Dec 11, 2019

Castello di Amorosa Winery

This article originally appeared in the Industrial Water & Wastes Digest December 2019 issue as "Castello di Amorosa Winery"

castello di amorosa


Calistoga, Calif.

Project Size

9,000 gpd


$182,000 for bioreactors and aeration equipment

Facility Owner 

Castello di Amorosa

Project Owner



BioMicrobics Inc. 





BioMicrobics Inc.


High strength membrane bioreaactor flat sheet membrane units, filtrate pumps with effluent line and effluent disconnect, lifting cables, vacuum gauges, blowers, and control panels

The Castello di Amorosa Winery in Calistoga, Calif., is a 107 room castle that sits against Napa County’s Mayacamas Mountains and overlooks all of Wine Country. Introduced to the Northern California wine region of Napa and Sonoma County in 2013, the BioBarrier high-strength membrane bioreactor (HSMBR) winery wastewater treatment system’s recent installation has generated interest due to its treatment capabilities, ease of installation and low-operating costs. 

In the spring of 2017, BioMicrobics paired its HSMBR treatment system with ZCL | Xerxes 22,000 gal underground fiberglass tanks at Castello di Amorosa winery. The Castello di Amorosa system is comprised of a three train tank configuration. Three BioBarrier HSMBR 3.0 in each tank can treat up to 9,000 gal per day (gpd) of high-strength winery wastewater, and the ultrafiltration BioBarrier HSMBR system in each ZCL | Xerxes tank can treat up to 6 gal of water per minute. The BioRobic BioAeration grid packages consist of 35 air grids per train. 

The new system replaced concrete tanks and a leach field, which had failed. Since the start-up of Napa Green Certified Winery’s new wastewater system, the Castello di Amorosa has treated and reused 3.2 million gal of water to date. 

Whether the treated water will be reused or if it is for direct discharge, the BioMicrobics Wastewater treatment systems help to conserve natural resources, protect ground/surface water and overcome land constraints. 

The system allows for permeate flow and delivers sewage quality in a cost effective and easy to operate system. The company’s goal is to remove harmful pathogens from wastewater and reduce other harmful bacteria.

As the Napa Valley Wine Region continues to address winery wastewater concerns, the BioBarrier HSMBR system produces wastewater suitable for irrigation, treating it more as a resource rather than a waste product. With broad opportunities to achieve a largely sustainable operation at wineries, the MBR and HSMBR winery wastewater treatment systems can process all the water sources in one single treatment system with wastewater exceeding typical local regulatory requirements.

Unlike residential wastewater, winery process wastewater usually does not contain pathogenic bacteria in the waste stream; however, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS) are found in significantly higher concentrations. BOD and TSS concentrations can be 40 times as high as household wastewater with 12,000 mg/L BOD and 6,000 mg/L TSS typical during harvest activities. At other times of the year, the various winemaking activities create fluctuating flows, which create system over-capacity concerns. The need for versatility in design and operation is key in selecting a winery wastewater treatment system.

As the Pacific Northwest Wine Region continues to address winery wastewater concerns, the HSMBR system provides water reuse opportunities such as quality irrigation water for vineyards, recycled water for dust control, processing area wash-down water, or highly treated wastewater for disposal where untreated or poorly treated winery wastewater threatens vital habitats or groundwater resources. 

catello di amorosa


About the author

Cristina Tuser is associate editor for iWWD. Tuser can be reached at or 847. 391.1007.