Águas do Algarve has decided to open the process for the design and construction of a new Wastewater Treatment Plant to serve the citizens of Faro and Olhão in a €13.5 million project, according to Olhão council.
In a statement, the mayor of Olhão, António Miguel Pina, welcomes the decision which he considers "a victory for the local authority and an excellent present for Olhão."
"Águas do Algarve's decision is a major victory for the municipality of Olhão which for several years has been asking for this work, without success," added Pina, an Águas do Algarve's board member.
Since the downgrading of the shellfish nurseries due to increasingly poor water quality, the municipality said that the council "also had the support of the nurseries and shellfish industries to intensify this fight," to which António Pina added his appreciation.
The new treatment plant will start to alleviate the water quality problems suffered by the shellfishing industry which, along with the long awaited dredging will serve to improve the Ria Formosa waters.
Despite the process going ahead, Águas do Algarve remains cautious in giving deadlines for the end of the work.
"This is a complicated process, given the size of this project.” said Teresa Fernandes from the water company, adding "if all goes well, we should be able to award the work in 2016. Then it will take about two years of work.”
In the meantime the Ria Formosa will continue to receive sewage overflow and the summer stink will continue to leave lasting olfactory memories for tourists lured to the delights of Faro and Olhão.
Meanwhile the outflow of raw sewage from a large pipe near the ferry terminal entrance keeps the seagulls and fish entertained.