Cambrian Innovation and Rombauer Vineyards Announce Successful Operation through First Crush Season


Winery’s on-site wastewater treatment system performs during demanding harvest

Watertown, MA and St. Helena, CA – January 29, 2019 – Rombauer Vineyards, the Napa Valley-based winery known for celebrating the “Joy of Wine”, and Cambrian Innovation®, a commercial provider of distributed wastewater treatment and resource recovery solutions, today announced that the EcoVolt® solution installed in mid-2018 operated successfully through its first crush season.

Rombauer’s EcoVolt solution, comprised of one EcoVolt Reactor and one EcoVolt MBR, leverages both anaerobic and aerobic treatment processes to efficiently treat the winery’s high-strength wastewater.

The true test of the system’s performance was crush season, the harvesting period when grapes are picked, processed, fermented, pressed, and, finally, sent to the barrel. In North America, a crush season begins in late summer and lasts until the end of fall, and during this time, a winery will operate at peak intensity. During this period the strength of that wastewater—the amount of biological oxygen demand (BOD) present in the effluent—is notably higher than during other times of the year.

Despite the challenging treatment conditions, Cambrian’s anaerobic EcoVolt Reactor averaged a 92% removal efficiency over the course of Rombauer’s crush season, with the EcoVolt MBR polishing the remaining 8% of the BOD in the stream, producing highly-treated effluent for discharge to the local municipality.

“The system exceeded the design specifications and handled all our waste water during our peak period,” said Rombauer’s Director of Viticulture and Winemaking Richie Allen. “For the first time in nine years we did not have to haul wastewater to a treatment facility.”

“It has been an honor to work with the team at Rombauer,” said Matthew Silver, founder and CEO of Cambrian Innovation. “We’re always thrilled to see our system operating successfully under demanding conditions, and we’re proud to help Rombauer continue to drive toward their impressive sustainability goals and make exceptional wine at the same time.”

About Rombauer Vineyards

Founded in 1980 by Koerner and Joan Rombauer, Rombauer Vineyards produces critically acclaimed Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. In 1982, the family built their three-level St. Helena winery into a hillside to take advantage of the natural cooling influences. They added an extensive network of caves in the 1990s. The winery embraces traditional techniques such as barrel fermentation along with state-of-the-art equipment, with three optical sorters, basket presses and peristaltic pumps to ensure purity of fruit and gentle handling of the wine every step of the way. The family owns 350 acres of sustainably farmed vineyards in St. Helena, Carneros, Atlas Peak, Calistoga and the Sierra Foothills. The Rombauer family embraces The Joy of Wine — the philosophy that the pleasure of wine lies in the sharing of it with family and friends. Koerner Rombauer’s great-aunt Irma Rombauer was the author of the landmark cookbook The Joy of Cooking.

About Cambrian Innovation

Cambrian Innovation is a commercial provider of distributed wastewater treatment and resource recovery solutions. Dedicated to solving critical water, wastewater, and energy management challenges for industrial producers, it is the standard for some of the top names in food and beverage processing including: Domaine Chandon, Tree House Brewing Company, and Ab InBev. Cambrian’s award-winning EcoVolt® product suite offers cost-effective and sustainable options for onsite wastewater treatment, water reuse, and clean energy generation. Through its novel water-energy purchase agreement (WEPA®), a financing platform for distributed EcoVolt solutions, Cambrian offers wastewater treatment and resource recovery as a service with no upfront costs.

Cambrian Innovation’s robust research and development group is also commercializing a broader portfolio of environmental productions to help industrial clients efficiently manage their resources. To learn more, visit cambrianinnovation.com.

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