the fraction increasesrapidly as the pH of the solution decreases. When these simple salts dissociate in aqueous solution, the cyanide ion combines with the hydrogen ion to form hydrocyanic acid, which is toxic to aquatic life. Chemically, the cyanide ion behaves similarly to the halide ionschloride,fluoride, bromide, and iodide.The cyanide ion combines with numerous heavy metal ions to form metallocyanide complexes.
Cadmium – קדמיום (Cd) MCL 0.005 Zinc and cadmium are in the same group on the periodic table, contain the same common oxidation state (+2), and when ionized are almost the same size. Due to these similarities, cadmium can replace zinc in many biological systems, in particular, systems that contain softer ligands such as sulfur. Cadmium can bind up to ten times stronger than zinc in certain biological systems, and is notoriously difficult to remove. In addition, cadmium can replace
magnesium and calcium in cetain biological systems, although, these replacements are rare.
Silver (Argentum) כסף (Ag) MCL 0.1 Dissolved in water silver mainly occurs as Ag+ (aq), Silver is not a dietary requirement for humans. The body of an adult contains approximately 2 mg of silver. Our daily intake of silver is 20-80 μg, of which approximately 10% is absorbed. Naturally occurring silver concentrations in soil and surface water do not normally cause any
environmental problems.
Toxic Metals: such as: Arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, and silver can all cause serious health problems. Lime soda softening and reverse osmosis can both be used to reduce the concentrations of toxic metals. Precipitation with alum is also effective for certain metals. Lead can be a serious problem even if not found in raw water. Corrosive waters may leach lead from pipes and fixtures, often exceeding the MCL 0.015 mg/l maximum safe limit.
Zinc – אבץ (Zn) MCL 5.0 Zinc is found in most animal proteins, beans, nuts, almonds, whole grains, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Phytates, which are found in whole grain breads, cereals, legumes and other products, have been known to decrease zinc absorption. Clinical studies have found that zinc, combined with antioxidants, may delay progression of age-related macular degeneration. Significant dietary intake of zinc has also recently been shown to impede the onset of flu. Soil conservation analyzes the vegetative uptake of naturally occurring zinc in many soil types. The (US) recommended dietary allowance of zinc from puberty on is 11mg for males and 8mg for females, with higher amounts recommended during pregnancy and lactation. Zinc in the human body is an important characteristic. Zinc is a mineral found in some natural waters, particularly in areas where zinc has been mined. Zinc is not considered detrimental to health at or near 5 mg/l but it will impart an undesirable taste to drinking water. For this reason, the MCL for zinc is 5 mg/l softening, reverse osmosis, ion exchange, or electro dialysis will reduce zinc concentrations.
Iron – ברזל (Fe) MCL 1.0 Iron is one of the most troublesome elements in water supplies. Making up at least 5 percent of the earth’s crust, iron is one of the earth’s most plentiful resources. Rainwater as it infiltrates the soil and underlying geologic formations dissolves iron, causing it to seep into aquifers that serve as sources of groundwater for wells. Although present in drinking water, iron is seldom found at concentrations greater than 10 milligrams per liter (mg/l) or 10 parts per million. Iron is mainly present in water in two forms: either the soluble ferrous iron or the insoluble ferric iron. Water containing ferrous iron is clear and colorless because the iron is completely dissolved. When exposed to air in the pressure tank or atmosphere, the water turns cloudy and a reddish brown substance begins to form. This sediment is the oxidized or ferric form of iron that will not dissolve in water. Iron is not hazardous to health, but it is considered a secondary or aesthetic contaminant. Essential for good health, iron helps transport oxygen in the blood.
Sulfur – גופרה (S) MCL 250 mg/L. Sulfates are a combination of sulfur and oxygen and are a part of naturally occurring minerals in some soil and rock formations that contain groundwater. The mineral dissolves over time and is released into groundwater. Sulfur-reducing bacteria, which use sulfur as an energy source, are the primary producers of large quantities of hydrogen sulfide- H2S . These bacteria chemically change natural sulfates in water to hydrogen sulfide. Sulfur-reducing bacteria live in oxygen-deficient environments such as deep wells, plumbing systems, water softeners and water heaters. These bacteria usually flourish on the hot water side of a water distribution system. Sulfate may have a laxative effect that can lead to dehydration and is of special concern for infants. With time, people and young livestock will become acclimated to the sulfate and the symptoms disappear. Sulfur-oxidizing bacteria pose no known human health risk. The Maximum contaminate level is 250 mg/L.
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) – כלל מוצקים MCL 800-1000 mg/liter. Drinking water becomes significantly and increasingly unpalatable at TDS levels greater than 1000 mg/liter. TDS are the total amount of mobile charged ions, including minerals, salts or metals dissolved in a given volume of water, expressed in units of mg per unit volume of water (mg/L), also referred to as parts per million (ppm). TDS is directly related to the purity of water and the quality of water purification systems and affects everything that consumes, lives in, or uses water, whether organic or inorganic, whether for better or for worse. 1.Dissolved solids" refer to any minerals, salts, metals, cations or anions dissolved in water. This includes anything present in water other than the pure water (H20) molecule and suspended solids. (Suspended solids are any particles/substances that are neither dissolved nor settled in the water, such as wood pulp.)2. In general, the total dissolved solids concentration is the sum of the cations (positively charged) and anions (negatively charged) ions in the water.3. Parts per Million (ppm) is the weight-to-weight ratio of any ion to water. 4. A TDS meter is based on the electrical conductivity (EC) of water. Pure H20 has virtually zero conductivity. Conductivity is usually about 100 times the total cations or anions expressed as equivalents. TDS is calculated by converting the EC by a factor of 0.5 to 1.0 times the EC, depending upon the levels. 1. Some dissolved solids come from organic sources such as leaves, silt, plankton, and industrial waste and sewage. Other sources come from runoff from urban areas, road salts used on street during the winter, and fertilizers and pesticides used on lawns and farms.2. Dissolved solids also come from inorganic materials such as rocks and air that may contain calcium bicarbonate, nitrogen, iron phosphorous, sulfur, and other minerals. Many of these materials form salts, which are compounds that contain both a metal and a nonmetal. Salts usually dissolve in water forming ions. Ions are particles that have a positive or negative charge.3. Water may also pick up metals such as lead or copper as they travel through pipes used to distribute water to consumers. 4. Note that the efficacy of water purifications systems in removing total dissolved solids will be reduced over time, so it is highly recommended to monitor the quality of a filter or membrane and replace them when required.
The EPA Secondary Regulations advise a maximum contamination level (MCL) of 500mg/liter (500 parts per million (ppm)) for TDS. Numerous water supplies exceed this level. When TDS levels exceed 1000mg/L it is generally considered unfit for human consumption. A high level of TDS is an indicator of potential concerns, and warrants further investigation. Most often, high levels of TDS are caused by the presence of potassium, chlorides and sodium. These ions have little or no short-term effects, but toxic ions (lead arsenic, cadmium, nitrate and others) may also be dissolved in the water.
ion – כלוריד NaCi MCL 250- 450 (is formed when the element chlorine picks up one electron to form an anion (negatively-charged ion) Cl−. The salts of hydrochloric acid HCl contain chloride ions and can also be called chlorides. An example is table salt, which is sodium chloride with the chemical formula NaCl. In water, it dissolves into Na+ and Cl− ions. Chloride is also a useful and reliable chemical indicator of river / groundwater faecal contamination, as chloride is a non-reactive solute and ubiquitous to sewage. Chlorides are salts resulting from the combination of the gas chlorine with a metal. Some common chlorides include sodium chloride (NaCl) and magnesium chloride (MgCl2). Chlorine alone as Cl2 is highly toxic and it is often used as a disinfectant. In combination with a metal such as sodium it becomes essential for life. Small amounts of chlorides are required for normal cell functions in plant and animal life. Chloride (Cl-1) is one of the major anions found in water and are generally combined with calcium, magnesium, or sodium. Since almost all chloride salts are highly soluble in water, the chloride content ranges from 10 to 100 mg/I. Sea water contains over 30,000 mg/i as NaC1. Chloride is associated with the corrosion of piping because of the compounds formed with it; for example, magnesium chloride can generate hydrochloric acid when heated. Corrosion rates and the iron dissolved into the water from piping increases as the sodium chloride content of the water is increased. The chloride ion is instrumental in breaking down passivating films that protect ferrous metals and alloys from corrosion, and is one of the main causes for the pitting corrosion of stainless steel. The SMCL (suggested maximum contaminant level) for chloride is 250 mg/i which is due strictly to the objectionable salty taste produced in drinking water.
Chlorine – כלור Ci~ MCL is the most commonly used agent for the disinfection of water supplies. Chlorine is a strong oxidizing agent capable of reacting with many impurities in water including ammonia, proteins, amino acids, iron, and manganese. The amount of chlorine required to react with these substances is called the chlorine demand. Liquid chlorine is sodium hypochlorite. Household liquid bleach is 5 ¼% sodium hypochlorite. Chlorine in the form of a solid is calcium hypochlorite. When chlorine is added to water, a variety of chloro-compounds are formed. An example of this would be when ammonia is present, inorganic compounds known as chloramines are produced. Chlorine also reacts with residual organic material to produce potentially carcinogenic compounds, the Trihalomethanes (THM's): chloroform, bromodichloromethane, bromoform, and chlorodibromomethane. THM regulations have required that other oxidants and disinfectants be considered in order to minimize THIM formation. The other chemical oxidants being examined are: potassium permanganate, hydrogen peroxide, chloramines, chlorine dioxide, and ozone. No matter what form of chlorine is added to water, hypochlorite, hypochlorous acid, and molecular chlorine will be formed, the reaction lowers the pH, thus making the water more corrosive and aggressive to steel and copper pipe.
Surfactants (MBAS) (foaming agent sdwr-0.5) מרכיבים פעילי שטח (דטרגנטים אניונים) MCL 0.5 Surfactants are the foaming agents which are measured to determine if drinking water has an acceptable foam ability. The MCL of 0.5 mg/l is based on levels of foaming agents that would prevent the occurrence of visible foam. Although foam itself is not generally hazardous, other possible hazardous materials may be present along with the foam. Water with high foam ability should be analyzed to determine what treatment may be required and to help determine the origin of contamination. Foaming substances can be removed by conventional treatment consisting of coagulation/flocculation, sedimentation, and filtration, or by activated carbon
Copper – נחושת (Cu) MCL 1.0- 1.4 Copper is found in some natural waters, particularly in areas where copper has been mined. Excessive amounts of copper can occur in corrosive water that passes through unprotected copper pipes. Copper in small amounts is not considered detrimental to health, but will impart an undesirable taste to the drinking water. For this reason, the limit for copper is 1.0 mg/l.(1.3 mg/l by the copper/lead rule) Copper can be removed by conventional treatment consisting of coagulation/flocculation, sedimentation, and filtration, or by lime soda softening or reverse osmosis. Copper is a metal that does not react with water (H2O), but the oxygen of the air will react slowly at room temperature to form a layer of copper oxide on copper metal.It can be seen that copper in "pure" water is more noble than hydrogen. As a result it does not corrode in oxygen free water and the corrosion rate in oxygenated water is low.
Magnesium - מגנזיום(Mg) MCL 50-150 is the ninth most abundant element in the universe by mass. It constitutes about 2% of the
Earth's crust by mass, and it is the third most abundant element dissolved in seawater. Magnesium ions are essential to all living cells, and are the 11th most abundant element by mass in the human body. The free element (metal) is not found in nature. Once produced from magnesium salts, this alkaline earth metal is used as an alloying agent to make aluminium-magnesium alloys, sometimes called "magnalium" or "magnelium".
Manganese – מנגן (Mn) MCL 0.2-0.5 It is found as the free element in nature (often in combination with iron), and in many minerals. The free element is a metal with important industrial metal alloy uses. Manganese ions are variously colored, and are used industrially as pigments and as oxidation chemicals. Manganese (II) ions function as cofactors for a number of enzymes and the element is thus a required trace mineral for all known living organisms. There are two reasons for limiting the concentration of manganese in drinking water: 1) to prevent aesthetic and economic damage to property and 2) to avoid any possible physiological effects from excessive intake. The domestic water user finds that manganese produces a blackish color in laundered goods and affects the taste of beverages, including coffee and tea. The Pa. DEP limit for manganese is 0.05 mg/l. Essentially the same treatment processes used to remove iron are used to reduce manganese levels. However, manganese is harder to remove than iron, because its precipitation is more pH dependent.
Calcium – סידן (Ca) MCL 80-300 Calcium as a mineral occurs in water naturally. Seawater contains approximately 400 ppm calcium. One of the main reasons for the abundance of calcium in water is its natural occurrence in the earth's crust. Calcium is also a constituent of coral. Rivers generally contain 1-2 ppm calcium, but in lime Areas Rivers may contains calcium concentrations as high as 100 ppm. Examples of calcium concentrations in water organisms: seaweed luctuca 800-6500 ppm (moist mass), oysters approximately 1500 ppm (dry mass). In a watery solution calcium is mainly present as Ca2+ (aq), but it may also occur as CaOH+ (aq) or Ca(OH)2 (aq), or as CaSO4 in seawater. Calcium is an important determinant of water harness, and it also functions as a pH stabilizer, because of its buffering qualities. Calcium also gives water a better taste. Calcium is an important component of a
healthy diet. A deficit can affect bone and tooth formation, while over retention can cause hypercalcemia (elevated levels of calcium in the blood), impaired kidney function and decreased absorption of other minerals.[4] High calcium intakes or high calcium absorption were previously thought to contribute to the development of kidney stones. However, more recent studies show that high dietary calcium intakes actually decrease the risk for kidney stones.[5] Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium. Dairy products, such as milk and cheese, are a well-known source of calcium.
Alkalinity AT - The alkalinity of water is a measure of its capacity to neutralize acids. Alkalinity is imparted to water by bicarbonate, carbonate and hydroxide components. Bicarbonates represent the major form of alkalinity, since they are formed in considerable amounts from the action of carbon dioxide upon minerals in the soil. Although there is no MCL (Maximum Contaminant Level) for alkalinity, a range of 30 to 100 mg/l of Calcium Carbonate is desirable for finished drinking water in order not to adversely affect taste and corrosivity. Alkalinity itself is not considered a health hazard.
Borate B (OH4) MCL (1.0) is a compound of Boron. Most of the world's boron is contained in seawater. Sodium borate occurs in arid regions where inland seas once existed but have long since evaporated. Boron is frequently present in fresh water supplies in these same areas in the form of non-ionized boric acid. The amount of boric acid is not limited by drinking water standards, but it can be damaging to citrus crops if it is present in irrigation water and becomes concentrated in the soil.
Phenol (carbolic acid )– פנול
C6H5OH - MCL 0.002 Phenol has a limited solubility in water (8.3 g/100 ml). It is slightly acidic: the phenol molecule has weak tendencies to lose the H+ ion from the hydroxyl group, resulting in the highly water-soluble phenoxide anion C6H5O−. Phenol has been found in materials released from landfills and hazardous waste sites, and it has been found in the groundwater near these sites. Phenol is usually found in the environment below 100 parts per billion (ppb), although much higher levels have been reported. One ppb or less of phenol has been found in relatively unpolluted surface and ground waters.
Sodium – נתרן (Na) MCL 180-200 (no official regulation ) Sodium is present in great quantities in the earth's oceans as
sodium chloride. It is also a component of many minerals, and it is an essential element for animal life. As such, it is classified as a “dietary inorganic macro-mineral.” The sodium content of drinking water is generally of little concern to consumers except those on sodium restricted diets. The amount of sodium in drinking water is insignificant compared to the sodium normally consumed in the average diet. When it is necessary to know the precise amount of sodium present in a water supply due to dietary constraints, a laboratory analysis should be made. The usual low sodium diets allow for 20 mg/l sodium in the drinking water. When this limit is exceeded, persons on low sodium diets should seek a physician's advice on diet and sodium intake. When water is softened by the ion exchange method, the amount of sodium is increased when sodium chloride is the regenerant. For this reason, water that has been softened should be analyzed for sodium if a precise record of an individual's sodium intake is recommended. High sodium levels can be reduced with reverse osmosis or electro dialysis units.
Potassium – אשלגן (K) (no regulation) Potassium is a dietary requirement for nearly any organism but a number of bacteria, because it plays an important role in nerve functions. Potassium is a dietary requirement for us, and we take up about 1-6 g per day at a requirement of 2-3.5 g per day. The total potassium amount in the human body lies somewhere between 110 and 140 g and mainly depends upon muscle mass. The muscles contain most potassium after red blood cells and brain tissue. Whereas its opponent sodium is present in intracellular fluids, potassium is mainly present within cells. It preserves osmotic pressure. The relation of potassium in cells to potassium in plasma is 27:1, and is regulated by means of sodium-potassium pumps. Vital functions of potassium include its role in nerve stimulus, muscle contractions, blood pressure regulation and protein dissolution. It protects the heart and arteries, and may even prevent cardiovascular disease. The relation of sodium to potassium used to be 1:16, and is now about 3:1, Potassium plays a central role in plant growth, and it often limits it.
Ammonia – אמוניה , sometimes called Azane, (
NH3). (No regulation) It is normally encountered as a gas with a characteristic pungent odor. Ammonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of the planet as a precursor to foodstuffs and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or indirectly, is a building block for the synthesis of many pharmaceuticals. Although it is in wide use, ammonia is caustic and hazardous. Ammonia is a colorless gas with a characteristic pungent smell similar to human urine, as the urine contains an amount of ammonia in it. It is lighter than air, its density being 0.589 times that of air. It is easily liquefied due to the strong hydrogen bonding between molecules; the liquid boils at -33.3 °C, and solidifies at -77.7 °C to a mass of white crystals.
Aluminum - אלומיניום (Al) MCL 0.2 Drinking water contributes to less than 2% of total aluminium consumption. Pharmaceuticals (such as antacids and buffered analgesics) potentially contribute substantially to the total body burden of aluminium (up to 5000 mg/day in users of antacids). There is also some absorption through the skin from deodorants containing aluminums. Aluminums in the diet from food and water is poorly absorbed through the gut. Less than 1% of aluminums in water is absorbed and the rest being excreted through the fasces. Of the aluminium absorbed, most is excreted via the kidneys and only a very small amount accumulates in bone, liver and brain tissues.
TOC (Total Organic Carbon) (no regulation) is a measurement to track the overall organic content of water. The organic content of the water will appear on the water analysis as C (carbon). The TOC test is the most common test performed to obtain an indication of the organic content of the water.
Antimony – אנטימוניום (Sb) 0.006 a
metalloid, antimony resembles a metal in its appearance and in many of its physical properties, but does not chemically react as a metal. It is also attacked by oxidizing acids and halogens. Antimony and some of its alloys are unusual in that they expand on cooling. Antimony is a geochemical categorized as a chalcophile, occurring with sulfur and the heavy metals lead, copper, and silver.
Fluoride - פלואור (F+) 0.7 ppm it is a common constituent of many minerals. Municipal water treatment plants commonly add fluoride to the water for prevention of tooth decay, and maintain a level of 1.5 - 2.5 mg/l. Concentrations above 5 mg/l are detrimental to tooth structure. High concentrations are contained in waste water from the manufacture of glass and steel, as well as from foundry operations. Organic fluorine is present in vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Inorganic fluorine, under the name of sodium fluoride, is a waste product of aluminum and is used in some rat poisons. The MCL established for drinking water by the US EPA is 4 mg/l. Fluoride can be reduced by anion exchange. Adsorption by calcium phosphate, magnesium dioxide or activated carbon will also reduce the fluoride content of drinking water. Reverse osmosis will remove 93 - 95% of the fluoride. Fluoridation of water (for example, by adding SiF62-) for the purpose of reducing dental caries, is generally regarded as safe. However, ground waters containing excessive amounts of fluoride (> 1 mg/liter) are widespread. The health claims for fluoridation remain controversial. Fluoride is a mineral that naturally is present in ground water. The amount of fluoride occurring naturally can vary from negligible to very high concentrations. Usually, fluoride content is higher in more mountainous areas. It has been determined that a fluoride concentration of 0.7 to 1.0 parts per million (ppm) is the most advantageous in fighting tooth decay. Fluoride compounds, usually
calcium fluoride, are naturally found in low concentration in drinking water and some foods, such as tea, seaweed, and fish bones (as in fish soup). Fluoride forms a binary compound with another element or radical. Examples of fluoride compounds include hydrofluoric acid (HF), sodium fluoride (NaF) and calcium fluoride (CaF2), and uranium hexafluoride (UF6).Calcium fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in all water sources, such as lakes, rivers, groundwater and oceans. Community water fluoridation is the process of increasing fluoride levels in drinking water supplies with the intention of improving oral health. This is usually done by the addition of sodium fluoride, sodium fluorosilicate, or fluorosilicic acid. So when we are talking about fluoride in the water, it is for systemic use in children until the age of 12. The responsibility for fluoridating the water is on the water provider, although, our water has a level of natural fluoride that fluctuates between 0.4 to 0.5 ppm, "The required level of fluoride in Israel is set at 0.7 ppm".Many groups continue to question the practice of water fluoridation despite the current stance of the medical and dental research communities. The various groups do not necessarily agree with one another, but they share some arguments against water fluoridation, including several key issues. Those opposed to public fluoridation of drinking water say that water fluoridation can have negative health effects (such as dental fluorosis) which outweigh the purported benefits of water fluoridation. Some opponents claim that releasing fluoride compounds into municipal water takes away individual choice as to the substances a person ingests and amounts to mass medication.
Hardness - קשיות The EPA currently has no national policy with respect to the hardness or softness of public water supplies. Sodium salts are also found in household water supplies, but they are considered harmless as long as they do not exist in large quantities. Hard water retards the cleaning action of soaps and detergents, causing an expense in the form of extra work and cleaning agents. Furthermore, when hard water is heated it deposits a hard scale on heating coils, cooking utensils, and other equipment with a consequent waste of fuel. The scale formed by hard water coats the inside of distribution system piping, which can eventually cause significant reductions in its water carrying capacity. Soft water, on the other hand, tends to be more corrosive. A hardness of 75 to 100 mg/l as CaCO3 is usually considered optimal for domestic water. Water harder than 300 mg/l as CaCO3 is generally unacceptable. Lime soda ash or ion exchange softening processes can be used to produce acceptably soft water. Calcium and magnesium salts, Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions are the most common cause of hardness in water supplies, are divided into two general classifications: carbonate, or temporary, hardness and noncarbonate, or permanent, hardness. Carbonate hardness is called temporary hardness because heating the water will usually remove it. When the water is heated, bicarbonates break down into insoluble carbonates that precipitate as solid particles which adhere to a heated surface and the inside of pipes. Noncarbonate hardness is called permanent hardness because it is not removed when water is heated. Noncarbonate hardness is due largely to the presence of the sulfates and chlorides of calcium and magnesium in the water.
PH - The term PH is used to indicate acidity or alkalinity of a given solution. It is not a measure of the quantity of acid or alkali, but rather a measure of the relationship of the acid to the alkali. The pH value of a solution describes its hydrogen-ion activity. The pH scale ranges between O and 14.Typically all natural waters fall within the range of 6.0 to 8.0 pH. A value of 7.0 is considered to be a neutral pH. Values below 7.0 are acidic and values above 7.0 are alkaline. The pH value of water will decrease as the content of CO2 increases, and will increase as the content of bicarbonate alkalinity increases. The ratio of carbon dioxide and bicarbonate alkalinity (within the range of 3.6 to 8.4) is an indication of the pH value of the water. Water with a pH value of 3.5 or below, generally contains mineral acids such as sulfuric or hydrochloric acid.
Turbidity – עכירות (0.5 ppm) is the term given to anything that is suspended in a water supply. It is found in most surface waters, but usually doesn't exist in ground waters except in shallow wells and springs after heavy rains. Turbidity gives the water a cloudy appearance or shows up as dirty sediment. Undissolved materials such as sand, clay, silt or suspended iron contribute to turbidity. Turbidity can cause the staining of sinks and fixtures as well as the discoloring of fabrics. Usually turbidity is measured in NTUs (nephelometric turbidity units). Typical drinking water will have a turbidity level of 0 to 1 NTU. Turbidity can also be measured in ppm (parts per million) and it’s size is measured in microns. Turbidity can be particles in the water consisting of finely divided solids, larger than molecules, but not visible by the naked eye; ranging in size from .001 to .150mm (1 to 150 microns). The US EPA has established an MCL for turbidity to be 0.5 to 1.0 NTU, because it interferes with disinfection of the water.
Corrosivity: The tendency of water to corrode pipes and fittings is health related as well as being of economic importance, since the materials released into water by corrosion may include lead, cadmium, and other toxic metals. The corrosives of water are not easily measured. However, equations have been developed that reasonably predict the tendency of water to corrode on the basis of temperature, total dissolved solids, calcium content, hardness, pH, and alkalinity. These equations indicate the calcium carbonate stability of water the tendency to either deposit or dissolve calcium carbonate (CaCO3), the most common scale forming compound. In most cases, water that is neutral or slightly scales forming is preferred. Water that is excessively corrosive can be stabilized made no corrosive by the addition of lime and soda ash to increase the pH and alkalinity, or by the addition of polyphosphates or silicates to form protective coatings on the pipe walls. These treatment processes are relatively complex, requiring trailed operators and regular monitoring.
Color in water is almost always due to organic material, which is usually extracted from decaying vegetation. Color is common in surface water supplies, while it is virtually non-existent in spring water and deep wells. Color in water may also be the result of natural metallic ions (iron and manganese). A yellow tint to the water indicates that humic acids are present, referred to as “tann- ins “. A reddish color would indicate the presence of precipitated iron. Stains on bathroom fixtures and on laundry are often associated with color also. Reddish-brown is ferric hydroxide (iron) will precipitate when the water is exposed to air. Dark brown to black stains are created by manganese. Excess copper can create blue stains.
Odor Taste and odor problems of many different types can be encountered in drinking water. Troublesome compounds may result from biological growth or industrial activities. The tastes and odors may be produced in the water supply, in the water treatment plant from reactions with treatment chemicals, in the distribution system, and/or in the plumbing of consumers. Tastes and odors can be caused by mineral contaminants in the water, such as the salty taste of water when chlorides are 500 mg/i or above, or the rotten egg, odor caused by hydrogen sulfide. Odor in the drinking water is usually caused by blue-green algae. Moderate concentrations of algae in the water can cause it to have a grassy, rusty or spicy odor. Large quantities can cause the water to have a rotten, septic, fishy or medicinal odor. Decaying vegetation is probably the most common cause for taste and odor in surface water supplies. In treated water supplies chlorine can react with organics and cause odor problems. The US EPA lists odor in the Secondary Drinking Water Standards. The contaminant effects are strictly aesthetic and a suggested Threshold Odor Number (TON) of 3 is recommended. Treatment Odor can be removed by oxidation-reduction or by activated carbon adsorption. Aeration can be utilized if the contaminant is in the form of a gas, such as H2S (hydrogen sulfide). Chlorine is the most common oxidant used in water treatment, but is only partially effective on taste and odor. Potassium permanganate and oxygen are also only partially effective. Chloramines are not at all effective for the treatment of taste and odor. The most effective oxidizers for treating taste and odor are chlorine dioxide and ozone. Activated carbon has an excellent history of success in treating taste and odor problems. The life of the carbon depends on the presence of organics competing for sites and the concentration of the odor-causing compound.
Bacteria are tiny organisms occurring naturally in water. Not all types of bacteria are harmful. Many organisms found in water are of no health concern since they do not cause disease. Biological contamination may be separated into two groups: (1) pathogenic (disease causing) and (2) non-pathogenic (not disease causing). Pathogenic bacteria cause illnesses such as typhoid fever, dysentery, gastroenteritis, infectious hepatitis, and cholera. All water supplies should be tested for biological content prior to use and consumption. E.Coli (Escherichia Coli) is the coliform bacterial organism that is looked for when testing the water. This organism is found in the intestines and fecal matter of humans and animals. If E.Coli is found in a water supply along with high nitrate and chloride levels, it usually indicates that waste has contaminated the supply from a septic system or sewage dumping, and has entered by way of runoff, a fractured well casing, or broken lines. If coliform bacteria are present, it is an indication that disease-causing bacteria may also be present. Four or fewer colonies / 100 ml of coliforms, in the absence of high nitrates and chlorides, implies that surface water is entering the water system. If pathogenic bacteria is suspected, a sample of water should be submitted to the Board of Health or US EPA for bacteriological testing and recommendations. The most common non-pathogenic bacteria found in water is iron bacteria. Iron bacteria can be readily identified by the red, feathery floc that forms overnight at the bottom of a sample bottle containing iron and iron bacteria. Treatment Bacteria can be treated by micro-filtration, reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, or chemical oxidation and disinfection. Ultraviolet sterilization will also kill bacteria; but turbidity, color, and organic impurities interfere with the transmission of ultraviolet energy and may decrease the disinfection efficiency below levels to insure destruction. Ultraviolet treatment also does not provide residual bactericidal action; therefore, periodic flushing and disinfection must be done. Ultraviolet sterilization is usually followed by 0.2-micron filtration when dealing with high purity water systems. The most common and undisputed method of bacteria destruction is chemical oxidation and disinfection. Ozone injection into a water supply is one form of chemical oxidation and disinfection. A residual of 0.4 mg/i must be established and a retention time of four minutes is required. Chlorine injection is the most widely recognized method of chemical oxidation and disinfection. Chlorine must be fed at 3 to 5 ppm to treat for bacteria and a residual of 0.4 ppm of free chlorine must be maintained for 30 minutes in order to meet EPA standards. Reverse Osmosis will remove over 99% of the bacteria in a drinking water system.
Organic Chemicals: Organic chemicals include pesticides, herbicides, trihalomethanes, and volatile synthetic organics. Careless use of pesticides and herbicides can contaminate water sources and make the water unsuitable for drinking. The use of these chemicals near wells is not recommended. Maximum contaminant levels for several common pesticides and herbicides have been established.
Trihalomethanes: are a group of organic compounds that form when chlorine reacts with humic and fulvic acids (natural organic compounds that occur in decaying vegetation). Trihalomethanes, potential carcinogens (cancercausing agents), should not exceed 0.10 mg/l in drinking water.
Volatile Synthetic Organics: occur in the waste products of various industrial processes and are commonly found in ground waters near heavily industrialized areas. At high levels these chemicals have accuse toxic effects, and at trace levels some are suspected of being carcinogenic. Limits for several of the volatile organics are currently included by the EPA as regulated contaminants. Organics can generally be removed by adsorption with activated carbon. Trihalomethanes can often be avoided by altering the chlorination process. Most volatile organics can be eliminated with aeration. The effectiveness of reverse osmosis units on organics has not been fully investigated. For all organics, protection of the water source is an important consideration.
Oil and Grease - There is no specific oil and grease EPA limitation for potable water, though there are a number of restricted compounds which may possibly (probably) be present in oil and grease contamination of the water. Measurement of oil and grease has been affected at two levels in recent years. The change of the defining method from EPA Method 413.1 to EPA Method 1664A was caused by the phase-out of freon-113 according to EPA 1.4 -.5 1664 Israel: 0.2mg/liter (SM-5520C) standard method. Some data show a reporting limit of 1.26 ppm and samples as high as 2.40 ppm. No data on whether these are naturally occuring fats, polar vs. non-polar, or any other discriminating criteria. It is almost impossible to find health standards or exposure limits for oil and grease in water.
From this study, I have come to the conclusion that water is needed in order to survive. It contains many things- more good things than bad. If we like it or not, we all need water, even though we haven't a clue to what is really in a glass of water we drink, Water is a common
chemical substance, with many influential health parameters and is essential to all known forms of life. Water is one of the most studied substance on Earth but it is amazing to find that its behavior and function are so poorly understood (or even ignored), not only by people in general, but also by scientists working with it everyday. The chemical and physical traces I have stated above are according to world-wide agreement; nonetheless I can not and will not guarantee that these standard levels actually exist in the tap water of Tzfat.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I have begun a Yahoo! Group called
Loosen the Fetters of Injustice.

This is the group description:

This group has been created as an alternative. It is meant for people who are ready and willing to take charge of their lives and assume the responsibility of bettering Israeli society.

We concern ourselves with getting the tarnish off the gold that the government has appropriated from us, not getting the tarnish off our silverware. There are groups that deal with the small issues. This is for people able to cope with the big stuff.

Our purpose is not simply to inform and debate, that of course is necessary and even enjoyable, but out focus is the creation of affinity groups and task forces that will organize direct action when government and business abuses us.

This group is run democratically.

All the Owner/Moderator will do is screen members to make sure that no spammers get in and delete the spam if they do manage to get through the net.

There is no censoring of topics.

There is no censoring of opinion.

Posts are not moderated or edited.

The group is set so that your messages go to the entire group and are in the messages archive. Your message will not go just to the person that you are responding to unless you decide they will. Discussion is encouraged here!

No member can be expelled without the group as a whole voting on it.

The polls will be used to reflect democratic opinions and decide how to take action.

This group is OURS. All of the members are equal partners. That includes the person who hit the buttons in order to initiate this group. That's all the initiator is supposed to do and the title "Owner/Moderator" should be understood as nothing but a meme from a society accustomed to thinking in hierarchical terms.

Breathe freely. Be yourself. Allow yourself and others the joy and empowerment of emancipation from the manacles and gyves of government, business and moderation of groups that acts as though it was a government or a business. Have fun!

Israel, Jewish, Consumer, Government, Grassroots, Affinity Group, Task Force

I think you'd be a very valuable member of the group and request your participation.

Please feel free to extend this invitation to those whom you know to be like-minded.


Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat - aka D2

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Bet you didn't think there were any Anarchists who look like that!

Read on, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Ha-Levi Ashlag (1885- 1954), one of the most famous Kabbalists in the Jewish world, was utterly amazing in every way:

"Through intensive study of Kabbalah, a person's desire to give to others is developed in relation to this goal. Ashlag believed that the coming of the
Messiah meant that humans would attain this quality which would allow them to give up their selfishness and devote themselves to loving each other for the sake of life's purpose, as stated in the commandment "love thy neighbor as thyself."
Ashlag had strong political opinions, believing in a religious version of
libertarian communism, based on principles of Kabbalah, which he called altruist communism. Though his anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist ideas show some Marxist influence, he strongly opposed communism instituted by force. He supported the Kibbutz movement and preached to establish a network of self-ruled internationalist communes, who would eventually annul the brute-force regime completely, for “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”, because there is nothing more humiliating and degrading for a person than being under the brute-force government. However, most of the contemporary followers of Ashlagian Kabbalah seem to ignore the radical teachings of their rebbe. "


Not only are these teachings ignored, they have been silenced. As famous as he is, almost no one knows this aspect of his thinking.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Rabbi Avraham Abulafia (Born: Saragossa, Spain, 1240, Died: Greece after 1291) wrote: "Here (in Torah) you will discover that which you seek and you will see that they all (all of the Teachings) cry out in protest against the absence of widsom, against unworthy deeds, and against limited understanding."

His student, whom he guided in the Way of Kabbalah Nevu'it, wrote: "I did not, to be sure, experience the corporeal (magic) effects (of such practices); and even granting the possibility of such a form of experience, I for my part want none of it, for it is an inferior form, especially when measured by the perfection which the Soul can attain spiritually. Indeed, it seems to me tht he who attempts to secure these (magic) effects desecrates God's Name and it is this that our teachers hint at when they say: "Since license prevailed, the Name of God has been taught only by the most reticent priests."

Similarly, some claimed that: "It is a well-known and undisputed fact among the people of Spain, and a tradition handed down from their ancestors, that Rav Natronai came to them from Babylonia by means of a "leaping of the road." He taught Torah, and then returned. He was not seen to travel in any caravan, and nobody observed him on the road. "

A century afterwards, when the incredulous Rav Hai Gaon (born 939; died on March 28, 1038) was asked to express his opinion about this story, he dismissed it, suggesting that some imposter might have been passing himself off as the eminent scholar. "

There is no room for magic, superstition or irrationality in Torah - not only not even in the Kabbalah, but most especially not in the Kabbalah.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel