Facts & Figures

 ClientÁguas do Algarve
 LocationFaro-Olhão, Portugal
 Operation Start2018
 Project TypeGreenfield
 Process ConfigurationPre-treatment + Nereda + Sand filtration
 Nereda Design Capacity:
  • Dry Weather Flow22 MLD
  • Peak Flow5,048 m3/h
  • PE134,130 PE (PE = 60 gBOD/d)
 In the Media:Waterworld
 Ministro do Ambiente garante resolução dos esgotos na Ria Formosa com inauguração de ETAR Faro-Olhão
 Nova ETAR acaba com esgoto na Ria Formosa
  La apuesta de Acciona Agua por las nuevas tecnologías en el tratamiento de aguas residuales
 ACCIONA Agua wins the prize for the best sustainable infrastructure in the 12th edition of Wex Global

About the Faro - Olhão Nereda WWTP

Faro-Olhão wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is located on the Algarve in southern Portugal, to the east of the city of Faro.


Prior to the construction of this a facility, sewage from Faro’s citizens was treated at Águas do Algarve’s Faro Nascente plant. The new plant is located one kilometre west of Olhão on a site of great natural beauty, and so it was imperative that the impact of the construction on the landscape was minimised. The completion period for the project was 965 days, including 365 days dedicated to start-up. As part of the consortium Acciona Agua/Oliveiras, Nereda licensee for Portugal and Spain, Acciona Agua was awarded the contract for the construction and start-up of the Faro-Olhão WWTP. It serves a population equivalent of nearly 134,130.

Priscilla Ferreria, Project Manager talks about the Nereda process



The new Faro-Olhão treatment plant is the result of an investment by Águas do Algarve, which involves not only the construction of the Faro-Olhão treatment plant WWTP but also the Olhão-Faro Elevation System. Seven wastewater pumping stations in the Faro and Olhão municipalities have been rehabilitated and feed into the new facility. The total cost is around €21 million, with funding under the EU’s Sustainability and Efficiency in the Use of Resources (POSEUR) scheme. Using an advanced process of biological treatment, filtering and disinfection, the plant has a flow rate of 21,737 m³ per day, with a peak of 5,048 m³ per hour. Faro-Olhão WWTP is the first plant where Acciona Agua has used Nereda technology.


Faro-Olhão WWTP is the first full-scale greenfield Nereda installation treating complete flow in Southern Europe. It represents the largest investment in water sanitation made in the Algarve – and one of the largest in Portugal to date. The capabilities of the plant have also received industry recognition at the WEX Global Awards 2019 in the ‘Innovation in Infrastructure’ category. Thanks to this new technology it has been possible to reduce the plant’s carbon footprint by 50%, and an energy saving of between 20% and 30% in the energy consumed in the water treatment process is expected. The plant also has solar panels that, with an installed capacity of 50 kW, will produce energy for use by auxiliary services. The plant also makes use of the patented Aquasuite® technology to deliver a Nereda Controller, which forms the heart of the plant’s automation system where data is continuously monitored and analysed to optimise and maximise the plant’s efficiency.

Nereda installation Faro under construction, October 2017

Faro - Olhão Nereda WWTP Project

    The local benefits of the project

    Nereda logo small Minimised visual impact 
    Nereda logo small Improved treatment capacity 
    Nereda logo small Future-proof compliance 
    Nereda logo small Reduced carbon footprint
    Nereda logo small  Siginificant energy reduction 

    Nereda Faro