Winery recycles 1.35 million gallons of water with Napa Green-certified MBR wastewater treatment system

Application highlights

  • 1.35 million gallons of wastewater treated and reused in first year of operation
  • Tanks and treatment system are a high-efficiency, low-maintenance pairing
  • Winery wastewater treatment with BioMicrobics and ZCL | Xerxes is now Napa Green-certified
  • Corrosion resistance of fiberglass is advantage in winery’s acidic soil
  • Three 22,000-gallon fiberglass water tanks (10-foot-diameter)

When its leach field failed, the owners of Napa Valley winery Castello di Amorosa knew it was time to reconsider their water system. California had experienced a series of droughts, which resulted in increased water-use restrictions. The winery’s environmental values led to a search for the best treatment-system science, design and tank material.

Three ZCL | Xerxes 22,000-gallon/ 83,000-liter fiberglass water tanks replaced the previous concrete tanks. A BioMicrobics’ BioBarrier® HSMBR® (High Strength Membrane Bioreactor) treatment system was installed inside each tank. Placed inside the ends of the tanks, the aeration grids below the membrane modules promote aerobic microbes that metabolize and digest the wastewater and then passes through the membranes for ultrafiltration. The treated water is then 99.9% removed of the contaminants and discharges out of the ZCL | Xerxes Tank.

BioBarrier® MBRs and HSMBR®s are membrane aerated biofilm reactor technologies certified for onsite and water reuse applications. These packaged wastewater treatment plants solve a range of challenging site conditions and wastewater strengths. Certified for water reuse (NSF/ANSI 40/245/350, EN12566-3, and CAN/BNQ 3680-600), the BioBarrier® Membrane BioReactors (MBRs) and BioBarrier® HSMBR®s are complete, optimized wastewater and greywater systems that provide high levels of treatment.

The immersed, aerated, membrane technology utilized in the BioBarrier Systems allows for installation into a smaller footprint with both above or below ground tank options. The BioBarrier MBR and HSMBR, from 250 GPD to 100,000+ GPD flows, meet water quality requirements for the reduction of chemical and microbiological contaminants for non-potable water use. The treated wastewater (i.e. high-quality effluent) can be used for restricted indoor water use and/or unrestricted outdoor water use.

Each tank operates independently to meet the winery’s water needs, which can vary significantly day to day. During the most water-intensive times — when wine is bottled and barrels are washed — all three tank systems run, treating up to 9,000 gallons/34,000 liters of water per day. A whole day’s water flow may go in and out of the three tanks in less than an hour. That level of flow requires surge protection for a high volume of flow so the treatment process isn’t interrupted.

Over 1.35 million gallons of water treated and reused in first year

The BioBarrier system’s flat-sheet membranes (.03 to 1.3 micron pores) physically separate the solids and bacteria from wastewater to keep them in the tank allowing the treated water (high-quality effluent) to exit the tanks utilizing a small submerged filtrate pump. The resulting clean water can be reused in numerous ways, including vineyard irrigation.

Both the winery and land have recently been Napa Green-certified, which means they meet all the regulatory components needed for environmental sustainability, including water conservation and water efficiency.

Low sludge maintenance

The Castillo di Amorosa wastewater system is designed to store waste sludge for at least one (1) year of continuous operation. This minimizing cleaning and maintenance, a plus especially for small wineries where the owners do the maintenance themselves.

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