Algarve more than doubles reuse of treated wastewater with 15 million works

Investments in two WWTPs in the municipality of Loulé will increase the reuse of treated water by three million cubic meters for irrigation of green spaces and golf courses

There are “only” two investments, in as many Waste Water Treatment Stations (WWTP) located in the municipality of Loulé, but they will allow, by themselves, to meet half of the objective set out in the Recovery and Resilience Plan, with regard to the reuse of waste water. treated water for irrigation of golf courses and green spaces in the Algarve.

The Works for Lifting and Supplying Water for Reuse (ApR) at the Vilamoura and Quinta do Lago WWTP, which will allow the “delivery” of more than three cubic hectometers to the municipal companies Infraquinta and Inframoura, nine golf courses and other entities (hm3) [three million cubic meters] of wastewater treated per year, were presented yesterday afternoon, in a ceremony that was attended by Duarte Cordeiro, Minister of the Environment.

The importance of this session is linked to the pertinence of the planned works, which, as a whole, will cost around 15 million euros, with full funding from the “European bazooka”, and will be ready in 2025.

«At PRR, we have several objectives and one of them is to find alternative sources of water. And the most important thing is to take advantage of the water that we treat and already have in our WWTP», summarized the Minister of Environment and Climate Action to journalists, on the sidelines of the session.

«Right now, we reuse two hm3 of treated water in the Algarve and the objective is to multiply by four, to reach eight. With these investments that we saw here today, we managed to reach 5 hm3», summarized the member of the Government.

«Another way of looking at this objective of 8 hm3 is to say that, with this volume of water, we managed to irrigate half of the golf courses in the Algarve region», reinforces Duarte Cordeiro.


Photos: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação


Work on the Vilamoura WWTP, which will cost 12 million euros, will allow the reuse of 2,24 hm3 of treated water per year.

In practice, an additional treatment will be implemented to the existing one, «which involves flow regulation, clarification and chemical disinfection, through sodium hypochlorite», as well as the construction «of a pumping station, the adduction system and the respective points of delivery', which will be, in total, nine.

This water will be delivered, in the future, “to Inframoura, to Vilamoura World and to Associação de Ténis de Vilamoura. There are two more delivery points, for the lake city and for the sports park. Then we have five golf courses, namely the Old Course, Pinhal, Laguna, Millenium and Victoria», explained António Eusébio, president of Águas do Algarve, the multi-municipal company that will carry out the works.

In Quinta do Lago, the necessary intervention is not so deep, since the WWTP existing there «already supplies ApR to Infraquinta and to the golf course of S. Lourenço».

With the new rules that were imposed recently and due to the existing funding opportunity, Águas do Algarve will focus on «improving the water that is delivered and expanding the delivery points, to reach more users», in this case, the fields Quinta do Lago North, Quinta do Lago South and Pinheiros Altos golf courses.

This intervention, budgeted at 2,7 million euros, will allow the production of 1,17 hm3 per year and consists of «expansion and improvement of the existing subsystem, namely in terms of the storage pond, implementation of a chlorination disinfection system, pumping station and expansion of the adduction system».

That is, after all, the two works will allow a total of 3,41 hm3 of treated water to be reused in these WWTPs, which is a strong contribution to the target set.


Duarte Cordeiro – Photo: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação


It is not surprising, in the light of this information, that the importance of these works is underlined by both promoters and beneficiaries.

«This is the biggest investment that is being made in the reuse of treated water, not only in the Algarve, but throughout the country. We are going to be a reference at national level», stresses António Eusébio.

Soraia de Almeida, director of Inframoura's Water and Sanitation Department, also highlights the importance of this intervention for the company's objectives of reducing consumption of mains water for irrigation of green spaces, which currently has «a weight of 9%» in total consumption.

«We want, in the future, 37% of the water we use to irrigate green spaces to be ApR», he revealed.

Vítor Aleixo, mayor of Loulé, spoke on a "very important" day and promised to invest more in this area - "this investment for the reuse of treated water is the first of many", namely in the construction of a separate network for ApR, an investment to be carried out by the municipal company Inframoura.

The mayor also recalled that Loulé has "an enormous concern with the policy of water and its use", which materialized in "heavy investments to reduce losses", a measure that he considers fundamental.

Vítor Aleixo even guarantees that «the municipalities of the Algarve have been very committed to this objective» of reducing losses and saving water, not least because there is money from the PRR for this purpose.

«We have a financing line in the PRR of around 23 million euros destined for these investments in the reuse of WWTP water, which has been reinforced. (…) But this is a small part of all the work we have to do. The environmental impact of both the desalination plant and the connection to Pomarão is also being studied», recalls Minister Duarte Cordeiro.

«And we will carry out the other investments, namely the Sotavento-Barlavento interconnection, investments in the area of ​​water efficiency in municipalities and others», adds the member of the Government.

For this, it is necessary to be rigorous and quick in the execution of the works, warns José Apolinário, president of the Commission for Coordination and Development of the Algarve.

«These are structural investments for the region. An objective that must mobilize everyone is to take advantage of the 200 million euros available» in the PRR, for works that were foreseen in the Regional Water Efficiency Plan of the Algarve.

The visit to the WWTP in Vilamoura, where the reuse works were presented, was one of Duarte Cordeiro's passing points on his visit to the Algarve.

In the morning, the minister was in Lagos, where he made it clear that it is necessary a strong enforcement attitude and a “hard hand”, in order to save more and more water in the region.


Photos: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação



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