General Water Use
General water use in the winery includes activities such as cleaning hoses and washing floors, walls, and ceilings. These activities often don’t consume a lot of water at once, but the frequency with which they take place means that small improvements to general water use practices can have a large overall impact.
Case Study: Hose Cleaning at Cave Spring Cellars
While looking for opportunities to reduce water use, Cave Spring Cellars noticed that the standard practice to flush and clean out hoses was to “just let water run for a while”.
Cave Spring determined that their 2” hoses contained about 1 litre of water per foot of hose. Knowing the length of the hose and the water needed to clean the hose, allowed Cave Spring to significantly reduce the amount of water required to clean hoses.
Cave Spring also used this data to develop standard hose cleaning procedures for its employees.
Use dry cleaning techniques
Before washing floors, dry sweep, squeegee, and shovel solids to prevent them from entering the wastewater stream. This reduces the amount of water used to clean surfaces and reduces wastewater loading. The surface of floors should be maintained to prevent pitting or excessive roughness. Smooth floors require less time and water to clean than rough floors.
Use brushes and squeegees to clean mould from walls, ceilings, and the sides of tanks instead of hoses.
Hoses and transfer lines
Use the shortest and smallest diameter hose necessary for transfers to reduce cleaning requirements and wine losses and try to eliminate unnecessary wine transfers and hose usage. For example, conducting punch-downs instead of pump-overs eliminates the need to use (and subsequently clean) the hose and pump.
Wineries can also consider installing a pigging system to push wine through transfer lines to reduce wine losses and water consumption.
Cover the crush pad
To prevent rainwater from increasing wastewater volumes, exterior floor drains that are connected to the wastewater system should be covered or diverted. This can be accomplished by installing a roof over the drain catchment area, or by installing a valve to divert rainwater to the stormwater system instead of the wastewater system. There may be testing and other regulatory requirements to ensure that contaminants such as residual juice or grapes are not entering the stormwater system.
Use and maintain efficient equipment
Hoses should be fitted with high-pressure, low-volume nozzles as well as automatic shut-off valves to reduce water consumption. Wineries should also to conduct regular maintenance of equipment, water supply, and wastewater systems to prevent leaks and to ensure optimal performance.
Case Study: Keeping Solids Out of the Drain at Stratus
Stratus has a municipal sanitary sewer connection to discharge its wastewater. As long as they keep the strength of their wastewater low (BOD of less than 300 mg/L), they are not required to sign a Surcharge Agreement, which would result in additional costs.
As a result, Stratus has implemented a number of actions to prevent organic material from entering their wastewater stream. These include dry cleaning of equipment and floors to remove solids prior to washing, as well as installation of screens in all floor drains to capture any solids that do end up in the wastewater.