Truck drivers from various companies frequently dump their contents in open areas, endangering groundwater and polluting the environment.
By Zafrir Rinat

The company managing the Golan Heights’ sewage disposal has recently started monitoring its trucks with a GPS tracking device, to make sure they don’t dispose of the sewage illegally. Truck drivers from various companies frequently dump their contents in open areas, endangering groundwater and polluting the environment.

The company has also proposed to the Environmental Protection Ministry that it grant licenses to sewage-truck companies only if they agree to install a tracking device in their vehicles.

Kolhey Golan sewage and water corporation, which manages the sewage of more than 30 towns and villages in the Golan, now requires all the truck companies it works with to install a Global Positioning System tracking unit in its vehicles.

“We are about to publish another tender to operate sewage-removal trucks and installing this device, which enables us to determine the trucks’ location at all times, will be one of the tender’s conditions,” Kolhey Golan CEO Rony Zigler said on Monday.

The company also intends to stipulate that every other sewage corporation operating the same trucks monitor them in the same way, he said.

Sewage trucks are used to drain leaks, unclog pipes and holes and collect the contents of chemical toilets at tourist sites. The collected waste is taken from cities and inhabited areas to sewage treatment plants, to protect the public health. However, truck drivers frequently unload their contents in open areas. “I haven’t seen a truck doing so myself, but I have seen sewage flowing in places where it’s forbidden to dispose of it,” Zigler said.

The Environmental Protection Ministry has filed several indictments in recent years against sewage-truck drivers who disposed of the trucks’ contents without the required permit and against the companies who own the trucks.

Three years ago two sewage-truck drivers were convicted in Nazareth’s Magistrate’s Court of illegally dumping the contents of 50 trucks after they collected sewage from a food plant. The sewage was dumped near a Kinneret drainage basin in the Galilee, endangering the groundwater in the region.

“We first operated the tracking devices in order to supervise the time table of the sewage removal,” Zigler said.

“Then we realized it could be used to supervise the trucks and prevent them from polluting the environment.” he said.

Two weeks ago Zigler wrote to Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan about Kolhey Golan’s method of monitoring its sewage trucks. The method raised much interest and ministry officials said they may consider operating the system to monitor trucks carrying construction debris to landfills, officials told Haaretz.

Today many truck drivers dump construction debris illegally, frequently beyond the Green Line, to save transportation costs and avoid payment to the legal landfills.