The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment of Spain, through the Miño-Sil River Basin Authority, has awarded a contract to EPTISA for the implementation of an emergency plan (EWS) in the Bárcena, Collado de Bárcena and Fuente del Azufre dams. The project involves the installation of ten electronic sirens and the construction of an emergency room.
The project, which EPTISA will execute in its entirety, involves the installation of ten electronic sirens that will cover the affected area in the event of a possible rupture or malfunction of the dams.
The three dams within the Ponferrada area have a category A risk classification and form a single operating system. The Bárcena dam is a gravity dam with straight plant and a length of 166 m and a height of 95 m. It regulates the different water uses to supply the Association of Municipalities of Ponferrada: irrigation in the Bierzo region, production of hydroelectric energy, cooling of the Thermal Power Plant of Compostilla II and recreational uses. The Collado de Bárcena is an embankment dam with a clay core, 19 m high and 2.382 m long at the crest, with similar uses to those of the Bárcena dam. And the Fuente del Azufre dam, of concrete and masonry, is 33 m high and 40 m long at the crest and regulates irrigation uses, production of hydroelectric energy, cooling of the Thermal Power Plant of Compostilla I and ecological flows of the Sil River.
It is planned to install the Control Centre in the emergency room that will be located in Poblado de Bárcena, having all the necessary equipment (servers, remote control software, redundant communications, and insured supplies) for the management of possible incidents. The activation of the sound signal can be done both from this emergency room and from the basin Control Centre (Cecu) that the River Basin Authority has in Ourense, where the Automatic Hydrological Information System (SAIH) equipment is located and where the emergency plans of the rest of the dams will be included later.
Once the Population Warning Systems has been implemented, an outreach campaign will be carried out, which will require the participation of municipal, provincial and autonomous organisms.