€2 million ploughed into Vila do Bispo water treatment plant

Regional water authority Águas do Algarve (AdA) is investing €2 million to build a new water treatment plant (ETAR) in Ponte da Granja, Vila do Bispo.

In an official statement, the water authority said the new plant will take over the water treatment duties of the municipality’s three other ETARs (Vila do Bispo, Raposeiras and Hortas de Tabual) as well as the pumping station of Martinhal, Sagres.

According to AdA, the existing infrastructures provide “poor treatment” of residual waters and thus need to be replaced.

Although part of the investment plan will be funded by the EU, Águas do Algarve’s Teresa Fernandes told us the exact percentage of European money is still unknown.

She also guaranteed that no one will be losing their job with the closure of the existing ETARs and the pumping station.

“AdA uses an inter-municipal system, which means that we have a team of employees who are always switching between the region’s various water treatment plants,” she said. “Thus the employees will simply be transferred to the new plant or other ETARs across the Algarve.”

Construction work carried out by company “Acciona Água – Sau – Sucursal Portugal” has already begun and should be completed by the end of the year.

The new ETAR will have the capacity to serve a population of 14,000 people – the municipality’s average population during the peak season.

Faro/Olhão and Portimão ETARs to cost €26.5 million

Meanwhile, Águas do Algarve is preparing to announce a tender for the construction of a large-scale ETAR to replace the existing wastewater treatments plants of Faro “Nascente” and Olhão “Poente”. It is expected to cost €13.5 million and is a much-awaited infrastructure by the two local municipalities, shellfish gatherers and environmentalists, who have for years been raising the issue of polluted waters in the Ria Formosa due to the existing deficient infrastructures.

The ETAR Faro/Olhão will have similar dimensions to the one that will be built in Companheira (Portimão), another long-awaited project. The latter is expected to cost €13 million. A tender for its construction was launched in January last year and the constructor will be announced, “if all goes according to plan”, by the end of this month, Teresa Fernandes told us.

The work will begin shortly after and the ETAR is due to start operating in 2017.

Photo: Águas do Algarve