At the end of January, we finally completed our new wetlands project. The project, in response to a new California law requiring wineries to treat their waste water before releasing it into the environment, consistes of a series of ponds designed to filter runoff water from the winery while breaking down any impurities the water may contain.
Runoff water (for example, water we use to clean barrels and other equipment during harvest) is channeled down to the upper pond. There it is naturally cleaned by plants such as cattails and reeds. The cleaned water is then channeled to the lower pond, where it returns to the atmosphere through evaporation. Because wineries use so much water in the course of their business, it is only logical that we should have to ensure that this water becomes a healthy part of the environment it reenters. The wetlands project at Tablas Creek is the most natural and organic way of doing so that we could find.