Napa Valley Wineries Use On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems to Irrigate Vineyards | Local News


Eventually, the (clearer) water arrives in an aeration tank with biochips that look like tiny plastic hoops. The biochips then attract and increase the volume of microorganisms in the tank, which then consume unwanted organic material in the water before being clarified and disinfected.

Ballentine Vineyards is one of the Napa Valley wineries that has an onsite MBBR system, and winemaker Bruce Devlin has found himself as a personal tank mechanic.

“We had this installed about three years ago, [and] about 7,000 gallons of water flow through the system per day, ”Devlin said. “When you set up the system, there are management options, so different levels of service, and we left without service, so I’m the one managing it. “

Devlin has made adjustments since taking over the tanks, but most of the checks and maintenance involve replacing sensors, pumps, and monitoring the screen he calls “the brain.” On this small digitized screen, you can see a real-time visualization of the fill level of each tank in the system.

To take a closer look, however, you can climb the ladder next to the main tank and watch the bubbly and muddy process take place.

“It’s all part of the process,” Devlin said. “There are a lot of things I never thought I would do [as a winemaker]. “

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