Major scheme upgrades water quality in northern Portugal

About 580 000 people living in Portugal’s Ave Valley look set to benefit from a major scheme which improves the region’s wastewater treatment facilities.

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The project is for the design and construction of 26 new wastewater treatment plants, including pressure pipes and pumping stations. The new systems can treat water volumes of 20 070 487 m³/year. The work covers 12 municipalities in the Norte region, namely Amarante, Amares, Cabeceiras de Basto, Celorico de Basto, Esposende, Felgueiras, Lousada, Mondim de Basto, Póvoa de Varzim, Terras de Bouro, Vila do Conde and Vila Verde.

Improving standards

Completion of the project means that the discharges of wastewater in the Ave Valley can meet European Union environmental standards. In fact, 92 % of the local population are served by the project’s new sewerage system. About 60 permanent jobs are expected to be created when the treatment plants and associated works are operational.

Work for this scheme comes under an Operational Programme for Portugal that aims to use EU structural funds to improve “territorial cohesion”. One of the programme’s objectives is to increase the share of the country’s population served by wastewater treatment systems to 90 %. The programme also seeks to ensure that 95 % of the population is connected to the public water supply. Other funding has been earmarked to improve Portugal’s transport networks, along with the prevention, management and monitoring of natural and technological risks.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Águas do Ave – enlargement of the water treatment system” is EUR 148 291 616, with the EU’s Cohesion Fund contributing EUR 96 703 825 through the “Territorial Enhancement” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period, under the priority “Prevention, Management and Monitoring of Natural and Technological Risks”.

Draft date

10/04/2014