Napa Wineries Innovate to Re-use Wastewater

on 04/10/11 at 6:29 pm

Wine

The Parducci, Caymus, Conundrum, Alpha Omega and Rombauer wineries are applying innovative methods to treat their wastewater, according to a San Francisco Chronicle article.

According to Sheldon Sapoznik, Napa County’s land use development supervisor, wastewater in the wine-making process mainly comes from washing tanks, barrels, crush pads and floors.

Winery wastewater’s high sugar content can cause a biochemical oxygen demand of 2,500 to 10,000. (In contrast, human sewage has a BOD of 150 to 300.) Simply pouring this water into the sewer system can cause a winery to exceed sanitation department thresholds, at great expense to the company.

The most common treatment method is a pond with large motors that aerate the liquid, producing clean water in 60 to 90 days, according to Anu Shah, manager of the water and wastewater division at Summit Engineering. But these take up a lot of land, are noisy and tend to smell.

Instead, Caymus and Conondrum winemaker Chuck Wagner installed a Lyve hydrate system, a series of tanks in a shed behind the winery. These use filters to remove big solids and oxygen pumps to help microbes break down smaller particles, and the whole system takes up only about 2,000 square feet, compared to a pond of one or two acres.

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