Safety plan of Miskolc karst water supply


The first waterworks in Miskolc town was designed by István Pazár in 1913. Because of the increasing water demand and based on the high yield karst springs in Eastern Bükk another seven waterworks were established (Szinva, Garadna, Anna, Felső, Szentgyörgy and Tavi spring, Király-kút).

The recharge of the springs derives from infiltrating precipitation. Subsurface water flows through fissures and fractures and cave system in the limestone. Possible contamination from the surface may get to the waterworks in a few days even from large distances transported by the water.

The landuse in the territory of the watershed of water supplies is various; there are forests, settlements, tourist attractions, mines and roads in the Bükk. As a result of centuries-old development the natural, social and economical conditions continuously changed in the area. Frequent occurrence of water infections due to human activity indicates the vulnerability of the karst system and groundwater. Nowadays a strict legal regulation helps to prevent the waterworks from such water infections; emplacement or storage of potential contaminants and operation of a potentially pollutant activity are not permitted in the recharge area of the water supplies.

On behalf of the Municipality of Miskolc, SMARAGD-GSH Ltd. designed the safety plan of the Miskolc water supply (2010-2012). In the framework of the project protection zones of 9 karst spring waterworks were determined. The safety plan involves all the restrictions and roles that must be executed in the protection zones. The project was funded by the EU and the Cohesion Fund and was coordinated by Miskolc Waterworks Ltd. (MIVÍZ). As the main result of the project, excellent quality and quantity of the karst spring waterworks can be sustained.

Karst water monitoring well system was constructed in the protection zones of the water supplies. Extant monitoring wells were refurbished and 10 new monitoring wells were constructed in the area. In the monitoring wells karst water level measuring and registering instruments are established that are suitable for measuring and registering other physical parameters, as well (electric conductivity, pH, temperature). Some of the instruments are in direct connection with Miskolc Waterworks dispatcher centre so any changes can be observed immediately that supports much faster necessary decision making.

In the framework of the project a meteorological station was established in Bükkszentkereszt with a remote sensing system that transmits temperature and precipitation data to Miskolc Waterworks. In this way waterworks can be prepared for any possible negative effects of a heavy rainfall on the water quality (e.g. high turbidity or water infections resulted from floods).

Besides new monitoring wells, 3 yield-measuring objects were established on Szinva and Hejő creeks thus continuous yield data series are available from eastern Bükk.