Winery Wastewater Treatment

It can take 100 litres of water to produce one glass of wine - and that hurts profitability through water costs, surcharges, and the loss of valuable land to treatment processes. Our industrial screening and treatment technologies can help wineries to optimise their wastewater treatment processes, reduce their water use and cut effluent discharge fees.

Wineries generate significant amounts of wastewater. Most of that wastewater is generated during the crush process, from spillage and water used for sanitation and press cleaning. Additional wastewater is also created when washing harvested grapes prior to crushing. Ongoing operations such as tank-washing and Clean in Place (CIP) create tremendous amounts of wastewater, collectively referred to as total plant effluent.

Operations that discharge to sewer systems can face significant and ever-growing discharge fees. The conditions that allow high quality grapes to thrive means a significant amount of water is required to irrigate exceptional wine grapes. Water scarcity continues to be a serious issue for all types of vineyards, while water costs continue to increase and can often make or break a winery’s bottom line.

Our beverage processing water management solutions can help you reduce your wastewater treatment costs, protect expensive downstream processes, increase your by-product recapture, and help you to reuse your water faster and more efficiently.

Our solution: ultrafine rotating belt filtration

Finding the most efficient way to solve operational problems is key to any winery’s success. The Hydro MicroScreen™ ultrafine rotating belt filter significantly reduces the load that wineries need to send to wastewater treatment processes by reducing Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), which allows winery wastewater treatment systems to operate at peak efficiency. This allows more effective and efficient winery wastewater processing and reduces the energy costs of aeration. After crush, wineries have a tremendous amount of stems, seeds, and pulp that enters wastewater systems.

The Hydro MicroScreen™ can address that. Most winery wastewater treatment systems targeting BOD and COD can efficiently treat liquids, but they are not so good at dealing with solids. Using a Hydro MicroScreen™ to remove that solid load before it enters wastewater treatment can provide new revenue streams by selling it to secondary producers or using it for composting into fertiliser. Compact, dry waste solids can be much more cost-effectively disposed of or repurposed than treating it in an expensive wastewater treatment system.

Recycle and re-use wastewater 

The high sugar content of grapes leads to winery wastewater with incredibly high BOD and COD. Additionally, organic materials such as skins, stems, seeds, and pulp lead to effluent with elevated TSS. Hydro International has tested winery raw wastewater containing COD as high as 13,500 mg/L - and it can be much higher. To use wastewater for irrigation purposes, a COD of less than 150 mg/L is typically desired.

The Hydro MicroScreen™ effectively removes TSS, BOD and COD, producing treated water that can be re-used for irrigation purposes

Cut energy costs of lagoon treatment

Due to winery wastewater’s extreme levels of BOD and COD most larger wineries treat their own wastewater streams on site. Simple screening systems are used to capture some of the larger particles prior to being sent to primary clarification, though more capital-intensive systems such as aeration ponds/lagoons and aerobic digesters are often needed. Larger lagoon treatment systems tie up acres of valuable land indefinitely, and when diffusers are smothered by settling solids, energy costs to aerate these massive lagoons get a hefty increase.

All vineyards can benefit by reducing the load sent to their lagoon treatment cells, which improves aeration efficiency and reduces energy costs. Aeration diffusers can’t operate effectively when smothered by solids which forces blowers and compressors to use more energy; the Hydro MicroScreen™ can remove those solids upstream to preserve your capacity and reduce your electrical costs. 

Case Studies

California, Napa Valley

While California irrigation costs continue to rise, so does the cost of treating winery wastewater. A large Napa Valley winery contacted us for a demonstration project with the Hydro MicroScreen™ system to evaluate its effectiveness on their wastewater stream. The system reduced the winery’s wastewater TSS by 11% and COD by 12%. Average Total Solids (TS) removal was 50% and the system outputted materials that averaged 48% TS. This provided the winery with the opportunity to reduce their treatment lagoon footprint and maximise the efficiency of their downstream wastewater processes.

Read More: Hydro MicroScreen™ shrinks treatment lagoon for Napa Valley winery

See it in action

Watch our video to see the Hydro MicroScreen™ filtering pomace from winery processing water:

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