Railway line Relizane - Tiaret
Description of social and environmental performance.
Concrete is an essential tool for constructing railway structures; however, the wash water from concrete tanks has a very high pH and if discharged into the ground, the concrete may set, preventing the growth of vegetation. Furthermore, the riverbeds in the area of the works are known for their seasonality, and if this effluent is discharged directly onto them, it may cause serious long-term damage, due to partial concreting of the riverbeds, interfering in the erosion process.
After studying the problem carefully it was decided that the most effective solution was to apply standard measures to neutralise these discharges. These measures consist of digging cleaning wells near the pits to be concreted, installing a geotextile membrane to prevent passage of fine materials to the ground, and providing them with the corresponding signposting and safety marking.
Despite being a fairly simple solution and one that is widely used in other works, the main challenge was the implementation of this kind of measures in a country with low environmental awareness, such as Algeria. Therefore, it was considered essential to provide briefings and for pits to be monitored constantly by managers to ensure the success of the operation.
As a result of the implementation of these measures, a concreting procedure has been implemented which includes cleaning concrete gutters in an area designed especially for this purpose. Furthermore, this measure has meant that drivers now comply with instructions from the pit managers who establish the area for cleaning the concrete mixers before undertaking stonework.
All of this has achieved a reduction of wash water discharge from concrete mixers, thereby improving soil quality and enabling the growth of vegetation.