Treatment of winemaking process water is paramount for its re-use as vineyard irrigation water in drought-stricken Northern California. While traditional, surface mounted wastewater aerators are an effective treatment method, they consume a significant amount of costly energy to operate. We explored several different wastewater treatment technologies and selected fine bubble diffuser technology to replace our surface mount aerators. Although this project was a considerable investment, we have seen a significant reduction of energy use to treat wastewater, even during the intensive months of use during harvest.
Example of Inefficient Surface Mount Aerator
The project was completed in several different steps. First, the existing facultative wastewater ponds were drained, graded into two treatment pond basins and lined. Next, fine bubble diffuser equipment was laid out close to the bottom of the lined ponds and a blower was installed to supply these lines with air. A SCADA system was installed to maximize operational control of the ponds, as well as real-time pH and Dissolved Oxygen sensors. The ponds were filled with process water, and treatment begun. Once water is in the ponds for the engineered detention time, it is tested to ensure compliance with California’s strict regulatory requirements. Then, it is discharged and reused in the surrounding vineyards as irrigation.
Fine Bubble Diffuser Aerated Wastewater Treatment Technology Installed in Pond
The installation of the Fine Bubble Differ Aerated Wastewater Treatment system has significantly decreased our wastewater treatment energy use and costs as seen in the tables below: