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Latest News

Government’s plan to wrangle foreign developers in Lisbon and Porto with golden visa changes draws flak from property industry

Government’s plan to wrangle foreign developers in Lisbon and Porto with golden visa changes draws flak from property industry

Foreigners looking for a chance to secure residency in Portugal through the golden visa scheme are starting...

Number of tourists in 2019 smashed records in “historic year” for tourism in the Algarve

Number of tourists in 2019 smashed records in “historic year” for tourism in the Algarve

Growth in the number of guests (+ 7.2%), total revenue (+ 7.2%), and in overnight stays (+...

Economy minister hopes to keep six-year growth rolling with big spending plan

Economy minister hopes to keep six-year growth rolling with big spending plan

Portugal’s economy minister, Pedro Siza Vieira, doesn’t want his country to slow down, in the wake of...

GNR dismantle network of criminals behind spree of robberies in the Algarve

GNR dismantle network of criminals behind spree of robberies in the Algarve

A network of criminals, made up of five men between the ages of 18 and 34, responsible...

Portuguese government looks into subsidising UK tourists' post-Brexit healthcare

Portuguese government looks into subsidising UK tourists' post-Brexit healthcare

In a move to maintain current clinical practice, the government is looking into offering British tourists subsidised...

Facing the flames: How Portugal’s interior is preparing for the fires ahead

Facing the flames: How Portugal’s interior is preparing for the fires ahead

Portugal is one of the countries in Europe most threatened by wildfires, and as the climate changes,...

Iberian bishops express worries over political moves to legalize euthanasia

Iberian bishops express worries over political moves to legalize euthanasia

Portuguese and Spanish church leaders have criticized proposals to legalize euthanasia in their traditionally Catholic countries, and...

Politicians rally around racially abused Porto football player following monkey chants from crowd

Politicians rally around racially abused Porto football player following monkey chants from crowd

President Marcelo and the Prime Minister Antonio Costa have added their voices to a national outcry today...

Latest Features

Private Chef experience SUPPER STARS turns your home in the Algarve into the best restaurant

Private Chef experience SUPPER STARS turns your home in the Algarve into the best restaurant

With over 100 professional chefs in Portugal, Spain and in the United Kingdom, SUPPER STARS brings a talented brigade of world class private chefs...

What Are Excess Insurance Policies and Why Are They Useful?

What Are Excess Insurance Policies and Why Are They Useful?

Insurance is one of those things that you never want to think about. You go in, sign a few papers, and then head home....

The National Health System In Portugal - what are your views?

The National Health System In Portugal - what are your views?

In the news this week we saw a protest outside Portimão hospital, against the decline of clinical services in the SNS. What are your...

NHR - 2020 State Budget requires a minimum tax of 10% for foreign pensioners

NHR - 2020 State Budget requires a minimum tax of 10% for foreign pensioners

Expatriates to pay at least €7,500 in income tax per year on foreign sourced pensions With the proposed NHR changes in the 2020 State Budget,...

Protecting Your Long-Term Financial Security

Protecting Your Long-Term Financial Security

Blevins Franks will be holding a seminars throughout March and early April, to advise on protecting your long-term financial security.

Music Therapy brings joy to Alzheimer and Parkinsons sufferers

Music Therapy brings joy to Alzheimer and Parkinsons sufferers

Music often plays a big part in our lives. But for many patients with cognitive disabilities such as autism or dementia, music used...

Olhão-Faro sewage treatment plant contract "to be awarded in April"

sewageolhaoThe contract for the Faro-Olhão sewage treatment works "will be awarded in April," claims the Secretary of State for the Environment.

Carlos Martins, said that recent approval of an investment package of €30 million for Águas do Algarve will enable the new wastewater treatment plant to at last be built.

The cost is budgeted at €15 million and the plant will deal with effluent from Faro and Olhão council areas. The Secretary of State recognised the "challenges in this area of the Algarve" referring to the current treatment plant which causes partially treated sewage to flow into the Ria Formosa lagoon.

The new Far-Olhão treatment plant will replace the current one which for years has triggered complaints from locals, environmentalists and the Ria Formosa shellfishing community which has to put up with the effects of raw and partially treated sewage and chemicals flowing into the lagoon area.

Águas do Algarve launched an international tender in February 2015 to find a contractor but nothing yet has happened to sort out the problem which breaks health and pollution laws on a daily basis.

The company has admitted that the treatment plant that needs to be replaced is undersized and can not cope with seasonal variations in volume with lagoons of sewage established to hold fluids.

The new infrastructure will accommodate sewage from Faro, Estoi, São Brás de Alportel, Olhão, Pechão and Quelfes.

The new sewage plant will be located next to the current Faro East facility, about two kilometres east of Faro, and the work will take another two years. In the meantime, sewage will continue to flow into the Ria Formosa, ruining shellfishing nursery beds and triggering bans on shellfish harvesting due to poor water quality test results.

The new Secretary of State may not be aware of the environmental damage caused by the current sewage treatment facility but must be aware that the State has condoned pollution on a grand scale for years, a situation that has seen the shellfishing industry all but collapse.

The location of the new plant right next to the old one means that reuse of treated water for agricultural purposes will remain non cost-effective. The resulting water from the new plant will continue to contain antibiotics, hormones, phosphorus, nitrogen, potentially toxigenic phytoplankton, and varying amounts of organic matter, all of which may end up in the Ria Formosa lagoon as before.

The phosphorus and nitrogen are fertilizers used in agriculture, which trigger the uncontrolled growth of marine algae, especially phytoplankton, which as it decomposes consumes the oxygen dissolved in water.

The organic matter in suspension, in addition to causing clouding of the lagoon waters, prevents plants from photosynthesis, condemning them to an early death, and enables the proliferation of Perkinsus Atlanticus, the main cause of the death of clams.

The sewage outflows from the city of Olhão are another source of pollution caused by waste pipes connected to rainwater systems leading most notably to the port and the ferry terminal area.

The council claims to be half way through sorting out this problem and had a one-off grant of €500,000 to re-route the offending pipework after pinpointing the problem areas from extensive underground CCTV surveys.

There are over 30 illegal sewage outflows into the Ria Formosa but the largest polluter is the current treatment plant near Faro. The sooner this is replaced the better but why it has taken so long, while contravening EU pollution laws, may never be answered.

 

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