The following is a list of common challenges encountered by wineries that we have worked with along with some tips on how to use Water & Wine to address those challenges.

When considering installing or upgrading an on-site wastewater treatment system, wineries should first minimize the volume and strength of the wastewater generated.

In some cases, reducing wastewater generation can eliminate or delay the need to upgrade existing systems.

Wineries should quantify their wastewater generation, including wastewater strength, peak daily wastewater generation, and average daily wastewater generation.

Finally, wineries will need to engage a consultant, identify an appropriate treatment system, and obtain the necessary approvals.

In order to prepare for potential water shortages, wineries need to actively monitor well levels. This can provide wineries with a better understanding of their well capacity and flow rates, and provide an early warning of low water conditions so wineries can take preventative actions.

Conducting a well yield test can provide wineries with valuable information regarding their well capacity.

Wineries that are concerned about insufficient water supply from their wells should establish a water use baseline and monitor water consumption to understand how much water they will need to support growth and to identify opportunities to reduce water consumption.

Wineries can improve their water security by reducing their water consumption and taking advantage of alternative water supplies such as rainwater harvesting or greywater recycling.

Odour issues within the winery are often caused by loading large amounts of organic material in the wastewater, or wastewater treatment systems that are over-capacity or not operating properly.

To address odour issues, wineries should first take steps to prevent organic material from entering the wastewater stream. This approach to source reduction is cost-effective and often leads to other process improvement benefits.

If odour issues persist, wineries should consider installing or upgrading an on-site wastewater treatment system. This will involve identifying and selecting a consultant, identifying an appropriate treatment system, and obtaining necessary approvals.

In order to plan for future growth, wineries must first understand how much water is available. For wineries that rely on wells for their water supply, this means monitoring their well levels and conducting a well yield test.

Wineries should then establish a baseline of current water use, monitor their water use, and utilize Key Performance Indicators to develop estimates of how much water supply and wastewater capacity they will need to support future growth.

When planning a new winery, actual water data is not available so wineries must rely on industry averages for Key Performance Indicators related to water use and wastewater generation. Some of these average values are available within the Water Use Monitoring module.

Wineries that are not connected to a municipal sanitary sewer will likely need to install an on-site wastewater treatment system. This will involve identifying and selecting a consultant to design the system, determining what type of treatment system is appropriate, and obtaining required approvals.

If you have other water or wastewater related concerns or issues that are not covered here, contact RiverLabs by email at or by phone at 613-936-6620.