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A pilot project to capture rainwater for wine production

By Mary Page Bailey |

A pilot project set up by the University of California Davis (UC Davis; Davis, Calif.; www.ucdavis.edu), GE Water & Process Technologies (Trevose, Pa.; www.gewater.com) and wine-industry service provider Winesecrets LLC (www.winesecrets.com) seeks to capture rainwater for use in wine production, specifically for cleaning the winemaking equipment. Collected rainwater represents an attractive source for water, especially in areas that swing from extreme rainfall to drought, explains GE’s sales manager Ryan Hertel. Since rainwater naturally has little alkalinity or mineral content, the water-treatment requirements to achieve comparable purity are much less complex and costly than drawing water from traditional sources, such as wells, aquifers or rivers. GE provided a reverse-osmosis membrane system and equipment for total-oxygen-content (TOC) analysis to the pilot system, which captures and transports rainwater from the roofs of several UC Davis campus buildings to a holding tank. After subsequent filtration, the water is pumped into 45,000-gal feed tanks for the water-treatment process. “Most of what the membrane technology separates from the rainwater are the dust and particulate matter that settles on the roofs and in the…
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