Friday, February 12, 2016

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Panama Canal starts testing the basins for the new locks

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced that the first water-saving basin of the Agua Clara Locks’ upper chamber has been filled to the required level in order to begin a rigorous and methodical testing process.

Once the basin was filled, testing was conducted on the basin’s emptying and filling system to confirm it is watertight.

Ensuring that the quality established in the contract is met, ACP said contractor Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) will continue filling the remaining intermediate and lower basins.

For each of the three chambers in the Agua Clara and Cocoli Locks, there are a total of three water-saving basins, bringing the total to 18 basins for the new locks. Each of the basins is massive, having a surface area equivalent to 25 Olympic-size pools. And each utilizes technology that allows the canal to reuse 60 percent of the water used per lockage, saving 7 percent more than the existing locks do.

"The water used during each lockage comes directly from Gatun Lake, Panama’s main supply of drinking water, so it is absolutely critical we manage this resource responsibly," said ACP Administrator and CEO Jorge L. Quijano. "Managing and protecting the Canal watershed is a top priority for the ACP, which is why we are proactively instituting new and innovative systems such as these water-saving basins to ensure the viability of the canal for years to come."

To watch video of the basin being filled:

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