Evaluation of constructed wetland treatment performance for winery wastewater

Water Environ Res. Sep-Oct 2003;75(5):412-21. doi: 10.2175/106143003x141213.


Rapid expansion of wineries in rural California during the past three decades has created contamination problems related to winery wastewater treatment and disposal; however, little information is available about performance of on-site treatment systems. Here, the project objective was to determine full-scale, subsurface-flow constructed wetland retention times and treatment performance through assessment of water quality by daily sampling of total dissolved solids, pH, total suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand (COD), tannins, nitrate, ammonium, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, phosphate, sulfate, and sulfide across operating systems for winery wastewater treatment. Measurements were conducted during both the fall crush season of heavy loading and the spring following bottling and racking operations at the winery. Simple decay model coefficients for these constituents as well as COD and tannin removal efficiencies from winery wastewater in bench-scale reactors are also determined. The bench-scale study used upward-flow, inoculated attached-growth (pea-gravel substrate) reactors fed synthetic winery wastewater. Inlet and outlet tracer studies for determination of actual retention times were essential to analyses of treatment performance from an operational subsurface-flow constructed wetland that had been overloaded due to failure to install a pretreatment system for suspended solids removal. Less intensive sampling conducted at a smaller operational winery wastewater constructed wetland that had used pretreatment suspended solids removal and aeration indicated that the constructed wetlands were capable of complete organic load removal from the winery wastewater.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Ecosystem*
  • Industrial Waste
  • Organic Chemicals / isolation & purification
  • Oxygen / chemistry
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid*
  • Water Movements
  • Water Pollutants / isolation & purification*
  • Water Purification / methods*
  • Wine


  • Industrial Waste
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Water Pollutants
  • Oxygen