…maybe that’s the point of drinking from the Jordan River as Christians commemorate the beginning of Christ’s ministry at his supposed baptismal site:
At the site, thousands of pilgrims filled plastic water bottles with water they believe is holy. Some of them chugged it down right there, others said they were bringing it home for relatives. But environmental groups say the water could be dangerous.
“You actually saw them drink it — oh my God, that’s terrible,” said Gidon Bromberg, the executive director of Friends of the Earth Middle East. “They can get really sick. There’s sewage in the water.”
Friends of the Earth charges that Israel has used the Jordan River as a dumping ground for sewage and other pollutants. Bromberg said his organization commissioned a water survey last week and found 340 fecal coliforms per 100 millilitres of water, indicating the presence of sewage in the water.
There is no universal Israeli standard, although the Ministry of Health recommends that swimming water have no more than 200 fecal coliforms and drinking water have almost none.
Which reminds me, I wonder if Siberians are going to sicken themselves again this year as they celebrate Epiphany today.