As you can see this post has become rather large. However, it is the most important report on the project and the most important event for us as the implementer. This technical handover to us gave us the chance to see if the project was done according to the contract and stipulations we agreed on, so that our responsibility to the people of Balačići is fulfilled. The length of the entry therefore seems fitting to me.
Discussion at the upper pressure-chamber
The inside of the upper pressure-chamber
As already mentioned last week, we first went up to the upper pressure-chamber where we stayed a few minutes and discussed the setup of the system, the future maintenance by the local community and how adding this pressure equalizing setup was necessary and made the whole water supply system more secure and long-lasting. The representative of the Balačići local community, Šaban Aganović, was part of the project every step of the way is therefore now a crucial player to ensure the maintenance of the system and the sustainability of the project.
The representative of the local community Balačići, Šaban Aganović
He showed us where the water comes from
After the beginning of our walk up to the higher pressure-chamber we continued to the other items of the new water supply system. But since we are already higher up and closer to the source we also took a look at where the different sources come together and the water goes on to the pressure-chamber and the reservoir.
Here 7 sources come together that feed the reservoir
Some of these sources have provided Balačići with water for several decades
From here we walk back down to the reservoir; a different more direct way. It was a beautiful day and that walk just showed the best views I have so far seen in Bosnia; from think forest, to hilly farmland and mountains in the distance. But look for yourself.
Back at the reservoir we inspect the pipes, the reservoir itself and also do a tasting of the water. We also check the small overflow-protection chamber just in front of the reservoir.
The reservoir from above
It is full!
The people in Balačići think that one reason for the massive landslide that took down the old reservoir, was that it was not well protected against overflowing water and that the rest water that came out of the reservoir ad already softened the ground where it was on and washed the solid ground away from its foundation. We cannot be sure that this really was the case but we can make sure that this will not happen with our new reservoir and this overflow chamber will ensure exactly that.
The water is being tested
Inspection of the overflow chamber
After we walk along the path to the lower large pressure chamber that I have shown you already in previous posts. But as you can see, it is now neatly surrounded by a mound of earth and fit better into the landscape.
Šaban’s son and future Balačići great
From here we follow the path further and soon are at the level of the ravine created by the landslide. Just a little further down and right at the edge of the village we come to the lower pressure valve, which we also inspect. Then we taste-test the water again at the highest public fountain of Zeljezno Polje.
Lower pressure valve
Public fountain in upper Balačići
All long the way we discuss the project and the few small things that need to be taken care of by the construction company before the official technical check by the municipality and the handover to the community. The agree to do all the things we request in the next couple of days. To sign the protocol of our visit, we go higher up to a little resting place close to the fields where the people of Balačići grow their vegetables and berries. We are offered a ride with the most common mode of transportation in Balačići; I don’t really know what it’s called, just see for yourself.
The most suitable vehicle for this mountainous region
There is a little pond up here, vast fields with different crops and even a football field. We are told that the youth of Balačići come here everyday in the evening when it’s less hot to play football.
The highest football field in the region
Some of the hard working people of Balačići
After the discussion, the signing of the protocol/minutes of our visit and some coffee, we make our way back to the reservoir. On our way we come by some of these huge hay piles that are still made the traditional way.
The size of these is impressive
Back at the reservoir we say our goodbyes.
We’ll be back this Thursday for the official checks and handover to the community.