Sustainable Recycled Winery Water Irrigation based on Treatment Fit for Purpose Approach

Abstract

A dramatic increase in wine production over the last two decades in Australia and other wine producing countries has led to the need for sustainable management of winery wastewater to meet environmental concerns. The end use of the winery wastewater is the most important factor to consider when deciding on treatment options. The best choice will include consideration of critical issues such as: chemical oxygen demand (COD), quality of the wastewater (including pH, Na and K levels) and Federal/State regulations, amongst others. Any treatment must be ‘fit for purpose’. If wastewater could be rapidly used for irrigation, only minimal treatment (e.g. dilution of salts by shandying the winery wastewater) may be required. However, if it is necessary to reduce the BOD/COD to control odour a balance needs to be found between an adequate level of treatment and storage of wastewater (that may cause an odour nuisance) versus the cheaper option of rapid disposal on the land through irrigation. Guideline values for key indicators of recycled winery wastewater quality for on-site and off-site disposal were developed during this investigation.

Summary

A dramatic increase in wine production over the last two decades in Australia and other wine producing countries has led to a corresponding increase in winery wastewater production. Sustainable management of winery wastewater has therefore become a priority to address environmental concerns. The end use of the wastewater is the most important factor to consider when deciding on treatment options. The best choice of management of the wastewater prior to disposal will depend on consideration of critical issues such as: chemical oxygen demand (COD), quality of the winery wastewater (including pH, Na, K levels) and Federal/State regulations, amongst others. Any treatment must be ‘fit for purpose’. If wastewater could be rapidly used for irrigation, only minimal treatment may be required – that treatment may be filtration, pH adjustment and potentially shandying to dilute salt load. However if it is necessary to store the wastewater near an urban area, it may be necessary to reduce BOD/COD in order to control odour. Guideline values for key indicators of recycled winery wastewater quality for on-site and off-site disposal were developed during this investigation that focus on the balance between adequate treatment with its associated costs and rapid disposal through irrigation with its inherent risk of odour production.

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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.