Pig pong causes problems

Portimão’s long-suffering residents have long blamed the ETAR sewage treatment station in the city for the unpleasant odour in the city’s atmosphere. Officials recently announced that the smell has increased in intensity because the treatment equipment had reached its capacity, but that sewage management company EMARP had come up with a solution. The idea was to introduce bacteria into the ETAR treatment pools, which would neutralise the odour.

Now an EMARP spokesperson has revealed that the new-found treatment did not work, blaming ‘technical difficulties’, and Portimão câmara president, Manuel da Luz has said that he no longer wants the Portimão ETAR to treat pig faeces from Monchique’s farms because the smell has grown so strong. As The Resident has previously reported, each pig produces the equivalent waste to that of five humans, seriously overloading the city’s sewage farm. He claims that his decision was taken because of concern about the River Arade and Portimão’s beaches becoming contaminated with the pig faeces and has ordered a biological study, to be carried out before he makes his final decision.

However, according to a report from Algarve water company, Águas do Algarve, the study is unnecessary and the only solution is to build another treatment station between Portimão and Monchique, and to transport the faeces in a truck to that location.

Luz has turned down their idea, claiming that it could have dire environmental consequences if the vehicle was to have an accident on the way. EMARP executive administrator, João Rosa, agrees with Luz. “Nowhere else in the world transports residues from one ETAR to the location where they are thinking about building a new station,” he said. “Bacteria grows, the smell follows and if the vehicle started to leak, it could have a terrible impact on the environment,” he explained.

However, Monchique Câmara President, Carlos Tuta, doesn’t agree. He has claimed that Luz wasn’t interested in the study when it was first carried out and didn’t bother to call him to talk about the situation. “I completely understand the concerns. But I don’t think there is a problem with the residues leaking while being transported,” he explained.

As Luz and Tuta argue over solutions, local residents remain enveloped in the noxious Portimão pong, waiting for a politically acceptable compromise to be reached. A decision is expected shortly.