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All-Season Drainage Solution Protects Veliko Tarnovo's Historic Center from Flooding

13. January 2023 | 3 min read

Situated amid the slopes of beautiful gorges and the meanders of the Yantra River, the city of Veliko Tarnovo deservingly ranks as one of Bulgaria's most enticing tourist attractions. Although picturesque, the city's location entails risks of frequent flooding, particularly in the lowest-lying districts. A Pipelife Pragma stormwater pipe system was used to expand the capacity of the local drainage network, and the wintry weather was no obstacle to its installation.

Aerial view of Veliko Tarnovo in winter | Pipelife

Historic Heritage at the Risk of Flood Damage

Veliko Tarnovo is located on three hills, Tsarevets, Trapezitsa and Sveta Gora, which makes it one of the most scenic cities in the country. From antiquity to the present day, Veliko Tarnovo's heritage sites and cultural monuments carry the spirit of all eras and periods of Bulgarian history.

Just like Veliko Tarnovo's architecture, the city's underground infrastructure was gradually developed over the years, using pipes of various materials, such as asbestos cement, cast iron and steel. Nowadays, parts of the network are at the end of their service life while others lack sufficient capacity to serve Veliko Tarnovo's growing community.

The old drainage pipes in the city average just 300 mm in diameter, leading to dozens of homes and shops being flooded every time there are heavy falls. In 2021, the municipality decided to invest in an additional drainage network to relieve the city's overloaded stormwater system and prevent further flood damage.

Two workers setting up side wall in a trench | Pipelife
Large-diameter Pragma pipe laid in a trench in Veliko Tarnovo | Pipelife

Frost-Resistant Piping System Ensures Smooth Installation

The project entails a new drainage system on Oplchenska street, which runs along the Yantra River. The total area served by the new network is 38 ha, and the pipes reach 1000 mm in diameter in the lowest parts of the city.

The green light for the project was given in December; Planex EOOD was selected as the main contractor. As winter temperatures in Veliko Tarnovo often drop below zero, a frost-resistant piping solution was needed to ensure the works could be started as soon as possible and completed on time.

The Pipelife Pragma stormwater system offered a perfect solution to the project's installation challenges, combining resistance to low temperatures, high ring stiffness and excellent durability. Furthermore, the system's wide range of accessories allowed effortless connection to the existing sewer network where needed and replacing the aged sections.

Worker standing in a shallow trench next to a Pragma pipe and two inspection chambers | Pipelife
A shallow open trench with a Pragma pipe laid and connected to two inspection chambers | Pipelife

Modern Piping Solutions for a Bustling City

The installation works continued throughout the winter and were completed in February 2022. In total, more than 1600 meters of Pragma pipes were laid, ranging from DN 315 to DN 1000.

The upgraded stormwater drainage network can divert considerably higher amounts of rainwater, protecting the central part of Veliko Tarnovo from flooding. Close collaboration between the stakeholders and relying on high-quality solutions were both crucial to complete the project on time.

"At every project stage, the investors and constructors could rely on fast and timely deliveries, as well as consultations with our team," says Todor Najdenov, regional sales manager at Pipelife Bulgaria. "Close cooperation ensured the smooth pace of the project, avoiding delays and associated extra costs."

Following the project's success, the collaboration between the city and Pipelife Bulgaria continues — this summer, Pipelife supplied more than 1800 meters of HDPE pipes to reconstruct the potable water network in Veliko Tarnovo, ensuring access to safe drinking water for the city's community and guests.

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