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Alpha Omega – Water Conservation and Reclamation

Company Summary:

Alpha Omega, a family-owned, boutique winery in the Rutherford appellation, in the heart of Napa Valley, began its journey in 2006 to be recognized as one of the great wine estates of the world. Founded by Robin and Michelle Baggett, Alpha Omega utilizes prized grapes from its own sustainably farmed vineyards and other highly regarded vineyards throughout Napa Valley to create artesanal, Bordeaux-style wines handcrafted by winemakers who combine Old World vineyard practices with New World technology and science. Masterful blending results in wines that uniquely express the essence of the terroir of this legendary wine region. Surrounded by fountains, vineyards and mountains, the beauty of this modern farm-style winery is as captivating as its wine. Alpha Omega, whose land and winery are Napa Green certified, endeavors to protect the earth for future generations by adhering to sustainable practices now.

Executive Summary:

In 2009, Alpha Omega installed a winery wastewater system called the Lyve System. Relatively new technology at the time, the Lyve System from New Zealand processes Alpha Omega’s domestic and winery wastewater into reusable clean water.  Alpha Omega processed nearly 11 million gallons of wastewater in 12 years. The treated wastewater exceeds California state quality requirements and is used for careful, precise application in the estate vineyard at key times through drip irrigation and for landscaping. Specific to the wine industry, the Lyve System is a scaleable, pre-engineered, small-footprint modular smart system with highly reliable remote monitoring and controls.

SDG’S (Sustainable Development Goal):

Reason Why/Motivation/Background:

Water Conservation

Clean water for agricultural use Is a diminishing resource.  Alpha Omega implemented several protocols and installed specific equipment to help reduce water use. The winery also has a biodigestor for wastewater reclaimation and eventual re-use in its estate vineyards.

Water Reclamation

All wastewater, whether from wine production or from Alpha Omega’s visitor center, is processed through its Lyve System, a biodigestor that rapidly and efficiently adjusts wastewater chemistry while digesting and separating suspended solids from solution.  Water from the Lyve System is decanted to the winery’s wastewater resevoir, where further microbial activity and solids settling allow Alpha Omega to decant that reclaimed water to its vineyards and landscaping.

Project Description:

Water conservation – Alpha Omega trains its production team to use squeegees and brooms/shovels to clean and collect solids, saving water use for only the final cleaning step.  The winery utilizes low-flow, high pressure nozzles on all of its hoses for rinsing and cleaning.

As a solar powered facility, Alpha Omega chooses to substitute energy for water use in several key process steps.  Alpha Omega generates ozone to make its water cleaning efforts more effective and to reduce water volume.  In its barrel sanitation program, Alpha Omega also utilizes steam in conjunction with high pressure rinsing and ozone to most efficiently utilize its water. When washing a series of tanks, Alpha Omega reclaims and reuses the cleaning solution across several tanks until the cleaning power of the solution is depleted.

Benefits/Achievements:

Minimized water use in the winery.  Utilize almost all wastewater to be reused for vineyard application.

Lessons Learned:

Alpha Omega, founded in 2006 and still a boutique winery, nonetheless has grown since installing the Lyve System in 2009. The Lyve System is undersized for current water load but still functioning efficiently. The winery will need to upgrade in the short/medium term to keep up with processing needs.

Next Steps:

Alpha Omega is committed to the Bear Creek/Bale Slough Restoration Project to improve habitat for threatened steelhead trout in the Napa River watershed. Bear Creek is a tributary to the Napa River in Rutherford. Alpha Omega donated acreage off its estate 1155 Vineyard to allow civil engineers to widen, restore and clean up the slough so it doesn’t flood. Non-native species will be removed, a healthy eco-system will be created, steelhead trout will run and spawn up the river. When the Bale Slough is re-developed, Alpha Omega will redesign its estate vineyard to be surrounded by native plant species that will help harbour beneficial insects.  Alpha Omega will plant a mini forest to support the banks of the slough and use treated wastewater to stabilize and support the forest.

Potential For Replication:

Alpha Omega was one of the first wineries in Napa Valley to put into place the Lyve System. This system has subsequently been widely adopted by other wineries, and Alpha Omega helped validate the process. Alpha Omega is often referenced for proof of concept that the Lyve System can remain productive over time.

Sources Of Information/Support:

See attached documents from Heritage Systems, Inc., and Jason Officer Consulting.

Member

Alpha Omega Winery

Area

USA

Date

25 Agosto, 2022

Tags

Solution

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