A large non-ionic detergent spill affected the Yarqon stream, where water sampling was performed prior to the spill as a part of the stream's routine sampling and during and after the event. Following the spill, a large foam layer was observed for about 3-4 days accompanied by death of all fauna in the stream. Despite a large quantity of freshwater that was introduced to the stream as an emergency measure, a drastic decrease in dissolved oxygen was also observed. A rapid reduction in bacterial diversity and richness, as measured by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis, was also evident, as microbial assemblages changes accompanied pollutant exposure. However, this analysis showed that the microbial assemblages of the stream were quick to recover and became similar to pre-spill communities as early as a week after the spill. These findings suggest that bacterial assemblages are much more robust to large anthropogenic disturbances than expected.