Winery wastewater management and recycling


Recognising that winery wastewater management and recycling are important issues for the grape and wine community, Wine Australia commissioned research and communications projects to develop, synthesise and share knowledge about better wastewater management, water reuse and recycling.

There is information available on winery wastewater treatment, recycling the treated water in vineyards, using other sources of recycled water and other forms of discharge.

A key message is that activities in the winery, wastewater treatment plant and vineyard are all interlinked. What happens in one will affect the others. Cost-effective operations require an integrated approach involving:

  • Wineries – cleaner production to improve profit and reduce treatment requirements
  • Wastewater treatment plants – ‘fit for purpose’ treatment to contain costs and optimise recycling
  • Vineyards – recycling treated water as a secure irrigation supply and to reduce environmental risks.


The management of winery wastewater is important to the business and environmental performance of a winery, and it can have ramifications for vineyards and grape production.

A sound approach to wastewater management will involve:

  • cleaner production, less waste and more profit within the winery
  • easier and cheaper ‘fit for purpose’ treatment of winery wastewaters
  • more options for secure water supplies to the vineyard
  • more options to reduce any environmental risks from wastewater discharges.

Improved wastewater management does not have to cost a lot. It may be as simple as beginning with better operations to reduce the wastage of grapes, juice and wine within the winery.

Communication Products

A range of information products are available from the communications project.



  • Business Fundamentals – a booklet highlighting the business issues associated with winery wastewater management and the key principles to govern its management in the winery, treatment plant and vineyard. 
  • Operational Guidelines – a technical reference explaining key principles and providing directions to other sources of information and expertise. 


More information

The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) has developed a training package based on the Operational Guidelines.