Nerja sewage treatment plant on track to enter testing phase

Installation of collectors at Burriana beach.
Installation of collectors at Burriana beach. / SUR
  • The closure of businesses and absence of tourists in the Burriana beach area has meant that work has been able to advance quickly

Despite initial fears that the current state of alarm would further delay work on Nerja's long-awaited sewage treatment plant, it is now thought that the project will be able to go into test phase this summer, as planned. Work has been able to continue, apart from a two-week period in April when all construction work had to stop.

Furthermore, as there are no tourists on Burriana beach and local businesses have been closed in the area, work has been able to progress rapidly to the pumping station and underground collectors, which are located near the Ayo beach bar, as well as the 800-metre-long submarine sewage pipe which will pump treated wastewater into the sea when the plant is up and running.

Work on the sewage plant itself is complete, including the electricity connection. The other two sites where work is still ongoing are the Mirador del Bendito, where a 17-metre-deep hole is being dug to connect a collector, as well as the mouth of the Chillar river which is home to the other pumping station.

Delays and setbacks

Once the outstanding work is complete, the treatment plant will undergo a six-month test phase, meaning it won't be fully functional until early 2021.

Nerja's sewage treatment plant should have been up and running in 2016. However there was a series of setbacks including the company which was initially awarded the contract going bankrupt in 2017. A new company, Lantania, took over the project in October 2019.

Other setbacks have been caused by problems in obtaining licences to carry out different parts of the project and finding additional funding to complete aspects that were omitted from the initial contract.