The prestigious Blue Flags that are awarded to beaches and marinas that reach certain high standards will not be awarded this year to any of Nerja’s beaches. The body that awards the Blue Flags (the ADEAC) has decided to withhold Blue Flags from any beaches that do not comply with European Union waste water treatment directives. As Nerja’s new water treatment plant is still under construction, the town can not meet this new requirement.

According to Nerja’s beach councillor, Nieves Atencia, the quality of the sea water is regularly tested and is graded as “excellent”, which is the maximum rating that a beach can get. She has also pointed out that the seas around Nerja will continue to be of the same standard as in previous years when the beaches received Blue Flag awards and she stated that “Residents and visitors to Nerja can rest assured that our beaches will still have the same level of quality as they have had previously.”

The new water treatment plant has been in the planning stages for decades, with work finally starting on the €20 million project in January of this year.

In addition to the treatment plant itself, the planned works includes a network of collectors, outfalls and pumping stations. The plant will have a capacity of between 25,000 and 30,000 cubic meters per day and will allow the reuse of wastewater for irrigation of 20,000 cubic meters. The infrastructure will serve more than 100,000 inhabitants.

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