To avoid flooding in the M30 tunnels, specific installations and protocols for action are available. Since the M30 tunnels are about 48 kilometres long, and they are mostly below the level of the Manzanares River, they are undoubtedly a point of conflict when it comes to fighting the occurrence of possible floods. Without the important measures that have already been taken in the M30, it’s very likely that at least some part of the tunnels would become waterlogged in heavy rain or if the river flooded, for example.
To avoid flooding in the M30 tunnels, an extensive drainage network has been built throughout all the tunnels that is capable of draining the water that may accumulate in these tunnels as a result of downpours or other factors.
A large number of strategically located drains have been designed and executed that cover the entire distance of the tunnels, with their corresponding connections and downspouts.
As a preventive measure in the event of heavy rains, a series of storm tanks have also been built that help prevent water from reaching the inside of the tunnel.
The entire drainage system that runs below the M30 has been connected to an extensive network of pumping wells, which are fully autonomous and have an electronic emergency response system that monitors each of the parameters required for these wells to operate properly. .
The work this system does is not only very important when it comes to the drainage itself, but also provides a lot of useful statistical data on flows and operating hours. Therefore, it is possible to know the state of the installations in real time in order to be able to perform the necessary cleaning and maintenance operations, helping to prevent any type of incident.
In addition, a flood plan has been created to prevent any type of water damage. This plan covers all of the following measures.
Seeing how one of the most important factors when it comes to preventing floods is the cleaning and maintenance of the installations, once a year the drainage pipes are cleaned using pressurised water, eliminating any object that could be generating problems in said system.
Thanks to an important preliminary study, the existence of 44 low points have been identified in which, due to their geometric characteristics, there is a greater risk of flooding. A specific file has been developed for each of them, including data such as their location, drainage capacity, the location of both the pumping wells and the dry columns, the nearest access points so that, in case of emergency, any type of machine can enter the tunnel and help pump water to the surface. For theses accesses, two attack points have been planned, depending on the direction of traffic. All the nearest emergency exits are also located in each file for extreme evacuation cases.
All of this can be done thanks to the hard work of a team of more than 300 people, 365 days a year, whose invaluable experience manages to prevent all kinds of incidents of this nature, as well as many others.
To carry out all of the specific cleaning and maintenance work, as well as water pumping in emergencies, numerous machines are needed that make the work even more effective. They include special suction and pressure trucks, fast intervention trucks or pump trucks, as well as various types of pumps.
Thanks to this flood plan with all of these measures and, above all, the human factor, we can safely drive on the M30 and reach our destination without any incidents.