Pernik water crisis: 300 lorries to deliver pipelines – Economy Minister
About 300 lorries are being organised to deliver the pipes required for the new connection to supply the town of Pernik with water, Bulgaria’s Economy Minister Emil Karanikolov said after a Cabinet meeting on January 23.
Pernik has been the subject of severe water restrictions for more than two months. The government is proposing a plan to supply the town with water via Sofia’s pipeline network, which will require adding more than 13km of pipelines to make the connection.
The plan is to bring the water from the Belmeken Dam via the Beli Iskar Dam and on through the Sofiw water supply network to Pernik.
The Cabinet mandated Karanikolov, Regional Development Minister Petya Avramova and recently-appointed Environment Minister Emil Dimitrov to ask Sofia City Council to agree to the passage of water at a volume of 300 litres a second to supply Pernik’s needs.
Karanikolov said that some of the pipes required had not yet been manufactured, but there have been talks with the manufacturers to produce 400 metres of pipes a day, which will be delivered from Spain.
Avramova said that the Bulgarian Construction Chamber has offered assistance and support for the construction of a pumping station and water supply from the village of Malo Buchino to Pernik.
She said that there will be full mobilization of all companies that have experience in the construction of water supply and sewerage networks so that the water supply system is completed as soon as possible.
It is regarded as most likely that the city council will meet on January 27 to discuss the government’s request.
Sofia municipality has signalled that it will agree to the request if various conditions are met, most importantly that the project does not imperil the supply of water to the Bulgarian capital city itself.
Separately, reports on January 23 said that slightly elevated manganese values were detected in the water from the water supply network in Pernik during the monitoring due to the water regime.
This should not be a risk to health but it was not recommended for people to continue consuming such water for a prolonged period, according to the regional health inspectorate.
At the Thursday Cabinet meeting, the government adopted a decree on the adoption of an ordinance
on the conditions, control and order for the technical and safe operation of dam walls and related facilities.
Adoption is required by the requirement of the Water Act, to define the criteria for the classification of dams in terms of their potential danger, and the specific requirements for emergency plans. The set of rules also defines the system for decommissioning dams and their facilities.
The measures are aimed in part at assisting in planning preventive measures to minimize material damage in case of floods.
(Photo of the Beli Iskar Dam: Mincov)