The Yarkon River is the largest of the coastal rivers in terms of water flow (8 cubic meters per second on average) and second of all rivers of the country after the Jordan River.
The length of the Yarkon River is about 28 km and it carries water originating from the hills of Judea and Samaria and from Tel Afek to the Mediterranean. It ends on the coast in North Tel Aviv.
In 1955 the authorities began to pump drinking water from the Yarkon to the National Water Carrier, and the river lost from its volume. In addition, due to increased local usage, the quantity of spring water flowing into the river kept declining. The decrease in the amount of water impacted the self-purification capacity of the Yarkon. During the 60’s and 70’s a construction boom began along some parts of the River which flows not only in Tel Aviv but through Ramat Gan, Petach Tikva, Rosh Haayin, etc. Construction companies began pumping industrial and domestic waste into the river, causing serious pollution of the water. During the 70’s treatment plants were set up for waste water treatment, but the water was of such poor quality that the deterioration process continued.
The Yarkon is mentioned in the Book of Joshua as the border between the tribes of Dan’s and Manasseh, and the site of many battles waged between Israel and the Philistines. Some believe that the cedar trees brought from Lebanon for the construction of the First Temple during the days of King Solomon arrived by to the Mediterranean coast, from where they were transported all along the Yarkon and from there to Jerusalem.