Water is used in industrial and manufacturing processes as a raw material, for conveyance, heating, cooling, cleaning, sanitizing, and landscaping.
California’s wine industry alone uses 4.4 billion gallons of water per year to process grapes into wine.
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE VS. SUSTAINABILITY
Today’s investments in water conservation, improvements in efficiency, and reuse technologies will provide a competitive advantage in the future. This will ensure that agriculture and related processing activities continue to play an important role in wine and other industrial communities while protecting our ecosystems for current and future generations.
The struggle between true sustainability--in simplest terms, the ability of an ecosystem to renew itself--and the economics of business is a challenge for most industries. Those that embrace the former and integrate sustainable practices into their businesses will be standing strong as regulations and natural resources continue to impact business activities.
Heritage Systems has developed products and services founded on verifiable technical principals and best environmental practices. Our process water products and services reduce the carbon footprint, minimize impacts on our water resources, save energy and reduce waste.
To us, sustainability is not a trend. It’s a culture that we embrace. Join us.
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Predominate wastewater treatment methods used by the wine, food processing and industrial communities employ biological processes, which require an energy source, a source of carbon, nutrients, and a permissive range of physical conditions, such as proper oxygen, temperature, and pH levels.
BACTERIA AND BOD
Within any biological wastewater treatment system, heterotrophic bacteria (bacteria that utilize and degrade carbon molecules as a food substrate, measured by biochemical oxygen demand, or BOD ) require a number of nutrients in their diet to maintain growth and reproduction. In addition to carbon and water, the requisite nutrients are nitrogen and phosphorus. Other micronutrients are ordinarily not a limiting factor since they are usually available in the trace amounts needed.
NUTRIENT CHALLENGES IN WASTEWATER
For example, the nature of the fermentation processes that occur in the winery, wastewater sources lack nitrogen at sufficient levels to promote active bacterial growth and reproduction. Phosphorus is generally present in sufficient quantities, and augmentation is rarely necessary. Without supplemental nitrogen, however, bacterial populations will not be strong enough to handle the variable conditions of BOD and flow. This will lead to incomplete BOD removal and a wastewater that is unsuitable for land applications.
The nutrient chemistries Heritage Systems administers are custom applications, specific to both your treatment process and the deficiency that requires remedy. Along with this, we supply you with engineered solutions for tanks, containment, pumps, piping, controllers and sensors. This equipment is owned and operated by us so there is no capital expenditure to impact your budget!
Members of the wine, food processing and industrial communities are to be commended in their efforts to reduce their environmental footprint. They seek strategies to become greener in the use of raw materials, like water and energy, and in the discharge of by-products--such as carbon, heat, odor, salinity, dissolved solids and organics--which in the past were considered benign. As water becomes a scarcer resource, stakeholders are responding by developing sustainable policies based on effective water and wastewater usage strategies.
EMERGING WASTEWATER TREATMENT PROCESSES
Many small-footprint, highly efficient forms of biological treatment processes are being implemented as the primary methods of wastewater treatment. These include bioreactors, clarification, sequencing batch reactors, membrane bioreactors, anaerobic treatment processes and fixed film bioreactors.
Operation and maintenance of these systems are much more involved when compared to traditional facultative wastewater treatment ponds.
OPERATIONS EXPERTISE AND SUPPORT
Heritage Systems has the technical and hands-on expertise to provide full operations and maintenance services, from the start-up to ongoing operations, of these emerging wastewater treatment processes. We are also experienced in interacting with regulatory agencies and in providing testing, sampling and reporting services.
Biologic wastewater treatment methods utilize heterotrophic bacteria to consume wastewater organics generated in industrial processes. Optimally, a final effluent water is produced that is low in organics and solids and that is suitable for land applications and municipal discharge.
THE ROLE OF PH
Bacteria employed in biological wastewater treatment processes cannot tolerate pH extremes, performing best in the 6.0 to 8.0 range. Maintaining the proper pH is a concern for operators since wastewater pH values typically fluctuate throughout the year. In fact, profiles of wastewater show that variations in the pH scale from 3.5 to 10.0 are common, unacceptable parameters for supporting bacterial growth.
Heritage Systems has developed pH adjustment strategies effective in conditioning wastewater and in improving the performance of treatment systems while minimizing the impact on the environment.
Our choice of chemistries to be applied will depend on the specific treatment process to be targeted. Available pH adjustment chemistries include potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, aqueous ammonia, sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid.
In addition, we provide simple solutions for those processors that must adjust the pH of their wastewater before releasing it into municipal treatment systems.
Until recently, facultative treatment ponds have been the norm for winery, food processing, and industrial wastewater treatment. With recent advances in water reuse technologies, along with the development of biological and membrane treatment processes, industry is gradually shifting to these new methodologies. Nevertheless, facultative treatment ponds will continue to prevail for some time.
BIOLOGY AT WORK IN FACULTATIVE TREATMENT PONDS
Facultative treatment ponds are designed to hold wastewater in contact with bacteria and oxygen long enough for the organic material to be reduced in strength. This process seems straightforward, but there are some challenges to operating a pond. A living biological process is involved, and it is critical that the pH, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, detention time and biology are all in balance. And since these ponds are regulated by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, as well as governing agencies in other states, land application of the treated wastewater must be documented and meet standards established by these agencies.
THE PONDSENTRY® SOLUTION
Making a difference in the operation of such ponds is Heritage Systems' PondSentry Aeration and Compliance Management program. At the heart of the system is a PLC-based control, which responds to real-time feedback from a sensor located in the pond, to regulate the dissolved oxygen levels in the pond by turning on aerators.
Since its introduction into the wine community, our PondSentry control has saved, on average, 50% to 60% of the electrical usage and associated electrical costs in pond operation. That’s sustainability!
A SOLUTION WITH NO CAPITAL COSTS TO YOU
Best of all there are no capital costs associated with our service. Heritage Systems installs and maintains PondSentry equipment free of charge. You pay a flat monthly fee for our PondSentry Aeration and Compliance Management service. And in most cases, the fee for this service is less than the electrical cost savings achieved with PondSentry.
The operations of most wastewater treatment processes come under state and local governance oversight.
Heritage Systems is well qualified to interact with the various supervising agencies. Since we operate, maintain and sample these systems, we are ideally suited to report on their performance to regulators, including the California Regional Water Quality Control Boards, the California Department of Public Health and local municipalities.