The amount and degree of pollution of technological wastewater generated during the wine production process and discharged from wineries varies significantly throughout the year (seasonal) and depends on the production period and the wine production technology, which is specific for each winery.

In general, there is a ratio of the amount of technological wastewater discharged to the amount of wine produced, and it varies from winery to winery.
The largest amounts of wastewater from wineries are discharged during harvesting, fermentation and vinification, during the filling and cooling process. During the rest of the season, the quantities are significantly smaller.

In this specific type of technological wastewater we can distinguish 4 main groups of pollution:

  • solid residues: stalks, seeds, cuticles, sediments, sludges, etc.
  • accidental losses of main products (must and wine)
  • additives in wine production processes (clarifying and filtering agents, etc.)
  • detergents for washing and disinfection of equipment and plants

Must and wine occur in wastewater in variable proportions. Such waters contain sugars, ethanol, esters, glycerol, organic acids and phenolic compounds, bacterial populations and yeast. These are mainly compounds that are highly biodegradable, except for polyphenols that require customized flora. The concentration of nitrogen and phosphorus is very low, and requires the addition of nutrients in a certain ratio.

The pH value is usually low (acidity) due to the presence of organic acids, but during the washing process or otherwise it has slightly higher values.

According to our personal experience so far, the degree of pollution of technological wastewater discharged from wineries can be shown over the range of values of the following parameters:



Value limits






31.000 – 2.625



20.000 – 1.781

Suspended substances


5.000 – 1.000

Total N



Total P




The main characteristic of these wastewaters is a very high concentration of organic biodegradable compounds, therefore these waters are very suitable for treatment using biological processes.

With a smaller amount of wastewater with a high degree of pollution, typical for small wineries, where the key factor is reduction of investment costs, only biological processes are applied. If the requirements for the discharge of technological wastewater are high (surface water - natural recipient), the only option is to use aerobic processes (SBR, MBBR, etc.).

If we plan to use purified water for irrigation, etc., then we apply MBR technology. LINK TO MBR IS IN THE NEWS)

The main part of solid waste (bones, stalks, skins, etc.), as well as a part of suspended particles are separated by applying mechanical pre-treatment (grates, sieves, etc.). This is a very important step in the treatment of these types of wastewater, because many biological processes do not respond well to the presence of insoluble substances.

Organic substances are mostly in a dissolved form, which means that primary treatments cannot be used to effectively reduce their concentrations.

The design of biological processes, as well as other necessary equipment for efficient treatment of specific technological wastewater, such as those from wineries, is done on a case-by-case basis, based on measured real data such as hydraulic load and pollution level determined by measured values of parameters measured by sample analysis (current and composite).

Case study: A winery in Italy, capacity in season 40 m3 / day, out of season 20 m3 / day, MBR technology applied

More about MBR technology





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