In Situ Testing of Sustainable Integrated Systems for the Treatment of Winery Wastewater at Small Wineries in the Western Cape

Project Number

Project title
In situ testing of sustainable integrated systems for the treatment of winery wastewater at small wineries in the Western Cape

Project leader
Welz, P J

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Institute of Biomedical and Microbial Biotechnology

Team members
Haldenwang, R

Project description
Most wineries in the Western Cape dispose of untreated cellar effluent by means of irrigation to pasture. This poses an environmental threat because the effluent can negatively affect soil structure, and can enter the already degraded aquatic environment via groundwater and surface run-off. The wastewater should, therefore, be treated before disposal. However, most small wineries cannot install, operate and monitor sophisticated wastewater treatment systems because they do not have the requisite skilled labour or finances. There is a need to find simple, cost effective wastewater treatment systems for use in small wineries in South Africa. Research conducted over the pas 7 years has identified that biological sand filters (BSF) are promising candidates.

A pilot-system has been in operation at a small winery in Stellenbosch for over one year and has achieved excellent results in terms of COD removal, pH neutralisation, and SAR reduction via calcite dissolution. Further research is needed to (i) establish the long-term effectiveness of the system, (ii) ascertain whether the use of a rudimentary upstream anaerobic digester would increase the efficiency of the system, and (iii) determine at what stage (if ever) the sand would need to be changed.

Mulidzi, R, Laker, G, Van Schoor, L G, Louw, L. 2002. Fate of organic components of winery effluents in soils, WineLand, Mnth May

Welz, P J, Ramond, J-B, Cowan, D A, Prins, A, Burton, S G. 2011. Ethanol degradation and the value of incremental priming in pilot scale constructed wetlands, Ecological Engineering, Mnth October v. 37 (10) (p. 1453-1459)

Ramond, J-B, Welz, P J, Cowan, D A, Burton, S G. 2012. Microbial community structure stability, a key parameter in monitoring the development of constructed wetland mesocosms during start-up, Research in Microbiology, Mnth January v. 163 (1) (p. 28-35)

Rodriquez Caballero, A, Ramond, J-B, Welz, P J, Cowan, D A, Odlare, M, Burton, S G. 2012. Treatment of high ethanol concentration wastewater by constructed wetlands: enhanced COD removal and bacterial community dynamics, Journal of Environmental Management, Mnth October v. 109 (p. 54-60)

Welz, P J, Ramond, J-B, Cowan, D A, Burton, S G. 2012. Phenolic removal processes in biological sand filters used to remediate winery wastewater, Bioresource Technology, Mnth September v. 119 (p. 262-269)

Ramond, J-B, Welz, P J, Tuffin, M, Burton, S G, Cowan, D A. 2013. Assessment of temporal and spatial evolution of bacterial communities in a biological sand filter mesocosm treating winery wastewater, Journal of Applied Microbiology, Mnth April v. 115 (1) (p. 91-101)

Ramond, J-B, Welz, P J, Tuffin, M, Burton, S G, Cowan, D A. 2013. Selection of diazotrophic bacterial communities in biological sand filter mesocosms used for the treatment of phenolic laden wastewater, Microbial Ecology, Mnth October v. 66 (3) (p. 563-570)

Welz, P J, Haldenwang, R, Ramond, J-B, Le Roes-Hill, M. 2013. Winery wastewater treatment – keeping it cheap and simple, WineLand, Mnth November v. 10 (p. 122-124)

Sheridan, C, Hildebrand, D, Glasser, D. 2014. Turning wine (waste) into water: Toward technological advances in the use of constructed wetlands for winery effluent treatment, AIChE Journal, Mnth February v. 60 (2) (p. 420-431)

Welz, P J, Palmer, Z, Isaacs, S, Kirby, B, Le Roes-Hill, M. 2014. Analysis of substrate degradation, metabolite formation and microbial community responses in sand bioreactors treating winery wastewater: a comparative study, Journal of Environmental Management, Mnth December v. 145 (p. 147-156)

Welz, P J, Le Roes-Hill, M. 2014. Biodegradation of organics and accumulation of metabolites in experimental biological sand filters used for the treatment of synthetic winery wastewater: A mesocosm study, Journal of Water Process Engineering, Mnth September v. 3 (p. 155-163)

Welz, P J, Holtman, G A, Haldenwang, R, Le Roes-Hill, M. 2016. Characterisation of winery wastewater from continuous-flow settling basins and waste stabilisation ponds over the course of one year: implications for biological wastewater treatment and land application, Water Science and Technology. Mnth November v. 74 (9) (p. 2036-2050)

Burton, S G, Welz, P J, Ramond, J-B, Sheridan, C, Kirby, B, Schueller, A, Garcin, C, Mirindamombe, G, Rodriquez, A, Pather-Elias, S, Prins, A, Sehata, J, Cowan, D A. 2012. Health for purpose in constructed wetlands: organic removal efficiencies and changes in microbial community dynamics associated with exposure to winery wastewater. Mnth February (p. 1-133) Water Research Commission, Gezina, Pretoria.

Welz, P J, Ramond, J-B, Cowan, D A, Smith, I, Palmer, Z, Haldenwang, R, Burton, S G, Le Roes-Hill, M. 2015. Treatment of winery wastewater in unplanted constructed wetlands. Mnth March (p. 1-104) Water Research Commission, Gezina, Pretoria.

– Record end –

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