After 19 years, Podolská vodárna (waterworks) is back in full functioning. Floods devastated architect Antonn Engel’s neoclassical structure in 2002, and it has only acted as a backup supply since then. The waterworks have now been rebuilt, and Prague residents can once again drink water from the Vltava. Water is now of higher quality and cleaner than it has ever been thanks to technological advancements.
The purifier processes 400 to 500 liters of water per second at full operation, despite the fact that the Podolská waterworks is just a month old.
“For example, the average bathtub is about 120 liters, so you have 4 bathtubs filled in a second,” said Ondřej Gandžala, head of the Podolská waterworks. At maximum output, the waterworks can handle up to 1200 liters per second.
It takes roughly 24 hours for the water from the Vltava to pass through all of the purification stages and make its way via the reservoirs to household taps. It all begins on adjacent Rowing Island, where water from the Vltava is pumped.
Furthermore, the water flows through the whole process of cleaning by gravity and the pure is collected in the underground of the waterworks.
The first phase of cleaning is in charge of the so-called clarifiers. “It removes about 90 percent of all impurities. Impurities precipitate in the form of flakes, which fall down as sediment, ”explains Ondřej Gandžala.
The water continues to travel through a tunnel on the upper floors of the waterworks to the main historic building, which has been nicknamed the “Temple of Water”. Thanks to the massive reinforced concrete arches, its interior resembles a cathedral rather than a waterworks.