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For Mosvodokanal employees, the phrase “how much water has flowed under the bridge” is not a proverb, but a working situation. Before the flood, it is important to calculate the water reserves to a milliliter and constantly monitor the ice melting.

In early April, if the weather is warm, floods will begin on the Moskva River, and this will lead to an increase in the water level in the reservoirs. According to forecasts, the flow will be plentiful: the winter was snowy. But the employees of Mosvodokanal are sure: there will be no flooding. In anticipation of “big water”, specialists check emergency equipment, measure the density of snow, and take samples. We will tell you how the preparations for spring are going on at the Istra hydroelectric complex.

Dump the water

The Istra reservoir is one of the main ones in the water supply of Moscow. In anticipation of floods, Mosvodokanal engineers lower the water level in it by two to four centimeters every day. To do this, a spillway is opened – it resembles a seething waterfall. It is necessary to lower the level so that when the ice melts and the spring rains begin, the water literally does not overflow and flood everything around.

“I am sure that the flood will be trouble-free. All the melt runoff will be taken into the reservoir, ”says Aleksandr Karpushenko, head of the water sources department of the Mosvodokanal water supply department.

Now, as the employees of the hydroelectric complex say, nothing foreshadows the rapid arrival of water: the coast is buried in snowdrifts, the reservoir is covered with ice 45 centimeters thick. Spring is foreseen only by tits, woodpeckers and a single swan. “This swan is a scout. I flew in to see if the ice had melted, ”laughs the head of the Istra hydro-technical unit, Yuri Gusev.

The swan arrived early: the ice did not start to melt. According to Alexander Karpushenko, until April 3-4, the weather will remain unstable: either frost or thaw. Until a stable above zero temperature is established day and night, the water level will not actively rise.

Compare snow

To calculate how abundant the inflow of water will be, and to calculate how much it is necessary to lower the level in the reservoir, Mosvodokanal regularly measures the thickness of the snow. This is done every 10 days, and before the flood – once every five days. This process is called snow shooting.

Two engineers drive up to the bank of the reservoir on a Taiga snowmobile, take out a metal pipe with a scale, insert it into the snow and dig it with a shovel to the ground. Then this pipe, full of snow, is weighed.

“This measuring device is called“ Snow Gauge VS-43 ”. Having learned the weight of the snow and its height from the ground, we write the data into the log and, returning to the base, use a special formula to calculate the density of the snow, as well as the water content in it. Now the height is 30 centimeters, ”says Andrey Merkulov, an engineer-hydrologist of the Istra hydro-technical unit.

Andrey and his colleague Nikolai Zhuravlev are studying the water content of the snow on a certain route. Its length is two kilometers. As a rule, measurements are taken in the same places so that it is convenient to compare changes in indicators.

“It is also important to check whether the culverts under the roads are well cleaned so that water does not collect in ditches and flooding occurs. This is possible during a period of friendly floods, when a sharp warming occurs and a high-water runoff is formed, ”says Alexander Karpushenko.

For this case, emergency equipment is already ready – 350 cars with pumps capable of pumping 67 thousand cubic meters of water per hour. If an emergency arises, 150 brigades will hold back the water during the day and 25 at night.

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Check quality

Meanwhile, other engineers are taking samples from the Istra reservoir. Part of the melt water will go to four water treatment stations, and from there, after filtration and purification, to the apartments of Muscovites. But all filters are effective only if the water itself is clean without impurities alien to nature.

“We take samples every day. If it suddenly turns out that the water quality has deteriorated, we will tighten control. We will check it three times a day, ”explains Sergey Priseko, an engineer of the inspection of the sanitary protection zones of the Istra hydro-technical unit, going down the stairs to the frozen reservoir.

A hole has been cut in the ice. It does not drag on: Mosvodokanal employees cover it with a piece of thick plywood. Sergei lowers a bathometer into a hole on a rope – a device consisting of a steel tube, inside which there is a plastic vessel with an open valve. As soon as the bottle reaches the bottom (this happens at a depth of about three meters), the engineer throws a load tied to the same rope into the icy water, and the valve slams under its weight. Then he takes the device out of the hole, drains the contents from the tap into the bucket, and from it pours into plastic bottles. Then the samples will be sent to the Rublevskaya water treatment plant in the laboratory.

“The bottom sample allows you to determine the color, turbidity, odor, the amount of suspended solids, ammonia, bacteria in the water. We also collect water from the surface for comparison, ”explains Sergei Priseko.

In order to prevent pollution of the rivers flowing into the reservoir, Mosvodokanal constantly monitors the readiness of agricultural enterprises in the Moscow region to undergo floods. In parallel, fighting for the purity of water, Mosvodokanal cooperates with the administrations of 16 municipalities of the Moscow region, as well as with the Ministry of Emergencies, the Ministry of Ecology and Nature Management of the Moscow Region, and the Office of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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