What Vintners can do to Reduce Water Consumption
- Plant Grapes with Drought Tolerant Root Stocks
- Eliminate Excessive Weed or cover Crop Growth
- Install modern drip Irrigation
- Use Deficit Irrigation, ie less water applied than potential need
- Reduce use of sprinkler frost protection—Use wind machines or other
- Expand Use of Moisture sensors
Thank you to James N. Seiber
Department of Environmental Toxicology
University of California, Davis;
Valentino Tiangco and Joselito Real
RST Cellars Davis, CA
What else can we do?
For wineries, we have three thoughts:
- The ultimate goal would be to develop the ability to harvest water after use and return a portion of it to the winery's water supply for reuse.
- Portion of remainder used for irrigation following digestion
- Total water reuse like what we are seeing increasingly in beer production
This usage can be very seasonal, and is not consistent year round. This makes the installation of collection infrastructure and water purification for reuse expensive and difficult at best to cost justify. Currently this wastewater goes to waste disposal systems such as septic systems, ponds or other alternative treatment systems.
Other beverage and food processing industries utilize “Clean in place” (CIP) processes, where certain low contaminated streams such as the last rinse of fermentation tanks, barrels, packaging equipment sterilization is captured and used as the First rinse in the cleaning process or other uses. This process is used extensively and is cost justified where batch operations occur year round, unlike the winery process flow which is very seasonal.
Most smaller wineries do not have ponds that could be used for vineyard irrigation but dispose of to septic systems or have it bulk hauled off site. Some wineries in urban areas cannot discharge to the POTW system.
Conservation and Re-Use
- Bring on-site a portable treatment system using pre-filtration and Reverse Osmosis to clean the water up, and storage in a separate tank for reuse.
This water could then be used for floor cleaning, tank first rinse, cooling tower make up, barrel first rinse off, or landscape irrigation off- setting the usage of fresh water from groundwater or other sources.
- Filtration of treated wastewater for use in irrigation
- Recovery of untreated water from hold and haul operations for irrigation or other uses.
Call us for a flow chart of the process and how we can help.
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