The Verde water treatment plant in Marbella. SUR
Marbella water treatment plant improvements will allow it to meet the needs of two million people
Drought crisis

Marbella water treatment plant improvements will allow it to meet the needs of two million people

Acosol's proposal to extend the plant and guarantee supply along the Costa del Sol has been approved by the Junta de Andalucía

Chus Heredia


Friday, 22 March 2024, 10:29


Major upgrade works at the Verde water treatment station in Marbella could see the plant treat water for up to two million people along the Costa del Sol.

The Junta halted an initial project to improve the site in 2009 due to the economic crisis. But the regional government has recently given the go-ahead to a project proposed a few months ago by public water company Acosol. It is expected the works, which will cost 35 million euros, will be put out to tender before the summer, according to information provided to SUR by Acosol. Work is expected to be finished in 20 months.

Increase flows per month

The treatment capacity will be increased to about 4,300 litres per second, which is equivalent to a population of about two million people. As an example, Malaga city averages a usage of 1,500 litres per second. "In summer, in normal situations, about 2,000 litres are needed from the general resources in May, 2,500 litres in June, 3,000 litres in July, 3,100 in August and 2,500 in September, in the absence of restrictions," technical sources told SUR.

This summer's demands will have to be adapted according to water restrictions. One of these measures is water pressure which has been drastically reduced at night, except on Saturdays, throughout the Acosol coverage area. The Marbella desalination plant will be able to supply 1 cubic hectometre per month following improvement works, increasing to almost 2 cubic hectometres per month in autumn. There will also be supply from groundwater wells in Fuengirola and Estepona.

Filter cleaning water losses

SUR probed Acosol about water leaks in the installations, which occurred in November and forced the company to pump back the water to reduce losses. These, according to sources, have been resolved. However, it happens that the cleaning of filters does cause water losses and, to avoid this, it is necessary to undertake extension works. "Filter cleaning is a health priority and for the supply, we have to do it. What we have indicated to the Junta is that this is one of the first phases to be undertaken during the works that are going to be put out to tender," sources pointed out.

These are important losses, which are equivalent to the supply of a municipality in the Costa del Sol area such as Istán, and which are expected to be completely resolved in the coming months. In 2005, the regional government approved and financed an emergency action, requested by Acosol. The works were completed in 2006 and in service until the beginning of 2009. The emergency action was then stopped by the interrupted DWTP expansion works.

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