Retention ponds are typically used in agricultural, residential and commercial settings to catch runoff water from higher elevations. A 2015 study done by the University of California Davis found that retention ponds can also be used in the treatment and reuse of wastewater from wineries. Several wineries have used retention ponds over the years to treat wastewater for use in irrigation; however, there are challenges.
Retention ponds are man-made basins that depend on the natural flow of water down hills and inclines. Retention ponds traditionally reduce the risk of flooding during heavy rains, as they are specifically engineered for these circumstances.
Reusing Wastewater for Irrigation
Through UC Davis’ research, eighteen California wineries discovered site-specific soil and wastewater data and options to treat the water before it could be applied to their grapes. Many of the participating wineries were able to effectively treat their wastewater through a series of retention ponds, however salt remained a problem.
Salt concentrations are introduced into wastewater by cleaning agents and aren’t completely removed by treatment systems. Salt concentrations affect how water moves through soil, which is essential for growing grapes and vines.
Building Better Retention Ponds
In times of drought, such as those seen in California in recent years, the concept of reusing wastewater from wineries for irrigation has become a topic of interest. Retention ponds, large underground collection tanks and geomembrane bioreactors can benefit from potable grade liners as an advancement to their current liners. In preparing wastewater for possible reuse and irrigation, better retention ponds and tanks may be a solution.
Reinforced polyethylene (RPE) liners or reinforced polypropylene (RPP) liners with potable water certification can move wineries one step closer to wastewater treatment. In the interest of water conservation, and especially in times of drought, liners that are puncture-resistant, withstand UV rays and are durable are paramount. RPE and RPP liners from BTL Liners meet these criteria and are certified for potable water.
Studying the soil and wastewater at your winery is a first step in discovering if the water can be reused for irrigation of the grapes and vines. If the reuse of wastewater is an option at your winery, contact BTL Liners for more information about our potable grade RPE and RPP liners.