Waste Water Treatment

Tulbagh Winery, Porterville, South Africa September 2015 - January 2015


Wastewater management is inextricably linked to efficient winery operations and sustainable profit. It is as much a business issue as an environmental or technical matter. Winery wastewater is a valuable resource – and not a waste at all. Reclaiming wastes for reuse or sale can lower treatment costs, lower input costs, reduce environmental risks and, in some cases, generate income to offset treatment costs.

The Problem

Tulbagh Winery’s 3000m3 waste water treatment pond causing significant community impact:

  • Strong unbearable odors permeate community around the site due to years of dumping post production, untreated solids and liquids into pond.

The municipality ordered remediation of the problem within 12 months. In absence of the remediation the owner is risking a shut down of the production facility. All available solutions on the market have been tried for more than 10 years to remedy the problem – without success.

Recommended Solution

High dissolved oxygen presence in the water is the key for aerobic digestion process and for reduction of COD/BOD in aeration lagoons of the secondary water treatment. The smaller the pond, the easier it is to become anaerobic. Small ponds have an even greater need for aeration.

Most of common aerators on the market are inefficient and expensive and cannot distribute dissolve oxygen quickly and evenly throughout the entire pond.

Based in the assessment of the site and water analysis data, our team of experts recommended 120 days treatment of the pond with MK1 Ultra Fine Bubble Generator to the Winery management.

  • The objective of the treatment was to:
  • Remove the unpleasant odour asap
  • Increase the pH level to 7 - 7.5
  • Reduce sludge layer at the bottom
  • Restore the natural balance of the pond


The MK1 Ultra Fine Bubble Generator was installed in the pond in September 2015. Implementation time was less than half a day including the the power supply. Water analysis revealed following starting water quality level:

COD: 3.180 mg/L
pH: 4

Results - Irrigation Pond

Tulbagh waste water pond
  • Strong unpleasant acidic odor
  • High Total Suspended Solids & Turbidity
  • High level of sediments at the bottom
  • No aquatic life or animals
Tulbagh waste water pond after
  • COD: 322 mg/L
  • pH: 7.4
  • Odor disappeared after 5 days
  • Sediment layer removed
  • Return of bird life


  • Business saved (municipalities conditions met: odor removed, water quality within legal standards)
  • Low cost solution: 90% reduction of operational and maintenance costs (no chemicals or biological agents needed)
  • Fast: < 4 months instead of 8 with common aeration techniques
  • On-site treatment: without the need of transporting water to treatment plants avoiding infrastructure construction.
  • Fast & simple implementation and treatment (“plug&play” system)
  • Safe to operate: can be maintained onsite for extended periods to deal with continuous waste water generation.


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