Safety at our facilities
The safety at our facilities has many aspects. When planning power plants, safety comes first – whether run-of-river power plant or storage power plant.
Barrages: Austria's best-monitored structures
No matter which dam is built, it is always designed to withstand loads that are many times greater than actually occur. The structure is to be dimensioned against various criteria and loads (temperature, water level, earthquakes).
Measurements and checks
Even after a dam is completed, safety comes first. Highly sensitive measuring devices detect even the smallest of changes. Many of the measuring devices in a barrage transmit their readings in real time. There are also regular inspection rounds by trained personnel who perform visual checks, take further measurements, and record and analyse readings.
Barrage monitoring: observing a dam with all the senses
Plans for emergencies
Dams are structures in nature that are planned, engineered and constructed by people. Of course, dams can also experience problems, but careful planning and constant monitoring ensure that a disaster can be broadly ruled out or averted. All VERBUND dams have facilities capable of controlling and rapidly releasing water to reduce the load on the structure. Should the greatest possible and most improbable eventuality occur – the breaking and collapse of a dam –, appropriate disaster plans are available at the disaster management authorities. In this case, VERBUND would be part of the official disaster management team.
Power plants and floods
When approving run-of-river power plants, attention is paid to ensure that the natural state is changed as little as possible compared to how it was before the power plant was built. Run-of-river power plants are therefore not flood defence structures. In the event of a flood, the official crisis management team springs into action: responsible for warnings are the hydrographic services of the state/provincial governments, which have automatic access to the water levels at all power plants.