Izh pond - "A Monument to Human Labor"

Izh pond

The creation of the pond and its further development are inextricably linked with the history of the dam and Izhevsk iron-making plant. These two objects defined industrial, urban, domestic and ecological identity of Izhevsk. The pond was dammed on the river Izh on April 10, 1760 to create a draught power of water engines for the Izhevsk iron-making plant (now OJSC “Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant”). Construction works were carried out by serfs from the villages assigned to the Izhevsk plant. The frame of the dam was made with pine and oak logs, tied up with iron bars, bolts and straps; voids were filled with clay. The foundation pit of the pond was being trenched manually, without using technical mechanisms for three years.

The main building of the Arms factory is especially perceived against the background of the pond surface. This unique monument of architecture was the best decoration of Izhevsk pond banks.

The city-forming function of the pond is extremely important, and the first architects of Izhevsk understood that, creating ensembles which were scale- and sculpture-oriented at this reservoir surface. However, in the XX century this specific role of the pond was revealed much less actively with architectural means. The pond surface was gradually expanded; the dam was periodically dumped in to increase its height and length. This was caused by the constant need to increase supply of “driving” water that was located above the water conduct sill to operate a hydropower system of the factory.

Before the construction of first large hydropower plants of the Soviet period, the Izhevsk factory pond was one of Europe's largest man-made reservoirs. It is 12.5 km in length and 2.5 km in width. The total area of the reservoir surface is 24 sq.km. One of the “black” pages in the history of the pond should be considered that on the west bank of its first wide track a giant slag disposal area has been forming since pre-war years. Millions of tons of hazardous waste of metal production have been gathered here at a distance of more than three kilometers for the last half a century.

The current situation of Izhevsk pond ecology is considered satisfactory. The municipal unitary enterprise “Izhvodokanal” together with environmental scientists from the Udmurt State University regularly take measures to clean the water and coastal area.

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