Biological Products:



Bioaugmentation products for Wastewater applications in Papermills, Refineries, Chemical, Tanneries, Municipalities, Textiles, Steel, Agriculture, Animal feedlot,  Gun Powder plant, Food and Beverage- Dairy Products, Orange Juice factory, Wineries, Cookie factory, Vegetable processing plant, Meat packing, Barbecue Restaurant, Aquaculture, Ornamental Ponds for algae control, CAFO, Nursing homes, Military, Campgrounds, Universities, Regulatory agencies



Lab Services:



Filamentous Identification Lab Service. One reason to identify filaments is to determine the filaments characteristics and then determine the type present.  If the type is found out, a root cause can usually be associated with a particular filament.  If the cause is known, then a correction can be made to alleviate problems. Chlorination is only a quick fix.  Without process changes, filaments will grow back after chlorination.

Wastewater Biomass Analyses and Cooling Tower Analyses also available


Training Materials:



Training is an integral part of any job. Not everyone is at the same level of training. Many people want beginning concepts and basics. Some need technical information or troubleshooting. Some want equipment, technology or process information.

We have developed a full set of Basic training, Advanced training, Filamentous Identification the Easy Way as well as custom training CD's Manuals. We also provide hands-on training classes and soon will have an Online "E-University".


Audits and Consulting:


At Environmental Leverage® Inc., we have a team of experienced individuals who come into your plant with a fresh pair of eyes.  The system is checked from influent to effluent.  System optimization, equipment efficiency and operational excellence are key components explored. Key Benefits Equipment efficiency Total Cost of Operation reductions Reliability and safety

An onsite audit is conducted to examine system parameters, process controls, and current monitor and control procedures. A physical walk-through is conducted, process flow diagrams are examined, previous design criteria are examined and current standard operating procedures are evaluated along with data logs.





What's New!

We have just added "Virtual Audits" to our capabilities. Check out our new Services.  We are in the process of developing new courses for our ""Online E-University" in order to meet the needs of our global customers that cannot travel to our public classes.Visit our new website

wineryWINE SALES IN THE U.S. and globally have skyrocketed.

Wines of California, other states and foreign producers entering U.S. distribution just in 2002 - 595 million gallons ~ $21.1 billion in sales!
Napa County has a long, rich history in grape growing. Some of the first vines were planted in the 1840's. Napa Valley alone has over 232 wineries, > 6 million cases of wines > $1 billion dollars in sales. The wine industry contributes over $4 billion of California's annual $33 billion economic impact from winemaking and related industries.


Wineries worldwide- over 168 Countries produce wine
*Total annual sales expected to reach $4.5 billion by 2025 in the Australian Wine Industry alone. Australia, California, New Zealand and South Africa are starting to catch up and surpass France for quality wines in some areas.


Water reuse is a huge part of the Winery sustainable program. Many wineries use treated wastewater to irrigate vineyards or landscaping, or may use it for frost protection, fire protection, or dust abatement. Beneficial Reuse


Winery waste is defined as any byproduct of winemaking operationswinery

  • Pomace (grape skins, stems, and seeds)
  • Lees (wine sediment)
  • Water generated during tank cleaning
  • Barrel washing
  • Equipment washing
  • Bottle washing
  • Floor and crush pad washing (which may contain sterilization and/or preservation chemicals)
  • Water softener waste brine.

At some operations, discharged winery process water could also include cooling tower and boiler blowdown, distillation, and wine ion exchange regeneration.

EPA Office of Compliance Sector Notebook Project, Winery Industry.  More information can be obtained on the EPA website or by contacting Environmental Leverage


This page requires JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your browser and reload this page.

There are tons of files containing information on every subject from A to Z on the internet with standards, benchmarks and industry BMP's.  The problems is, who has time to dig and find it all. It is not always in easy to find places.  We have tried to show you some of the ones we though might be useful. There are links to the places where we found some of them in case you want to dig deeper on a particular subject and find out more.

winery wastewater

Typical Raw Winery Wastewater Influent Characteristics

pH (that can range from 2.5 to 11 with seasonal fluctuation)

BOD (range of 300-12,000 mg/l)

Nitrogen (1-50 mg/ l)

TDS/salts (80-3,000 mg/l)



Total Suspended Solids (TSS)

Dissolved Oxygen


Winery Waste Water and It’s Components

Mash from pre-clarification occurs only in production of white wine, consists of very fine solids (such as grape pulp) which settle and are discharged, or as bottom sludge. Amounts: 3-12 l/hl must BOD5: up to 115000 mg/l O2

Yeast mash causes the main load off the waste water after the first broaching - BOD5: approx. 170000 mg/l O2winery wastewater

Mash from polishing, that is separated, is 2.5 Vol% of the produced wine volume. BOD5: approx. 100000 mg/l O2

Product losses: wine is a liquid with a high organic load - BOD5: approx. 110000-150000 mg/l, For cost reasons and the high specific pollution load product losses must be avoided.


Waste water from the cleaning process: Most of the waste water is from cleaning of tanks and barrels. - from intermediate storage tanks, - from separators, pumps and pipe lines, - back wash water from separators and sludge filters, Waste waters from bottle cleaning, Waste water from cellar cleaning in general


Waste water in total: The following partial flows are produced in addition: - back wash water from kieselgur filtration, - wash water from sulfur dioxide washing. Average waste water amount during the season: small and middle-size companies: 160 - 300 l/ha d, - big companies: 40 - 200 l/ha d, Organic load: small and middle-size companies: 0.54 - 0.97 kg BOD5/ha d, big companies: 0.32 kg BOD 5/ha d


Typical Methods of Wastewater Treatment for Wineries

  • Land surface applications such as vineyard and field irrigation, and land spreading;winery wastewater
  • Subsurface applications such as septic tanks/leach fields;
  • Aerated ponds or aerobic facultative lagoons;
  • On-site tank storage and off-site disposal ("tank and haul");
  • High-Rate system bio reactors/activated sludge, or bio digesters;

There are three main techniques utilized by wineries to reduce BOD levels:

Septic tank leach field (which quickly plugs with the high solids loading rate),
Ponding (usually several acres in size, often located on valuable vine land, these often fail with high BOD loading as indicative of objectionable odors during harvest)
Bio Reactors/pond systems. A newer, and the most successful, waste water system for wineries is a Bio Reactor.

Wastewater Land Application

Wastewater Land Application has it limits. The maximum loading rate of 100,000 gallons/acre/week (4 inches/week) was recommended for sandy, well-drained soils. One application day of wastewater was followed by six resting days for draining and drying. A waste water system must also include a holding pond to retain the water for the six winter months when ground application is not allowed.
The current BOD value for Napa and Sonoma Valley land application is 40 ppm.
Wastewater Land Application-stream limits
Constituent Loading-Maximum 5-day BOD5 loading shall not exceed 300 lbs/acre on any single day and a weekly average BOD5 loading of 100 lbs/acre/ day.
Discharger shall implement best practicable control technology to minimize the salinity of the discharge.
High salinity waste streams, such as boiler blow down, softener and wine ion exchange regeneration brine, reverse osmosis reject, or clean-in-place solutions shall be segregated from the main waste stream and disposed offsite or in a designated waste containment.
The wastewater shall not have a pH less than 6.5 nor greater than 8.5.


Typical Waste and Water Winery Concerns

Sustainable environmental management
Water conservation
Water quality
Environmental impact and waste management issues
Materials handling
Solid waste reduction
Wastewater Odors
High BOD
High TSS
High nutrients
Trihalomethanes byproducts (THMs)


Old technologies are being disallowed, i.e.
septic tanks and leach systems (prone to early and frequent failure).
The last big push from the EPA is the Clean Water Act.
The BOD levels associated with crush, barrel washing and bottling may be as high as 5000 (ppm or mg/l).winery wastewater


Air Quality

If a winery discharges more than ten tons of Volatile Organic Compounds ("VOCs") such as ethanol from the fermenting process, it will need an Air Contaminant Discharge Permit ("ACDP") from the DEQ.


California Winery Wastewater

The current BOD value for Napa and Sonoma Valley land application is 40 ppm.
A waste water system must also include a holding pond to retain the water for the six winter months when ground application is not allowed.
A waste water system required to reduce the BOD levels from 5,000 to 40 ppm is required.
The "Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices"
Social responsibility
Environmental stewardshipwinery wastewater
Code of best management practices
ISO 14001 standards
Maintain the long-term viability of agricultural lands.
Provide leadership in protecting the environment and conserving natural resources.
Economically feasible to implement and maintain.
Responsive to the needs and interests of society-at-large


Economic Benefits

Long-term viability of land and business
Long-term cost savings
Improve wine quality
Prepare for potential future International Trade Certification needs such as ISO14001
Enhance value of real estate
Maintain and improve market value of wine produced in California
Enhance relations with specific demographics such as European markets and domestic
Green consumers
Water Recycling and Reuse: The Environmental Benefits

winery wastewater

Long-term viability of land

Stewardship of unique and specific land
Conservation of natural resources
Recycled water is most commonly used for non-potable (not for drinking) purposes, such as agriculture, landscape, public parks, and golf course irrigation. Other non-potable applications include cooling water for power plants and oil refineries, industrial process water for such facilities as paper mills and carpet dyers, toilet flushing, dust control, construction activities, concrete mixing, and artificial lakes.
Recycled water has been used for a number of years to irrigate vineyards at California wineries, and this use is growing. Recently, Gallo Wineries and the City of Santa Rosa completed facilities for the irrigation of 350 acres of vineyards with recycled water from the Santa Rosa Subregional Water Reclamation System.


Typical Wastewater Treatment Issueswinery

Incoming pH neutralization
Flow equalization, BOD loading and fluctuations
Seasonal periods
Shut-down and start-up
Solids Generation
Daily monitoring and control
Analytical Testing


Problems caused by Wastewater

When high levels of BOD combine with chlorine from chlorinated water sources, a known cancer-causing disinfection byproduct, Trihalomethanes (THMs), forms.
If high levels of BOD in untreated effluent are allowed to flow untreated to surface water, streams, rivers, ponds and lakes, the dissolved oxygen in the receiving water may be quickly consumed. Aquatic and amphibious life forms suffocate as the dissolved oxygen in the water is quickly depleted.winery
Ecosystem health, natural flows and water cycles
Runoff and erosion
Groundwater contamination
Local water supply and community impacts
Water quality

Water Recycling and Reuse: The Environmental Benefits
Waste Solids handling-The dewatered sludge can be used as animal feed, or composted.


What Are Biosolids?

Nutrient-rich organic product of the wastewater treatment process
Can be recycled as a soil amendment.
At the treatment plant, solids are removed from wastewater and treated in large digesters where the organic solids are stabilized, reducing the volume by about half. After digestion, a portion of the water is removed, leaving a semi-solid material ready for recycling.
Why Recycle Biosolids?
Excellent source of essential plant nutrients and organic matter.
The addition of organic matter can reduce erosion by improving soil texture and structure and it also increases the soil's ability to hold moisture. By recycling biosolids, nutrients are returned to the soil where they can enhance plant growth.


wineryMULCHED                        WITH COMPOST         CONTROL

Shoot length                          125mm                 75mm

Shoot diameter                     14mm                   10mm

Yield at first harvest              2.5kg                   0.75kg

Bunches/vine                         43                         21


Raw and Composted Marc Composition

                            RAW  MARC           COMPOSTED  MARC

Nitrogen                 1.4-1.6%                  2.3%

Potassium                2.1-2.3%                  1.3%

Phosphorous            2.0-2.4%                  0.5%

pH                          3.7-3.9%                  7.3%winery wastewater


*Hitting the marc.(organic waste disposal) Wines and Vines, August, 2001, by Frank Smith


Did you know. . ..

A winery produces 11.5-to-16 gallons of wastewater for each case of wine produced.

Another Australian project is investigating ways of using winery wastewater for vine irrigation. It is estimated that every ten milliliters of wastewater recycled for irrigating vines yields an extra gross income of from $20,000 to $50,000 per year.


Case History :  Winery Start-up using biological products-


winery bioaugmentationWe were asked to provide products for a brand new winery start-up. We started them on a dual program with bacterial product- MicroClear 206 and MicroClear M100- micronutrients. The plant was supposed to have an influent of 8000 ppm of BOD, but some days, it got as high as 16,000 ppm. By using biological products, you can shorten the time for start-ups and increase the MLSS and get the plant up and running quickly.

There are things to watch when starting up a plant though,  as serious white foaming can be a problem and levels must be monitored.



Lagoon Troubleshooting for Wineries

Winery Case Histories



Winery ponds Algae control

Bioaugmentation for reduction of BOD and TSS

For a full onsite audit of your plant- Contact Environmental Leverage inc. 630-906-9791

Wastewater in Wineries- Problems and Solutions

Troubleshooting Lagoon Systems

Wastewater in the Fall- Problems and Solutions

Beneficial Reuse

Lagoons-Winter BOD issues and bioaugmentation

Learn how Environmental Leverage can help your plant

Bioaugmentation in wineries- impact on BOD and TSS

Filamentous bacteria can be a problem if solids are held too long in a clarifier also.

Total System Optimization- Case History

Lab Testing and Troubleshooting Newsletter


Bioaugmentation Products, Click each Product Link

MicroClear® 206 for Winery Wastewater


MicroClear® M100


More to come .  . . . .

Sign up for our monthly newsletterWater


Training Classes Schedule: Click this Sentence Link


YouR facility can Host a Wastewater Training class at your site

Call Bryan at 630-906-9791


Biological Wastewater Treatment
Training Seminar!

Sutter Home Winery,
100 Main St. South, St. Helena, CA 94574

sutter home



Sutter HOme winery


Napa Valley- Winery

Napa, California