Program Uses Recycled Rainwater for Wine Production

California seeks alternative water sources in light of drought, rain

california, wine, production, water, rainwater, reuse, recycling, ge

As California's agriculture industry continues to plan for months of extreme rain followed by months of drought, the University of California Davis (UC Davis) and Winesecrets have aligned with GE to pilot a program to use captured rainwater in wine production. By reusing rainwater, rather than pulling freshwater from the aquifer, the pilot program offers a way to supply the needed wash water in winemaking.

GE’s Water & Process Technologies provided a reverse osmosis (RO) system and a Total Organic Carbon (TOC) analyzer to the winery at UC Davis as an way to use existing technologies with advanced digital capabilities for a new application. The pilot enables the winery at UC Davis to have more control over its source water by not having to rely on the aquifer with its varying water quality and availability.

“The new pilot with GE, Winesecrets and UC Davis to use recycled rainwater is exciting. The rainwater is cleaner than groundwater sources, as it doesn’t contain as much mineral content—that makes filtering the water easier. The rainwater is collected from the roof of the Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building and other campus buildings. It then goes through the treatment system so that it can be used to clean the tanks and equipment at the winery. We treat about 7,000 gal per day of water for use in the winery," said Jill D. Brigham, Sustainable Wine and Food Processing Center, UC Davis.

The rainwater capturing system transports the rainwater through downspouts to a holding tank with a capacity of 1,200 gal. After going through a 50-micron media filter, it is pumped into two 45,000-gal storage tanks that feed the water treatment system.

Rainwater inherently has fewer contaminants than traditional municipal water sources like rivers, lakes and groundwater. This also reduces overall treatment costs, making the process more environmentally friendly, sustainable and cost-effective. Relying on stored rather than municipal water puts the winery in control of its supply avoiding the costs of using municipal water as well as the varied quality of municipal water. Having a secure supply is a substantial benefit especially in areas of drought or complex water rights.

Water & Process Technologies’ RO system purifies the rainwater to a potable level and removes contaminants such as pesticides, herbicides, viruses, toxins, dust, pollen, bacteria and pollution. The TOC analyzer measures that the potable product water consistently meets the required quality.

“Combining the use of Water & Process Technologies' reverse osmosis and TOC analyzer technologies, the pilot purifies the rainwater so it can be used at the winery. It has the potential to greatly enhance the industry’s sustainability efforts, particularly in areas like California that are looking for alternate sources of water during times of drought,” said Kevin Cassidy, global leader, engineered systems – GE’s Water & Process Technologies.

GE Water & Process Technologies

RE: Headline

So missed the opportunity to call this "A California Miracle: Water into Wine"

Recycled Rainwater for Wine Production

First of all, most freshwater is "recycled rain water," with the exception of water produced from sea water by distillation or reverse osmosis. Second, when is the last time you looked at a roof to see how clean it is. Dust infused with smog, bird droppings, etc. are common on roofs. Third, rain sweeps particulates and absorbs gasses from the air and thus is not entirely clean before it reaches the ground. So the notion that rain water from roof tops is cleaner than groundwater may be misleading. It may have less mineral content, and if that is the important criterion, then that is fine. Captured roof runoff is fine for irrigation during drier times, and washing cars and walkways. But don't be misled to think that roof runoff is essentially clean water. It is likely to have bacteria and viruses, hydrocarbons, and particulate contaminants in it.

rainwater harvesting

Does the word "Cistern" mean anything? We have gone full circle

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