vineyard improves sludge movement



A California (USA) vineyard was faced with the challenge of meeting wastewater treatment compliance under a tight deadline defined by local regulators, while receiving ongoing odor complaints from the community.


Extended periods of mismanagement from previous owners left the facility and the wastewater treatment system in disarray. Equipment with poor mixing capabilities and frequent mechanical failure allowed sludge to build up in the lagoon to an extraordinary level, with visible islands across the landscape of the lagoon surface. Poor mixing caused the excessive settling, dramatically decreasing the Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT) and, subsequently, the treatment efficiency of the lagoon system. This put the system at risk to violate permit effluent requirements. Poor aeration capacity, largely due to frequent mechanical failure, allowed hydrogen sulfide production to occur, causing significant odor problems.


It was obvious the facility was in need of immediate assistance. Leveraging past experience with the vineyard and working through a very busy crush period for the organization, the vineyard and Aeration Industries International were able to finalize paperwork at a relatively fast pace. With the agreements in place, Aeration Industries was able to ship the equipment, suggest a reliable contracting option for installation, and mobilize a technician to assist with installation and start-up. In addition, a member of the process engineering team from Aeration Industries was present to baseline the conditions of the lagoon to demonstrate improvement.


Within six weeks of installing the Aire-O2 Triton®  , sludge was reduced 19% and a distinct flow pattern was identified. Dissolved oxygen levels continually increased and odor was minimized within the pond. The results illustrate opportunity to significantly improve sludge movement and removal to continue to achieve the primary objectives. It also suggests opportunity to improve upon the original design approach and leverage the solids settling basin as a viable option for sludge management as a permanent solution. These results ultimately prevented violations and allowed the vineyard to focus on what they do best… make wine.


The efforts to meet this challenge demonstrate the vineyard’s commitment to environmental and community stewardship through responsible operation. It should also be celebrated as a means to support the local economy by recovering a substandard and potentially failing production facility. Aeration Industries hopes the successful progress remediating the wastewater problems and supporting actions demonstrate our commitment to being a valuable partner to the vineyard moving forward.

See the full Case Study here.

Questions about how we can help solve the winery wastewater challenges you’re facing? Give us a call at +1 (952) 448-6789.