The aim of this study was to demonstrate a depollution process for the treatment of the effluents of small wineries, producing less than 15,000 hl of wine per year. Given the particular characteristics of wine effluents and, in particular, the seasonal nature of the discharges, the best solution was found to be a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) fed once a day, and equipped with upstream temporary storage facilities acting as a buffer.

The performance of this process for the depollution of winery wastewater were studied during the 1994 grape harvest in a winery producing 7,300 hectolitres annually. The results obtained (93% of elimination for total COD; 95% for soluble COD; 97.5% for BOD5), as well as the simplified automation, the low capital cost and the moderate operating costs, show that the process is well suited to depolluting wastewater from small wineries.

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