Faro council unanimously has approved a motion from the 'Salvar Faro, com Coração’ association which advocated the dredging of channels in the Ria Formosa, and a new sewage treatment plant to serve Faro and Olhão.
The motion called "as an emergency matter" for the dredging of the area between Culatra and Armona islands and advocated cracking on with a general programme of dredging across a wide area of the Ria Formosa. To avoid the risk of further pollution the motion also called for fast-tracking the construction of a new sewage treatment plant to serve Faro and Olhão, replacing the two old facilities which have become a focus of attention recently due to their habit of pumping polluted water into the Ria Formosa to the detriment of the shellfish industry.
The ‘Faro with a heart’ movement is led by former mayor José Vitorino and was liberal with its criticism of Sociedade Polis Ria Formosa and Águas do Algarve for "years of unfulfilled promises" which have increased the economic and social problems of those reliant on the sea for their livelihoods. Much of the Ria Formosa area recently has been off limits for shellfish collection due to high water pollution readings.
So Faro council agrees this work needs doing, Águas do Algarve has agreed that a new plant will be built but does not plan to complete it for at least two years, and that the dredging that has been promised for a decade or more is a good idea.
What remains unclear is who is going to pay the bill for the dredging.