How to Identify Priority Areas
To identify priority areas where improvements will have the most impact, wineries must develop a solid understanding of how water is used and how material enters the wastewater stream and contributes to wastewater loading.
Focusing only on reducing water use without reducing wastewater loading can result in higher wastewater concentrations.
concentration = loading ÷ volume
Without data on water use, wineries have no way to determine if water is being used efficiently.
Water monitoring is a low-cost and easy way to get an accurate understanding of how water is being used in different processes.
This data also represents a baseline from which wineries can set goals and track progress over time.
Example: Reducing Water Consumption and Wastewater Loading in a Sample Winery
A winery was interested in reducing it’s water consumption and wastewater loading to help reduce the potential costs and risks associated with increased growth in production.
They realised that in order to make informed and cost-effective improvements to their processes, they needed to get a better understanding and a baseline of how they used water and generated wastewater.
The winery planned their water monitoring strategy and installed meters so they could measure and obtain data on how much water is used in different activities.
Once wineries start to obtain water use data from meters, it is important to analyze that data to identify opportunities.
By establishing Water Inventories, Water Balances, and Key Performance Indicators, wineries can then focus on identifying the most promising opportunities to improve water efficiency.
When analyzing water use data wineries should focus on:
- Large Volumes: High water use activities have the most potential to produce savings, even small improvements can have a big impact.
- Inconsistencies: If the amount of water required to accomplish similar tasks varies significantly, it could indicate an opportunity for savings.
- Anomalies: Any water consumption data that doesn’t seem to make sense (such as water use that can’t be accounted for) should be investigated as it may lead to potential opportunities for savings.
Example: Analyzing Water Data in a Sample Winery
The winery collected water use data for their production facility in order to identify opportunities to reduce water consumption.
By developing a Water Use Inventory and tracking Key Performance Indicators, the winery discovered some interesting findings:
- Barrel and tank cleaning were the two largest uses of water
- Five times as much water was used to clean the cellar floors compared to cleaning the floors in the production area
- The amount of water required to manually clean a barrel varied significantly
Sample Winery Water Inventory
|Activity||Volume (l/yr)||% of Total|
|Floor Cleaning (cellar)||45,584||14%|
|Floor Cleaning (production)||9,163||3%|
Sample Winery Key Performance Indicator: Barrel Washing
|Date||# of Barrels Washed||Water Used (l)||Water Used per Barrel (l)|
|Average Water Used per Barrel||254|
Wineries can qualitatively identify major sources and composition of wastewater loading by visually examining processes to see what types of material are entering the wastewater stream and by talking to employees. Organic material contributes to Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) and solids contribute to Total Suspended Solids (TSS), two of the primary measurements of wastewater strength. Common sources of wastewater loading include:
- Grapes, stems, and other solid waste
- Spilled juice and wine
- Lees from tanks, barrels, filters, and other equipment
- Bentonite and diatomaceous earth
- Cleaning chemicals
Wineries, with the support of a consultant, can also sample wastewater at different points in the wine making process to determine how much each activity contributes to overall wastewater composition. These samples can be analyzed by a licensed laboratory to quantitatively characterize what is in the wastewater.
Typical Sources of BOD
|Winery Area||Avg. BOD (mg/L)||% of Total BOD Load|
|Fermentation & Pressing||5,000||23%|
|Juice & Wine Clarification||8,000||15%|
Virginia Tech. Enology Notes #155. August 9, 2010.
Example: Investigating Wastewater Loading in a Sample Winery
To determine the primary sources of wastewater loading, the winery asked its employees to pay attention by logging activities to see what was going down the drain. The findings from this employee activity included:
- Very little lees ended up in the wastewater stream. Juice lees were filtered and wine lees were given extra time to settle to reduce their liquid content. In both cases the lees were separated and handled as solid waste.
- During crush, residual grapes and juice in harvest bins were washed onto the crush pad and into the crush pad drain.
- During the cleaning of tanks and presses, a significant amount of pomace ended up on the floor and was washed into the floor drains.