Chapter 24

Winery Wastewater Treatment

Winery Wastewater Generation

Wineries generate significant amounts of wastewater. Wastewater is generated throughout the wine-making process, which has five distinct stages: harvest, crush and pressing, fermentation, racking and clarification, maturation, and bottling. Some wineries do not have bottling facilities and there are a variety of winemaking processes which may or not be undertaken, depending on the winery and the wine being made. Most of that wastewater is generated during crushing and pressing, from spillage, and water used for cleaning and sanitation, but additional wastewater is also created when washing harvested grapes prior to crushing.

Sources of Winery Wastewater

During the crush season, wastewater associated with crushing and pressing operations typically makes up a large portion of the facility's total effluent. In addition, this wastewater also has the highest contaminant burden. Wastewater sources include spills, cleaning, sanitizing, and rinsing activities for the crushing, destemming, and pressing equipment. Wastewater from these operations is generally allowed to discharge to the floor, where it is captured in floor drains.

Monitoring Wastewater Volume

It is highly recommended that wastewater volume be monitored and recorded throughout the year. Monitoring of wastewater volume is an essential tool in wastewater planning and management, as well as allowing measurement of water use in the winery.

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