10.2.1828 Barcelona/E - 5.2.1896 Madrid/E
Elzeario Boix graduated as a civil engineer from the Escuela de Caminos Canales y Puertos, Madrid in 1854 and joined the Corps of Bridges and Roads in Barcelona. He returned to Madrid in 1866 and there collaborated with José Morer (1822-1906), then the director of the Corps. After his works for the water supply of the capital, Boix was appointed director the Isabel II Canal. He was later also involved in the design of the railways between Mérida and Sevilla. Boix acted from the 1880s as the Secretary General of the Spanish State Railway Company, and he was also a General Inspector of Public Works. Besides these projects, he was notably involved in topographical recordings of his country. His other topic of interest was applied mechanics. Most of his writings are published in the Revista de Obras Publicas, one of the first engineering journals founded in 1853.
Boix worked for the Madrid water supply authority and was particularly involved in the design and the execution of the Canal de Isabel II. He designed in 1869 the El Villar Dam on the Lozoya River. This work was mainly erected to reduce the water turbidity of the water supply for the Spanish capital. The poor water quality was caused by the enormous deforestation in the Lozoya River Valley located in the north of Madrid, and the change of land usage by farmers. The solution of the problem was sought with the erection of the El Villar reservoir containing 22 hm3. Additional channels and an upstream dam were built to intercept flows from lateral streams containing the muddy waters. This system was employed until 1967 when the first coagulation and filtration treatment plants came into operation, by which the drinking water quality of Madrid significantly improved. Both the Isabel Canal and the El Villar scheme were supervised by Morer. The curved gravity dam is 50 m high and was erected from 1870 to 1882, and counted therefore to one of the largest dams worldwide when being taken into service. It is currently in perfect shape with no other modification than a slight increase of the dam height and the addition of a hydropower installation. Boix presented at the end of his career a book on masonry constructions, which was re-edited several times.
Boix, E. (1889). Estabilidad de las construcciones de mampostería. Juste: Madrid. Pardo, M. (1896). Elzeario Boix Llobertas. Revista de Obras Públicas 43(6): 57-58.
Sáenz Ridruejo, F. (1978). Betancourt y el Canal Imperial. Obras Públicas 126(3): 211-215. Sáenz Ridruejo, F. (2006). Dam engineers in Spain. Dams in Spain: 413-428. Colegio de Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos: Madrid. P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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