+64 (03) 477 6111

Wastewater Management

Wine production wastewater arises from washing activities which is high in biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and sodium. Clearly, in many cases, it is not practical and legal to discharge this wastewater to water unless properly treated to remove substantial amount of BOD and sodium.

The most sensible treatment option for the wine production wastewater is land irrigation (i.e. treatment) or land disposal depending on the regional council requirements.

Having toilets or showers onsite will also require septic tank or onsite sewage treatment systems. If cafés are managed there will be additional wastewater to treat and discharge. Again, in either case, discharge to water is not practical hence land based discharge is the most practical option.

In the above cases it pays to check with the regional council consenting or permitted activity requirements.

If the vineyard does not have on-site wine production, café or toilets there may be no wastewater to deal with. Such vineyards may be managed primarily to produce grapes to be supplied to a wine producer or to another wine producing site owned by the vineyard owner. Some vineyard wastewater may be connected with the municipal wastewater system, in which case there may be trade waste requirements to be met.

The following points are noteworthy:

  • Check with the local regional council plan rules to ensure your waste water treatment/discharge system complies.

  • Engage a wastewater treatment company or expert to design the treatment system to apply for necessary resource consents.

  • Once consent is granted install the system as per the consent and manufacturer's requirements. Ensure to obtain warrantee or guarantee from the supplier or long-term maintenance agreement.

  • If you are prepared to maintain the system receive adequate training.

  • Ensure most solids are screened from entering the wastewater treatment systems.

  • Minimise water use to reduce winery or kitchen/toilet waste water volumes.

  • Desludge septic tanks or winery waste water tanks as per the system or consent requirements.

  • Maintain the winery or septic tank waste water treatment system as per the system or consent requirements.

  • If winery waste water is irrigated monitor soil for sodium build-up and if required apply lime or gypsum to leach excessive soil sodium. If sodium build-up is not managed soil structure will deteriorate which in turn will lead to poor soil porocity.