Swimming ban at Faro beach due to “abnormally high” E. coli levels

Update: Swimming ban lifted at Faro beach

A swimming ban that had been imposed at Faro beach has been lifted after tests showed that the seawater is once again up to the standards of a Blue Flag beach.
The ban was put into place on Tuesday after “abnormally high” E. coli levels were detected during routine water tests.

A red flag was raised immediately preventing beachgoers from going in the sea, while the coveted Blue Flag, which awards beaches based on the quality of their water, was temporarily removed.

New samples were collected on Tuesday, with the results being known today and confirming that the water was once again fit for swimming.

Faro port captain Nuno Cortes Lopes said that this kind of water contamination “is not normal” and that he had never seen “anything like this” at Faro beach.

Meantime, Faro council has said in a statement to the press that the Algarve Environmental Agency (APA) and the Regional Public Health Delegate are investigating the source of the contamination, with the most likely scenario being the possibility of an “environmental crime” involving discharge from a boat.

The council also highlights the “excellent conditions of its exemplary sanitation system and the great quality of the two wastewater treatment plants (ETARs) which serve the municipalities”.

“We apologise for what happened and wish that everyone who comes to Faro for our beaches continues to enjoy a great bathing season,” the council adds.

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