Frequently asked questions

The water flow in the Yarkon, in the saltwater section, Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality, between the “Seven Mills” dam (Ganei Yehoshua Park Tel Aviv) and the Yarkon estuary, is suitable for random contact with water. For restrictions and guidelines for sailing in the salt section, see the Tel Aviv – Jaffa By-Law (Protection of the Yarkon Banks and the Regulation of Sailing in the Yarkon), 5749 – 1979.

The Authority requests the public to avoid entering or swimming in the river for two main reasons:

The Yarkon River today is a functioning ecosystem after years of comprehensive ecological restoration in all its aspects. The river hosts a variety of animals and plants, including the Yarkon tilapia which is the most sensitive fish to water quality conditions in the system. The Yarkon water in the upper section is fresh water that is discharged from boreholes – the entry of humans into the water creates disturbances and spot infections in the same section, damages the ecosystem and disrupts animal activity. Most of the channel of the Yarkon River is in a declared national park for the benefit of nature conservation and the ability to enforce regulations to prevent damage to the river area. For further restrictions and guidelines please contact the Nature and Parks Authority.

The Yarkon River channel is an open and unfenced system that drains the large catchment basin in the catchment basins of the coastal streams. Therefore, the creek is exposed to events of pollution from various sources along the creek. Relevant law enforcement monitors river water quality and handles pollution incidents and malfunctions. However, since the creek is an open system that constitutes a large-scale catchment basin, spot pollution events cannot be completely prevented.

The Yarkon River Authority samples the Yarkon River once a week in the saline section adapted for sailing, between the “Seven Mills” dam (Ganei Yehoshua Park Tel Aviv) and the Yarkon estuary, and with varying frequency of sampling in other sections along the river – according to the sampling procedure for water quality in streams of the Ministry of Environmental Protection. In addition, there is a station for continuous monitoring of water quality in the middle section of the river, in the area between Tel Aviv and Bnei Brak.

Yarkon water sampling data are published on the Authority’s website, under the “Water Quality Sampling” tab.

The Yarkon is divided into three sections in the context of water sources and their quality:

  • The clean section – the section you asked about: In the past, about 25,000 cubic meters of water flowed in the Yarkon per hour, 220 million cubic meters per year. The blueprint for the Yarkon River (1996) stipulates that only fresh water will flow in the section between the springs and the confluence of the Kana Stream. The allocation of water today to the Yarkon from the Yarkon springs (drilling water) is at a flow rate of about 1,800 cubic meters / hour, in the quality of drinking water, and this is the water that flows in the clean section.
  • The middle section – from the meeting with Kana Stream to the Seven Mills: the section where most of its tributaries are connected to the Yarkon and to which tertiary-quality effluent water produced in sewage treatment facilities is also discharged, in accordance with the appropriate permits.
  • The saline section – from Seven Mills to the sea: the water of the stream that is mixed with sea water.

The Yarkon River today is not a polluted river.

The damage to the Yarkon in the past began in the late 1950s. . At that time, the Yarkon water was pumped for private use and this caused the river to dry up. The damage to the river worsened with the development of the cities around it. The river became a drainage channel into which sewage and effluents of poor quality were discharged.

The Yarkon River Authority began its activities in 1991, and has been working for the past 30 years to rehabilitate the Yarkon River, the flow channel and its banks, to improve water quality and to develop the river area for community and educational activities.

The Yarkon River today is a functioning ecosystem after years of comprehensive ecological restoration in all its aspects. The river is home to a variety of animals and plants, including the Yarkon tilapia, which is the most sensitive fish in the water quality system. On the website of the Yarkon River Authority, you will find details about the projects promoted by the Authority and additional information about its activities in various areas for the benefit of the Yarkon Preservation and the development of the river from an ecological, environmental and community point of view.

The two main factors that can be pointed out as sources of pollution that today endanger the restoration of the stream and the ecosystem are: 1. Faults in the sewage systems in the communities along the stream; 2. The first rain that washes the pollutants from the roads and the urban area and drains them into the environment and streams.

The Yarkon River Authority is working together with government ministries and bodies in charge of environmental protection to specifically prevent pollution incidents, and to promote long-term solutions to the real dangers facing the rehabilitation of the Yarkon River.

The activity must comply with the Fishing Regulations, 1937, including guidelines and instructions from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health regarding fishing methods, species of fish that are prohibited and the quality of the water. This includes, in Mediterranean streams, including the Yarkon, net fishing is prohibited [except in designated nets for fishing for kipon fish (mullet); For this purpose, “minnow” – a fish whose length from the tip of its mouth to the tip of its tail does not exceed 5 cm].

The Yarkon River Authority cleans the area under its responsibility per its foundation order (20 m on each side of its banks), and within the river channel itself. The local authorities are responsible for cleaning the municipal area up to the river bank, without the riverbed.
The cleaning in the summer months takes place 6 days a week in light of the load of visitors who frequent the stream area.

In winter, cleaning operations are carried out in sections that can be reached (the Yarkon area is not accessible during the winter months due to winter pools and saturated soil).

At the end of the rainy season, the riverbed is cleaned along its entire length.

Ganei Yehoshua (Tel Aviv) is responsible for the crossing on the dam. Information on the activity of the crossing can be found on the Ganei Yehoshua website.

Along 28 km of the twists and turns of the Yarkon there is a main path, which passes alternately on both sides of the stream, and in some sections the path passes on both sides of the stream at the same time. This path splits into other existing and planned paths, allowing easy access from residential and city centers to crowded sites and employment areas.The trails pass near historic sites of interest and interesting scenic viewpoints.

You can download the trail map on the website, which includes parking lot markings for leaving vehicles and starting trails. Link >>

The Yarkon River channel is open to the public. Two sections up the stream are sites that are declared national parks – these are “Tel Afek” and “Mekorot Hayarkon”. The sites are fenced and operated by the Nature and Parks Authority.

The community activity that the Yarkon River Authority promotes together with the local authorities takes place throughout the year. Special activities on holidays and festivals are held at the initiative of other bodies in the area, such as: the Nature and Parks Authority, Ganei Yehoshua Tel Aviv, Hod Hasharon Ecological Park, etc. Details of special events can be found on the websites of these bodies.

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