Water treatment in the beverage industry

In the beverage and spirit industry, the discharges show an extreme irregularity in terms of flows, wastewater composition, contaminants concentration and production (seasonality).

ico-telefono3_EN.pngReducing wastewater from beverage manufacturing industry.

Water is the basic raw material to produce beverages. SALHER analyzes the most convenient treatment according to the production volume, manufacturing methods and the required parameters.

These analysis tasks are performed for the production process water and the discharge wastewater.

Wineries water treatment.

The production of 1L wine requires between 30 and 250L of water. Wine discharges are not toxic, however, they have an important pollutant effect due to the high organic load. Moreover, the wineries discharges can be variable - contaminant concentration and volume- due to the seasonal nature of:

  • the production (water use achieves up to 60% of annual consumption during harvest and wine decanting),
  • its volume of production,
and according to the other operations performed such as elaboration, ageing, storage and bottling. There are several stages and solutions for winery wastewater treatment.

Pretreatment and advanced primary treatments

Physical treatment

Liquid-solid separation is required to avoid any risk of clogging in pipes, pumps and other water treatment elements.

Salher recommends screening system to separate coarse and fine particles (larger than 1 mm) such as seeds, peels, branches, etc.

Physical-chemical treatment

Throughout the primary treatment, we recommend a DAF (Dissolved Air Flotation) to remove the thinnest solid particles and the floating waste present in the water (oils, greases, etc.)

The dissolved air flotation process will be preceded by a Coagulation-Flocculation treatment known as "flows regulation/contaminating loads equalization tanks" to improve the performance of the separation of the suspended solid.

This physical-chemical treatment helps reducing the flows variations and increases the removal efficiency of suspended solids, oils and greases to more than 95%. This implies also a reduction of BOD5 equal or higher than 50%.

Secondary or biological treatment 

The biological treatment aims to remove the organic matter (BOD5), suspended matter (SM), as well as the oxidation of reduced nitrogen (NTK) to nitrate (NO³) => nitrification phase.

Low load activated sludge treatment

The removal of organic matter and colloidal solids present in wastewater is performed in an aerobic environment through the intervention of microorganisms for degradation.

For a better productivity, an oxygen supply and distribution system is added in the biological reactor through a fine bubble diffusers grid. These diffusers (60 microns) achieve high performances in the oxygen transfer processes thanks to their little diameter and slow rise up to the surface.

Clarification stage

The clarification stage, which is also called "secondary settling " aims to separate by density difference the biological solids from water, thus obtaining sludge in the lower part of the reactor and a clarified water through the outlet of the equipment.

Moving bed Biofilm Reactor process (MBBR)

It reduces the volume of biological reactors. A settling tank shall be installed for the removal of the sludge in the tank.

Membrane bioreactor process (MBR)

The ultrafiltration membranes system substitutes the conventional activated sludge treatment and combines filtration, aeration and clarification in a single operation.

Its compactness and modularity are also remarkable. This system is very compact, and if necessary, it can treat bigger flows, it is enough to increase of number of filter cartridges in a quick and easy way.

MBR treatment advantages:

  • Lower volume in the biological reactor,
  • Lower production of sludge, around 50-60% compared to the low load activated sludge treatment,
  • Better outlet water quality,
  • Possible water reuse,
  • Compliance with the strictest environmental regulations.

Complementary solutions for winery wastewater management.

To avoid the installation of a wastewater treatment plant with higher volume than the appropriate, the following measures shall be implemented:

  • Separate industrial wastewater from the urban wastewater (water issued from sinks) and rainwater for irrigation because they do not have the same contamination values.
  • Perform a prior dry cleaning of the equipment to eliminate the sub-products (solids and wine lees). Use pressurized water afterwards.
  • Raise awareness and train employees regarding water use.




Compact physical-chemical and biological treatments

Bodega Ribera del Duero (Spain)

Filtration and reverse osmosis

Damm brewery (Spain)

Activated-coal filtration y sludge dehydration

Heineken brewery (Spain)

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Wastewater treatment plant engineering – Liquid/solids separation equipment for industrial and municipal process applications – Surface waters – Groundwater – Water reuse – Drinking water – Hydrocarbon and oil water separation.

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