Calif. winery, Ecovation unveil new wastewater project

Simi, a 130-year-old award-winning Sonoma County winery, and Ecovation, a developer of wastewater treatment and renewable energy solutions, have unveiled a new wastewater treatment facility as an ecologically sound method for pretreatment of seasonal wastewater loads from the winery. The new facility will lighten the burden on the publicly-owned city of Healdsburg and Sonoma County treatment facilities by providing flexibility to handle the impact of the winery's "crush" season...

Jun 27th, 2008

• Compact new facility provides innovative, sustainable solution

HEALDSBURG, CA, June 24, 2008 -- Simi, a 130-year-old award-winning Sonoma County winery, and Ecovation, a developer of value-driven wastewater treatment and renewable energy solutions, have unveiled a new wastewater treatment facility as an ecologically sound method for pretreatment of seasonal wastewater loads from the winery. The new facility is an innovative, sustainable solution that will lighten the burden on the publicly-owned city of Healdsburg and Sonoma County treatment facilities by providing flexibility to handle the impact of the winery's "crush" season.

"Ecovation was able to provide us with the specially tailored solution we need," said John Pritchard, Director of Operations at Simi. "Space is a premium at our winery, and this facility meets all our space constraints while providing an easy-to-manage compact solution that provides long-term sustainability for the facility."

Housed in a compact facility occupying a footprint of less than 40 feet x 40 feet, the system is specially tailored to the winery's seasonal needs. The skid-mounted system provides operational flexibility during the "crush" season. Designed to accommodate seasonal flow and load fluctuations, the facility can manage daily flows of up to 43,500 gallons and an organic loading of 1,500 to 2,000 lbs/day. The small footprint of the facility allows Simi to explore future increases in production while guaranteeing reduced wastewater discharge surcharges.

The facility utilizes Ecovation's Biotim® Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) technology. The UASB reactor digests the organic compounds in wastewater using a floating blanket of bacteria, or "sludge granules," producing a mix of carbon dioxide and methane, or biogas. The treated water, biogas and sludge mixture will subsequently travel through a proprietary solid, liquid and gas separation process. The biogas is a renewable fuel source and could potentially be used in the winery's processing facility, while treated water will be discharged and the remaining sludge granules recycled for use in the anaerobic reactor.

"We worked closely with Simi to design a system that truly catered to the winery's particular needs," said Diane C. Creel, President and CEO of Ecovation. "This facility will boost Simi's environmental sustainability, while significantly reducing wastewater surcharge costs."

Simi has a demonstrated commitment to exploring and implementing ecologically sound farming and winery practices. The winery received a Fish Friendly Farming certification in 1997, being recertified in 2007, for its work in riparian habitat restoration on tributaries to the Russian River in Alexander Valley.

Simi Winery is one of Sonoma's most historic wineries; the stone cellars at the winery on Healdsburg Avenue were built in 1876. Isabelle Simi, daughter of Giuseppe, ran the winery after her father's death in 1904 and opened the first tasting room in a 25,000-gallon cask in 1934. Today, Simi is a modern winemaking facility where cutting-edge winemaking merges with the history and tradition of more than 100 years in Sonoma County.

Ecovation provides value-driven, sustainable solutions to meet the wastewater management and renewable energy needs of industrial clients.

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