Management of the Canal and the Engineering Structures
The canal is the Region’s largest storm basin. It thus plays a crucial role in the prevention of floods because of the discharge of the overflow of the dredging and waterway network in the event of heavy rain. The indirect water displacement also entails an additional contribution of mud. The Port monitors the volumes of decantation mud in the various portions of the canal on an annual basis in order to be aware of the residual mud levels in the canal and to monitor their degradation or improvement.
The Port regularly carries out a dredging of the canal and, if necessary, a removal of the floating objects. Thus, each year, some 40,000m3 of mud is dredged and 200m3 of waste are evacuated from the canal’s surface. Moreover, the Port ensures the maintenance and the cleaning of the quays and the banks that it manages.
The Port infrastructures are controlled permanently in order to guarantee the safe passage on the waterway. For this purpose, the Port makes the required investments for the maintenance of its tools, in particular of the structures (bridges that it manages, and locks), as well as the maintenance of the quay walls and the canal banks’ defences.
In its capacity as manager of the waterway, the Port is required to minimise the duration of the interruptions of the waterway traffic in Brussels. For this reason, the Port is committed to keeping under the threshold of the 30 hours per annum the number of hours of interruption to shipping due to unprogrammed causes – i.e., excluding programmed work and maintenance, excluding programmed use of the waterway for recreational purposes (Port Festival, etc.).
It is therefore responsibly and with consequent investment that the Port ensures its management mission with regard to the canal and the engineering structures.