Faro beach was closed to bathers on 13 August due to the detection of the bacterium Escherichia Coli, commonly known as E.Coli, in the water.

The red flag was raised on the beach following water analysis which found faecal coliform levels registered in the water “far above the maximum allowed by law”, according to Nuno Cortes Lopes from the Port of Faro.

Faro council confirmed that the beach had been reopened to bathers on 14 August following the results of new water quality tests which found the water at the beach was back to “desired levels”.

“The red flag has been removed and the blue flag has been raised,” said a spokesman for the council, adding “this is a testament to the excellent quality of Faro Beach, as a summer zone that rigorously meets the most demanding environmental criteria and a destination of complete trust for the thousands of families who choose it as a destination to spend their holidays”.

The council added that the competent authorities (Portuguese Environment Agency and Regional Delegate of Public Health) are investigating the source of the contamination that led to the closing of the beach for bathing on 13 August.

“The hypothesis of an environmental crime is gaining strength,” said the spokesman who added that it could have been caused by a “vessel”.
This hypothesis was also reiterated by Nuno Cortes Lopes who told Lusa: “The causes of this high concentration of faecal coliforms are unknown, and there are several possibilities, one of which is an untreated discharge from a vessel,” concluded the head of the Maritime Authority.

High levels of E.Coli indicate contamination by high concentration of faecal coliforms.