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Winery wastewater management:
Online resource kit

About this product

This document is one of three main products from a review of research and technical reports about winery wastewater management and recycling. The products are designed to help Australian wineries and viticulturalists lead world best practice in sustainable management.

The products are:

Business fundamentals –  an overview, outlining the fit between winery wastewater management and operations in the winery and vineyard.

Operational guidelines – a detailed guide, presenting information to assist the planning and management of winery wastewater treatment and its disposal or recycling.

Resources kit (this document) – an electronic product, presenting tools (such as spreadsheet calculators), case studies and reference materials (e.g. industry fact sheets, reports and presentations).

This resources kit is aimed at anyone wanting additional information about the application of the principles presented in the other two products. It provides tools, examples and further references regarding the generation, treatment and recycling of winery wastewaters.



Winery wastewater environmental index

For a quick insight into the environmental performance of a winery wastewater management system, try the CSIRO Environmental Rating Index.

Audit quick-check benchmarker

For a quick comparison of site performance with industry ‘best practice’ for some key aspects of wastewater management, try the CSIRO Quick-check Benchmarker.


Winery wastewater overview

An overview of treatment and recycling issues and their management.

Planning & evaluation


CSIRO wastewater audit tools

Because winery waste streams are so variable between sites and through time, it is essential to characterize those of your site.

CSIRO have developed a spreadsheet tool to help wineries audit their own site. The Manual provides information on how to use the audit spreadsheets. Separate models are available for small and large wineries.

Treatment costing tool


Benchmarking audit report 

The CSIRO has surveyed sites of differing size, across Australia to provide some indicative benchmarks. The survey for the  involved wineries providing their best information on wastewater and its management.

Evaluation of organic Matter concentrations

Information on the relationships between BOD, COD and TOC in winery effluent as a research article and conference poster from CSIRO.

Risk management


Water budget – irrigation

A spreadsheet tool to prepare an irrigation water budget, a guide for assessing irrigation priorities in times of water scarcity, and a presentation about the tools.

Salt balance

References to salt balancing tools:

Nutrient balance

References to nutrient budgeting tools


Water budgets – ponds 

An example of how to prepare and use a water budget for a lagoon.

Environmental impact studies

CSIRO report on the impacts of winery wastewater on aquatic environments, wetlands and soil health following irrigation, present a poster with information on the environmental impacts of commonly used flocculants, and provide a journal article on impacts on wetland plants (reeds and rushes).

Monitoring & evaluation


Sampling guidelines

Tips on collecting soil samples and inspecting grapevine root systems, from Viticare.

Soil – physical attributes

Tips on assessing physical attributes of soils, from Viticare.

Soil – chemical and water content

Tips on assessing the salinity etc and soil water moisture levels, from Viticare.

Business considerations


Treatment costing tool

A spreadsheet tool and explanatory manual have been developed by CSIRO to help wineries establish the operating costs of current and alternative winery wastewater treatment systems.

Management options


Systematic approach to management

A comprehensive report by CSIRO covering all aspects of winery wastewater management.

Small WA wineries

A summary report on wastewater management in small West Australian wineries.

Cleaner production


Process flow charts

CSIRO have developed a series of flow charts for different stages of wine making, highlighting the typical inputs and outputs and ‘best practices’ that will result in cleaner production. The flow charts tie in with the Audit Tool spreadsheets (see Planning and evaluation / Waste streams).


Reducing volumes and loads

A WA Winewatch Fact Sheet with tips on cleaner production for small wineries.

Three Rs – Reduce, reuse, recycle

A presentation of tips for cleaner production.

Case studies


Water use and wine losses can be reduced.


Segregation simplifies treatment and enhances re-use options.


Water and cleaning agents may be recycled.

Fit for purpose treatment



A WA Winewatch Fact Sheet with information on planning and managing treatment ponds.


A WA Winewatch Fact Sheet with information on leachfields as treatment and disposal option for small wineries.

Wetlands & soil based bioremediation

CSIRO report on trials with wetlands (via a poster) and progress in developing a low cost treatment system relying on soil based bioremediation.

Case studies

End-use considerations

The end-use of winery wastewater should be factored into the degree to which it is treated, along with the quality of the incoming effluent.

Discharge and recycling – irrigation



WA Winewatch Fact Sheets on disposal via irrigation and a worked case study for small wineries.

Salinity management

Technical notes, a presentation and fact sheet on managing salinity in vineyards, from the Innovators Network.

Yield and water

Technical notes, a presentation and fact sheets on irrigation impacts on grape yields, from the Innovators Network.

Viticare information on irrigating at times of water scarcity.

Soil health

Information from CSIRO on soil health (poster), the impacts of potassium (research paper) and a presentation on key issues for land irrigation.

Technical notes (a presentation) and a fact sheet on soil health in vineyards from the Innovators Network.

Case studies

Discharge and recycling options

Amongst other things, treated winery wastewater may be recycled for irrigation or discharged to sewer.

Problem solving



A CSIRO Fact Sheet on issues and management options to avoid problem odours.

Copyright: Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation. Adelaide, SA.

Published: 2011

Prepared for: Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation

Project Manager: Troy Fischer

By: Peter R Day Resource Strategies Pty Ltd

Project Team

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.