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In the development of the Cardiff Bay area it was necessary to build a barrage across the harbour between Cardiff and Penarth to control the waters of the rivers Taff and Ely, and also to deal with the extreme tidal conditions. In order to control the water levels there are 5 sluice gates on the Barrage Each gate is 9 metres wide and 7.5 metres high. Over a quarter of a million litres of water per second can flow through each sluice gate.
"The sluice operation uses information from water level sensors both in the Bay and the estuary to decide on the position of the gates.
When the estuary level is higher than the Bay level the sluices close to exclude the tide from the Bay and prevent seawater entering the freshwater lake. When the estuary level is lower than the Bay level the sluice gates open to maintain a preferred level of water in the Bay.

A team of on-site engineers regularly maintain the sluice gates. There is a gantry crane on site, which is designed to install stop beams which enable maintenance to take place. The sluice gates are moved using hydraulic power. The sluice gates are a critical part of the Barrage and there are extensive back up facilities that ensure continued operation should there be a power cut or control system failure.

Historically Cardiff has been subjected to flooding due to the combination of high spring tides and high river flows from the rivers Taff and Ely. The flood defence philosophy is to use the Barrage to exclude the high spring tides from the bay area until the tide ebbs away. Releasing held floodwater from the bay area on the ebb tide".
The above quoted information was taken from an article published on the web by the Cardiff Harbour Authority.

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Additional Photos by Joan West (technogran) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 234 W: 137 N: 197] (1339)
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