Recent studies confirm the number of wineries in Australia grows each year. And with it comes the waste produced by the industry. In fact, approximately seven gallons of wastewater is generated for every gallon of wine made, as well as several other types of byproducts and wastes from the process.
Fortunately, these companies are taking measures to reduce their environmental footprint by implementing systems like winery wastewater treatment systems
Water shortages and droughts are significant concerns that prompted wineries to look for more other, more eco-friendly ways to irrigate their vineyards while maintaining the quality of their crops.
The components in the wastewater produced can include solids and juices from the grapes, which are a source of potassium cations, and cleaning chemicals that can add deposits of sodium cations to the wastewater (cations are microscopic particles that have a positive electrical charge).
Other elements that can be usually found in winery wastewater are high concentrations of sugars and organic matter from the processed grapes.
Reducing and reusing
The main obstacle to reusing wastewater to irrigate the vineyards is understanding how the waste in the water may affect them.The usual materials found in winery wastewater are not necessarily dangerous to the environment, but they can still be harmful to the soil.
Cations can disturb and destabilise the biological structure of the soil, affecting the roots of the vines, impeding their proper growth and causing it to lose its leaves while reducing the quality of the crops and wines.
Only a high-quality winery wastewater treatment can process all the toxic materials in the water to make it suitable for irrigation or to use in the facilities.
Wineries of all sizes are starting to use systems to help them reuse more water, reducing their impact on the environment and make the most out of this invaluable resource while producing top quality wines.