Gouvães Hydroelectric Power Station dam

Description of social and environmental performance.

Problems detected:

FCC Construcción, through its subsidiary company, Ramalho Rosa Cobetar, works in the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the town of Gouvães da Serra (Portugal), and of the access road to the town along the crest of the dam.

The excavation works on the bank and bed of the River Torno, in addition to the raising of the embankment, led to a high level of water turbidity on account of the high level of suspended solids, to the point at which operators had to periodically stop their activity until the water was clearer.

Solutions adopted:

The decision was taken to install a geotextile containment barrier for suspended solids along the excavation and embankment raising area to reduce the level of turbidity.

The aim of this solution was to contain particulate matter in a limited area to prevent its dispersion downstream and eliminate the risk of having to suspend the work on account of the conditions of the river.


The containment barrier retained the majority of suspended solid, reducing the impact on the quality of water and making it possible to continue work for longer periods of time, reducing the period of execution of the work and, therefore, leading to a reduction in costs.

Although suspended solids are not pollutants, the turbidity they cause in the river has a direct impact on aquatic ecosystems, reducing the amount of light reaching the riverbed and, therefore, affecting the wildlife and plant life as their ability to perform photosynthesis is reduced.