ICE justifies low water level in Pirrís plant

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) justified the low water level in the dam Pirrís hydroelectric plant, which reached at least 30 August.

Some locals warned that the dam of the power plant, located between Los Santos and Parrita areas, was very empty since the middle of the previous month.

“That lake was almost dry days ago. We think about a leak, but do not know exactly what happens, “said Ramiro Rojas, neighbor.

The Institute denied the existence of a problem and attributed the drop in reserves of liquid-intensive plant that had in previous months and the lack of rain in those days.

“The behavior of the reservoir in Pirrís is normal, there is no problem with the dam,” said Alberto Quiros Ramirez, director of Electricity Production Sector ICE.

He explained that the basin that is part of Pirrís River, receives the influence of the Pacific climate, which usually has two distinct seasons that affect the operation of the reservoir.

According to the Institute, in the summer, especially in the months of March and April, Pirrís river flow is reduced to values of 3 m³ / s, so the ICE used the water that stored during the rainy season for the generating units and meet the demand.

This causes the water level is reduced considerably, this year the decline began on 20 Mar, reaching minimum values if the summer is more than expected. These minimum reservoir level occurred between July 4 and until 30 August, reported the institution.

But when the rains come, the river flow increases to average values of 30 m³ / s in October and then the tank begins to fill. Under normal conditions, this recovery occurs between September and November.

Ramirez admitted that this year, the rainy conditions were not good, so the level is low. But Since this month, the flows have improved and allowed to begin filling (recovered 10 meters of water).

“We have to give time, and have a good climate for hydroelectric generation, so the neighbors can see again the reservoir full,” said the official.