Nahariya residents have endured without fresh, clean running water since Monday – and complain Tuesday that the municipality's warning to boil all water did not reach them for hours after the impurities were found.
The Ministry of Health found abnormalities in Nahariya's tap water Monday, announcing in the media before noon that all water for drinking, brushing teeth, and preparing medicines or baby formula must be boiled before use.
The municipality of Nahariya published the same announcement on its Facebook page a few hours later, but it did not reach the many residents not connected to the popular social network, and was not widely distributed despite the health risks.
"For the elderly, Facebook is not a source of information," Rina, 92, complained to Yediot Aharonot Tuesday. She was only notified of the health risk Tuesday morning by one of her grandsons.
Like Rina, several residents complained that the municipality did not make the announcement via loudspeaker (usually on top of cars driving through various neighborhoods; once a common means of spreading information in Israel – ed.) for those less technologically inclined.
To add to the confusion, dozens of parents dropping off their children at municipal preschools Tuesday morning found handwritten notes advising parents to buy 1.5 liters of water for the day per child – despite a Ministry of Health assurance that the water was sterile once boiled.
Parents stated to the daily that they expected the city to hand out bottles of water at designated emergency situation points, as is common practice during other water shortages in Israel.
"What actually happened is that parents, instead of driving to work, had to run to the supermarket or gas station or store to buy mineral water so that their children will not be left thirsty in school," one parent, who declined to be named, fired.
The municipality said in response that the request was likely a localized initiative and that most of Nahariya's water could be safely boiled.