Nereda design capacity

  • 24791 m3/d
    Dry Weather Flow
  • 1372 m3/h
    Peak Flow
  • 134130 PE
    PE (PE = 60 gBOD/d)

Project facts

  • Client
    Águas do Algarve
  • Licensee
  • Location
    Faro-Olhão, Portugal
  • Period
  • Wastewater
  • Project type
  • Process configuration
    Pre-treatment + Nereda + Sand filtration

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.

The challenge

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 solution

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 24,791 m³ per day, with a peak of 1,372 m³ per hour. Faro-Olhão WWTP is the first plant where Acciona Agua has used Nereda technology.

The outcome

Faro-Olhão WWTP was 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 the 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, produce energy for use by auxiliary services. Like all Nereda plants, the plant makes use of the Aquasuite 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



  • Minimised visual impact

  • Improved treatment capacity

  • Future-proof compliance

  • Reduced carbon footprint

  • Significant energy reduction