The department of Environmental Health deals with human health aspects (including quality of life), which are impacted by sanitary and environmental, physical, chemical, biological, social and psycho-social factors. The department assesses the sanitary and environmental factors that may constitute a potential hazard and cause health damage to the current generation and of the future generations and takes action to remedy and prevent them.
At the staff level the department coordinates the activities of the environmental health departments in the regional and district bureaus. Initiates legislation and standards on matters under its responsibility, initiates training courses and represents the ministry in interministerial and international forums.
The department’s main activities are: supervision of: potable water (supply and treatment systems, bacterial and chemical quality, prevention of reverse flow, fluorination, water supply security); bathing areas (swimming pools, ritual baths and public beaches); sanitation at educational facilities, health and welfare; sewage treatment installations, youth camp sanitation. Supervision of irrigation using treated waste water; Participation in the planning and construction committees, providing an opinion on construction permits for institutions and businesses; Supervision of businesses (including the food market businesses, food catering businesses, event halls, and businesses providing non-medical treatment of the human body). Participation in the Emergency Economy committees (MELACH).
Training for local authorities and institutions;
The public services provided by the department of Environmental Health staff:
- The department functions in accordance with the Freedom of Information Law through publication of information and reports on the various issues.
- The department publishes alerts when necessary concerning contamination of beaches and swimming pools.
- The department routinely updates the public on the state of the coastal waters by means of a map on its website.
- The department initiates, trains and supervises courses on environmental health issues such as: water, sanitation, bathing areas, sewage and treated waste water, reverse flow preventers etc, to external organizations.
- The department approves substances related to water from the toxicological perspective.
- The department evaluates and approves devices and methods of treating water and wastewater treatment.
- The department publishes, on its website, laws, regulations and professional guidelines on environmental health issues.
Leading projects recently initiated by The department of Environmental Health:
- Update of the regulations governing the quality of potable water. (ADIN Committee)
- Water filtering on the National Water Carrier.
- Fluorination of water throughout Israel. (Legislation and funding)
- Business licensing reform.
- Academization of the profession of environmental health: it is currently studied as a BA course at the Hadassa College.
- Assimilation of a public health supervision procedure.
- Updating the standard for water quality at bathing beaches.
- Updating of the regulations for treated wastewater quality at their exit from the treatment facilities.
- Promotion of the sanitary state of businesses and institutions.
- Upgrade of the wastewater treatment facilities.
- Extension of the irrigation using treated wastewater and the variety of crops that can be cultivated without posing a public health hazard.