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1949 5th Street, Suite 101
CA, 95616
United States
(530) 564-4260
Mai Ann Healy

Regenerative Agriculture, Meet Regenerative Production

BioFiltro's worm powered wastewater system removes up to 99% of contaminants within a four hour process. The system not only produces water apt for drip line irrigation, but also worm castings, a nutritious natural fertilizer.


Put Some Wiggle Into Your Wastewater

Are you a boutique winery that produces less than 15,000 cases on the lookout for wastewater treatment?Check out our Wiggle Room, a 20' shipping container which provides a complete onsite solution for pH adjustment, solids separation, BOD and Total Nitrogen reduction!


Are you bigger than 15,000 cases? We can always deploy more than one Wiggle Room or offer you a custom built system. We have systems operating in boutique wineries to industrial scale wineries and everything in between!



Peltier Winery X BioFiltro
Peltier Winery X BioFiltro
Peltier Winery and Vineyards is an innovative, cutting edge winery and custom crush facility. Their mission is to produce and create outstanding wines from their sustainably farmed, certified green, estate grown vineyards.
BioFiltro Experiences: Aonair Wine
BioFiltro Experiences: Aonair Wine
Grant Long Jr., owner & winemake of Aonair Wine, shares his story and how BioFiltro\'s BIDA System helps him with his wine making dream.
BioFiltro Winery Promo
BioFiltro Winery Promo
BioFiltro provides a patented technology that harnesses the power of WORMS and BACTERIA to treat winery process water in 4 hours.
BioFiltro Sustainable Wastewater Treatment Technol
BioFiltro Sustainable Wastewater Treatment Technol
Wastewater Treatment
On The Road to Carbon Neutral
On The Road to Carbon Neutral
Royal Dairy in Washington is taking the equivalent of 6,500 cars off the road each year with their worm-powered wastewater filtration system. This could earn them up to $180,000 annually in carbon credits.

News Archive

What Do Worms Have to Do with Wastewater?!
30 June, 2020

Digestive Capability

Worms can eat 2x their weight each day and they break down contaminants and reduce pathogens

Excellent Employment Retention

The average lifespan is 6-8 years and each worm produce 400 – 600 offspring a year.

Waste Not Want Not

Worm poop is a microbial rich material that is highly sought after as a beneficial soil amendment as it regenerates soil health and boosts crop yield and carbon sequestration

Wiggle with Us at Unified - Booth 2210
02 February, 2020

We are excited to kick off Unified this week at Cal Expo.


Join us in the Pavilion at Booth #2210 to learn about our worm powered approach to wastewater and how we make winemaking a regenerative initiative.


Forgot to buy a ticket to Unified? Contact us at for a free pass!


Booth #2210, See You There!


Need Some Wiggle Room?
BioFiltro is proud to offer containerized worm powered waste solutions for your growing demands. Our 20' shipping container units provide full wastewater solution for craft and boutique processors, emergency/temporary relief, or, for our larger processors, a little extra wiggle room in their wastewater treatment capacity.


Units can be purchased, leased, or deployed as a pilot.
Contact to learn more.

Happy Holidays from the Worm Guys!
19 December, 2019

As we enter 2020, we are excited to see what the new year brings to our customers and our company. In 2019, BioFiltro launched our containerized products, broke ground on what will become one of our largest systems on earth and welcomed billions of new wiggly recruits to the team. And, after years of being referred to as "the worm guys," we are, officially and literally, embracing the worm in our new brand and logo.From all of us here, we wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday season and a wiggly new year.


Testimony from Sierra Foothill Winery
Ernie Bayless, COO of Wise Villa Winery, talks about what it is like to be a worm farmer/user of BioFiltro's new containerized system.


First Washington State Winery

Northstar Winery, of the Ste Michelle Wine Estates, welcomed two Wiggle Rooms into Walla Walla this year. The system was installed just before harvest and its effluent shall be used for irrigation.


Northstar Winery Is First in Washington State to Employ Biofiltro BIDA® Wastewater Recycling System
05 November, 2019

System harnesses the power of billions of worms and microbes to remove 95-99% of contaminants from wastewater

WALLA WALLA, Wash. (November 5, 2019)—Northstar Winery, the leading producer of premium Merlot in the Walla Walla Valley, is pleased to announce that it is the first winery in Washington state to employ the Biofiltro BIDA® system to recycle its wastewater. The system became operational on October 16 and uses 95% less energy than traditional wastewater treatment systems, recycling 100% of winery wastewater in eight hours.

“We were looking to update our wastewater processing system and Biofiltro offered an innovative and sustainable solution,” says David Merfeld, winemaker at Northstar. “We’re excited to be able to reuse 100% of our filtered wastewater.”

The installation was led by Walla Walla-based Organix, Inc, Biofiltro’s distribution partner in the Northwest. Catalyzing the digestive power of billions of worms and microbes, the patented BIDA System quickly filters out wastewater contaminants. Water is applied intermittently to the biofilter via a surface irrigation system and then percolates down through various medias where contaminants are trapped and digested by a biofilm; the result of the symbiotic relationship forged between the worms and microbes in the system. Burrowing in search of solids, the worms create air channels and castings which nourish films of microbe colonies consuming dissolved and soluble contaminants. Water ultimately drains out of the system via exit pipes where it can be reutilized.

It is estimated that the filtration system at Northstar will recycle approximately 283,200 gallons of wastewater each year.

About Northstar Winery:

Since its inaugural 1994 vintage, Walla Walla’s Northstar Winery has produced exceptional, critically-acclaimed Merlots from the very best grapes grown in the Walla Walla and Columbia Valleys. Heralded as one of Washington state's leaders in producing high-quality Merlot, Northstar has led the renaissance of the varietal, acclaimed as the “number one source for good American Merlot” by The New York Times. For more information on Northstar, visit

About BioFiltro:

BioFiltro is a global company that provides patented worm powered wastewater solutions across four continents and six industries. Its systems are currently operating in over 160 plants and have collectively filtered more than 36 billion gallons of sanitary and industrial liquid waste in areas even as remote as Antarctica and the Atacama Desert.

Thousands of Worms Wiggle into Wise Villa Winery
18 September, 2019

Wise Villa Winery, voted the Golden State Winery of the Year during the 2015 California State Fair, has welcomed thousands of California wiggly employees this harvest. The Lincoln, CA establishment is the first winery in the Sacramento area to install BioFiltro’s containerized Wiggle Room. The system enables Wise Villa to treat and recycle process water for agricultural reuse while simultaneously generating worm castings, a nutritious soil amendment, which can be harvested from the system and applied back in the vineyard to improve soil health and water retention.

“Wise Villa Winery’s unwavering commitment to sustainable and organic farming practices was a major factor for choosing BioFiltro over contending technologies,” said Ernie Bayless, COO of Wise Villa Winery. “BioFiltro foregoes typical chemical and/or energy intensive methods and instead utilizes earthworms, microbes, and organic material to efficiently treat water. BioFiltro, like Wise Villa’s winemaking practices, embodies a harmonious blend of mother nature and technology to deliver outstanding results. Furthermore, as a small winery that is looking to expand over the coming years, BioFiltro’s scalable and cost-effective systems made it a no brainer decision.”

Read more about our solution for Wise Villa here and find the press release here.

Need Some Wiggle Room?
BioFiltro is proud to offer containerized worm powered waste solutions for your growing demands. These 20' shipping container units provide full wastewater solution for craft and boutique processors, emergency/temporary relief, or, for our larger processors, a little extra wiggle room in their wastewater treatment capacity.
Units are available for purchase or lease, contact to learn more.

BioFiltro Experiences: Peltier Winery and Vineyards
18 July, 2019

For the past few years, our worms have been wiggling away at Peltier Winery and Vineyards in the Lodi wine region of California. Today, we are proud to spotlight the Schatz family's history of employing innovative economical and sustainable practices as well as the impact that our worms have made at their facility.

Learn more about our installation here or more about Peltier at their website here.

Earth Day in a Big Way: Wastewater Worms, 21 Million Trees and Cabernet All Day
09 May, 2019

Cakebread Cellars was featured in a Wine Spectator's Earth Day article where they talk about testing our worm-powered wastewater treatment system called BioFiltro BIDA.

Photo by: Courtesy of Cakebread Cellars

Wine country has a knack for turning every occasion into a party, but with the world of wine going all-in on green practices, Earth Day is shaping up to be especially epic. The annual celebration of the environment falls on a Monday this year—April 22—but wineries in California are making a weekend of it, if not a week, month, or just an everyday jam going forward in recognition that this whole environment thing is pretty worth taking good care of, if you're a grapegrower/human!

"We don’t just think about the health of the vine for the next few vintages," Cakebread Cellars owner Bruce Cakebread told Unfiltered via email. "We think in terms of future family generations to come. Earth Day inspires us to work harder in our efforts to protect our precious resources and to preserve the land."

Cakebread is certified Napa Green for both winery and vineyards, and Bruce Cakebread told Unfiltered about their latest cutting-edge green-tech innovation: worms. The winery is testing out a worm-powered wastewater treatment system called BioFiltro BIDA, in which microorganisms "remove" (eat) the bad stuff in the water, and release "castings" (worm manure) that can then also be used as fertilizer for the winery's gardens; even water from the parking lot is collected and filtered.

©Wine Spectator

Read full article:

BioFiltro Experiences: Aonair Wine
26 February, 2019

Grant Long Jr., owner & winemaker of Aonair Wine, shares his story and how BioFiltro's BIDA System helps him with his winemaking dream.

BioFiltro provides a patented technology that harnesses the power of WORMS and BACTERIA to treat winery process water in 4 hours. 

For more information about Aonair Wine, visit 

For more information about BioFiltro, visit us at or follow us on social media:

Instagram: biofiltro 

Facebook: BIOFILTR0 

Twitter: BioFiltro  

BioFiltro Is Showcasing Our New Two-Tiered Worm System at Cakebread Cellars in Napa!
07 September, 2018

This new product offering enables us to cater to the full wastewater needs of boutique wineries, breweries, and small processing facilities. Additionally, it enables us to complement an existing aeration system should a winery need extra capacity on demand. 

To learn more about this new amazing product go to or email

A Return to the Roots
26 June, 2018

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, once stated that sometimes to make progress, “the solution is to turn around and take a step forward.” As BioFiltro nears its sixth year operating here in the United States, we can confirm that all too often we hear that our solution to wastewater treatment “can’t be that simple.” The notion that worms and microbes can not only treat water efficiently, but also do it faster and cheaper than most technologies out there seems to insult the industrial revolution.

While most of our employees are single cell organisms, they are anything but basic. Rather, our worms, microbes, and bacteria are the product of billions of years and research and development. The dynamic interrelationship between them –what our BIDA® System relies on – has been refined not in controlled lab tests, but rather by the elements. Our simplicity is the refined result of diligent evolution.

When Frey Vineyards of Redwood Valley, CA first approached us, their first comment was that the BIDA® System, and our worms, was the obvious solution. Founded in 1980, Frey Vineyards is the oldest organic and Biodynamic® vineyard and winery in the United States. Biodynamic agriculture treats the farm like a living organism that is self-contained and self-sustainable. It encourages people to nourish interdependent relationships between plants, animals, and soil to obtain rich biodiversity. The practice also promotes that waste of one part of the farm becomes the energy for another, so as to increase the farm’s capacity for self-renewal and regeneration.

Likewise, our system survives because of the symbiosis between waste and energy. Waste feeds our worms and microbes who, motivated by hunger and powered by contaminants, convert process water into a reusable asset and contaminants into nutritious worm castings. 

The BIDA® System isn't simple, it's revolutionary by nature. 


We were impressed with the simplicity and energy efficiency of BioFiltro's system and are happy to have the compost enhancing worm castings as a byproduct to return nutrients to the soil. 

Johnny Frey
Assistant Winemaker


The BIDA® System is currently being installed at Frey Vineyards' new winery on West Road in Redwood Valley and shall provide the winery with a closed loop system. All of us here at BioFiltro, single cell and beyond, are so excited!

BioFiltro victorious at food and agriculture pitch competition
10 April, 2018

Rabobank Announces FoodBytes! San Francisco Winners

from the FoodBytes! by Rabobank stage, courageous entrepreneurs delivered a glimpse into the future of food and farming. Each startup faced a packed house and pitched their bold idea for improving social impact and sustainability. Rabobank announced the FoodBytes! San Francisco 2018 winners, selected from 20 pitch companies from the U.K., CanadaSwedenUkraineFrance and the United States. I Heart Foods earned the Judges' Choice Award for its Bolivian-heirloom quinoa healthy snacks, Farmer's Fridge won the People's Choice Award for its revolutionary automated fresh food fridges, and BioFiltro earned the Highly Commended Award for its patented water filtration system.


Judges' Choice Award: I Heart Foods of Chicago
The judges selected the pitch company that best demonstrated scalability, innovation, traction and social impact. Under its I Heart Keenwah brand, the company produces a number of quinoa products, from snacks to hot cereal. The judges were impressed with the young company's sourcing commitment to Bolivian heirloom quinoa, considered the most sustainably farmed quinoa in the world.

"This win validates our business model and gives us more confidence in what we're trying to achieve," said Sarah Chalos, co-founder of President of I Heart Foods. "Feels great. It's invigorating."

FoodBytes! People's Choice Award: Farmer's Fridge of Chicago
Farmer's Fridge won the People's Choice Award, voted by the audience members and live stream viewers. Disruptive to fast food restaurants in a revolutionary way, Farmer's Fridge makes "micro-restaurants" in 12-sq.- ft. automated fridges stocked with sustainably sourced and made from scratch nutritious meals and snacks. The fridges leverage proprietary IoT technology to communicate with customers, and to provide real-time demand visibility based on data collected daily. Farmer's Fridge brings good food to places consumers might not expect to find it.

"This will help us grow even faster and bring fresh, healthy food to more people, more swiftly. We're honored to win this award voted on by the people of FoodBytes!" said Luke Saunders, founder and CEO.

FoodBytes! Highly Commended Award: BioFiltro, of Davis, Calif
Judges selected the Highly Commended Award winner, Biofiltro, from the ten 1.5-minute pitch companies. BioFiltro is an international wastewater treatment company with a patented filtration system that harnesses the digestive power of worms and microbes to remove up to 99 percent of contaminants in a chemical-free 4-hour process. Its mission is to provide wastewater solutions that repurpose waste streams into valuable revenue streams, recover natural resources and revitalize the environment.

"In terms of pitch competitions, FoodBytes! brings real value," said Matt Tolbirt, CEO for BioFiltro. "Winning this award is validation that sustainable waste water treatment is an issue relevant to many of the largest food companies. And, it was good for business. We landed four new international food companies with hundreds of plants across North America."

The winners are awarded prizes to support their business growth, including innovation experiences and expert counsel from the FoodBytes! family of sponsors, as well as the opportunity to pitch leading food and agriculture C-suite executives at Rabobank's Annual Food & Agriculture Summit in New York City.

The FoodBytes! SF pitch companies included: 
3.5-minute pitch companies: Boost BiomesBiome MakersRemedy OrganicsAugean RoboticsEIO DiagnosticsFarmer's FridgeLecker LabsI Heart FoodsMiraculex and Chef Koochooloo
1.5-minute pitch companies: Yumami Food CompanyNewLavieHip Chick FarmsNovolyzeKray TechnologiesBioFiltroSmallholdBinkabiSimris Alg and Nell Natural Elements.

FoodBytes! by Rabobank is supported by Presenting Sponsor ADM, a specialty ingredients provider to food and beverage companies looking to get to market quickly with products consumers love. Official sponsors, Polsinelli, an AM Law 100 firm focusing on food and beverage, food- and ag-tech, and health care, The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. and its Cultivate Ventures platform, which focuses on investing in and refreshing healthy lifestyle brands and AgropurCanada'sleading dairy cooperative with its open innovation platform, Inno Challenge.

Pitch applications are open for FoodBytes! Montreal (closing March 11) and FoodBytes! New York. For more information visit the website and follow FoodBytes! on TwitterFacebook and Instagram or view curated content via the hashtag #FoodBytes.

Can Fetzer’s Worms Save Water? Yes!
26 April, 2017


This Earth Day, sustainability pioneer Fetzer Vineyards announces completion of its revolutionary BIDA® wastewater treatment system, which relies on billions of worms to clean up the winery’s process water. The California vintner’s worms — which work in tandem with microbes to digest contaminants in greywater — are at the heart of a natural system from BioFiltro that uses 85% less energy to clean winery water, regenerating up to 17 million gallons annually for re-use in vineyards and landscaping. The new system is one of a number of Earth-friendly innovations Fetzer Vineyards has recently introduced in an effort to preserve vital resources and find ever-more-efficient ways to put planet conservation on an even playing field with premium winemaking.

To celebrate the BIDA® system’s completion, Fetzer Vineyards created a video that showcases how the worm system works. The vintner also celebrated the system’s completion at an annual employee Earth Day celebration April 20th at its certified ZeroWaste, CarbonNeutral® winery in Hopland, California. In addition to feting the launch of the worm-powered system, Fetzer Vineyards employees enjoyed a pie baking contest and planted an employee garden, organic produce from which will nourish many of their families throughout the year. “From our worms to our winemakers, we have an incredible team that comes together to create innovative ways to make great wine while giving back to the Earth,” said Josh Prigge, Fetzer Vineyards’ Director of Regenerative Development. “Earth Day is a chance for us to celebrate and remember what’s most important – a healthy environment and healthy communities.”

California winery hires earthworms to clean up its wastewater
09 August, 2016

Next time you open a bottle of merlot or chardonnay, be sure to thank the vintner. And you might want to toast the worms, as well.

Everyday earthworms are the latest solution to a thorny problem that most wine drinkers never consider: wastewater disposal.

Producing a single glass of California wine may require as much as...  READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Fetzer Vineyards Announces Installation of Regenerative BioFiltro BIDA® Water Filtration System
06 April, 2016

Leading Regenerative Business Is First American Winery to Use Innovative Water System at Scale

Fetzer Vineyards 1968Fetzer Vineyards, a leader in regenerative winegrowing, is revolutionizing the way U.S. wineries conserve water, announcing today that it will install the BioFiltro BIDA® System at its Mendocino winery. In doing so, Fetzer Vineyards will become the first American winery to use the innovative, closed-loop biological wastewater treatment system to process 100% of its winery wastewater. Powered by billions of earthworms working rapidly in concert with beneficial microbes, the BIDA® System will begin processing Fetzer Vineyards’ wastewater during the 2016 harvest season, accruing energy savings up to 85% over current wastewater treatment technologies and optimizing water conservation measures in support of the fight against climate change.

“It’s essential that we constantly ask ourselves if there is a better, more efficient and more regenerative way to approach our business, including the way we work with water,” saidGiancarlo BianchettiCEO of Fetzer Vineyards. “BioFiltro offers a compelling process that aligns with our business goals as well as our overarching objective to leave the world a better place than we found it.”

Fetzer Biofiltro short

See full infographic

Implementing the BioFiltro BIDA® System

BioFiltro’s patented BIDA® System is a passive aerobic bioreactor that catalyzes the digestive power of microbes and selected species of red earthworms to naturally remove up to 99% of contaminants from Fetzer Vineyards’ wastewater, in as little as four hours. The chemical-free system consumes significantly less electricity than traditional wastewater treatment technologies like aeration ponds, which require constant electricity to pump and circulate water. The BIDA® System works efficiently year-round in spite of seasonal fluctuations in wastewater flow like those seen in the wine industry, and generates compost-enhancing castings from worm digestion, returning nutrients to the soil.

Working with Worms to Fight Climate Change

Global studies show that water scarcity and water stress are increasing, and as much as 15% to 35% of human withdrawals of water for agriculture are considered unsustainable.1Achievement of climate change-related commitments like those made at last year’s Paris Climate Conference (“COP21”) will require that businesses strategically manage their water footprints for maximum efficacy while mitigating negative impacts. Natural, regenerative solutions such as the BIDA® System offer a new paradigm for water treatment systems, delivering closed-loop mechanisms that efficiently process wastewater on site and restore it to beneficial use, without significant energy output or emissions.

Innovating Towards Water Positive Operations

“Innovating to naturally manage our water footprint is an important step in our journey to become Water Positive, essential to our goal of Net Positive operations by 2030,” saidJosh PriggeDirector of Regenerative Development for Fetzer Vineyards, who recently advocated for carbon-neutral winegrowing practices on a global scale at COP21. “With this new system we’ll treat some 15 million gallons of water a year, with significant efficiency gains—and bring things full-circle with enhanced compost for our soils and clean water for vineyard and landscape irrigation. It’s a win-win.”

Research shows that a majority of global consumers, and especially Millennials, support companies that are committed to minimizing environmental impacts and that prioritize sustainable approaches to operations.2 To share more about its water initiatives, Fetzer Vineyards developed a new page on its website containing facts about agricultural water use and details about the company’s water policy support. Visit for more on Fetzer Vineyards’ water initiatives, including its adoption of BioFiltro’s BIDA® treatment system and its support for water conservation research and advocacy through collaborations with groups like the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable(BIER) and Ceres’ Connect the Drops, both of which were commended for their water policy efforts at the White House Water Summit on Building a Sustainable Water Future in the United States on March 22, 2016.

1 Source: World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Water Facts and Trends
2 Source: 2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report

07 March, 2016

BioFiltro’s dynamic biological reactor catalyzes natural processes to aptly and rapidly handle high BOD wastewater streams. With the capability to remove up to 99% of BOD & TSS without the use of chemicals or any sludge generation, our patented BIDA® systems deliver irrigation grade water in 4 hours. Wineries can reutilize this water onsite for vineyard or landscape irrigation through drip systems without further treatment. The only byproduct of our patented system is nutritious casting (worm humus) which can be applied back onto the vineyard.

4 Hour Process Result at Constellation Brands (California). Plant Effluent - After Rotatory Screen - After BIDA® System

From Left to Right: Winery Effluent – After Rotatory Screen – After BIDA® System

Highly Energy Efficient

BioFiltro’s BIDA system utilizes up to 85% less energy to achieve the same, if not higher, water quality parameters than traditional baseline technologies. As such, clients are not only able to greatly reduce their annual energy expenditure, may also receive incentives, rebates, and/or recognition for adapting a low energy yet highly efficient wastewater technology.

Sustainable Winemaking Practices

By transforming waste into beneficial products, BioFiltro facilitates your capability of exceeding sustainability metrics and zero waste goals. BioFiltro’s clients showcase their BIDA® systems to plant visitors as it embodies their commitment to forward thinking practices while also providing demonstrating a cost effective, efficient and natural solution.

Seasonal Loadings

Seasonal wineries pose a challenge to traditional biological wastewater treatment technologies that depend on constant influent to deliver solid results. In the case of BioFIltro, more than 30 seasonal clients have entrusted their wastewater management to us as our vibrant system can handle months of inactivity without any negative impact on system removal efficiencies. Our largest facility is a 2 million gallon per day (MGD) fruit processor that operates only 4 months each year.

Designed For Your Needs

BioFiltro’s team of engineers custom design and build each system in accordance to the flow, water quality parameters, and needs of our clients. With the ability to install systems of all sizes, BioFiltro provides cost competitive solutions for small boutique wineries to major million gallon per day facilities.

Example Design Flow for Winery

BioFiltro is breaking ground on their first Dairy System in the Central Valley
08 October, 2014

In Partnership with the non-profit Sustainable Conservation, and with funding from the USDA-NRCS, Biofiltro USA is building its first California Dairy System at Fanelli Dairy Farm in Hilmar, CA. The System will then be studied for its impact on the dairy effluent, and evaluated closely for reductions in the key contaminant of Nitrates. Significant Nitrate reduction has already been demonstrated at the Biofiltro Fresno State Pilot Project System. The conclusions of the year long 2015 tests will present proof for support of Biofiltro adoption throughout the Dairy Industry. More news to come soon with final photographs of the completed system within 2 months.


Constellation Brands Pilots Innovative BioFiltro Wastewater Treatment System in Madera, CA
19 September, 2014

Winery WW Before and After Biofiltro Treatment

 Before And After Biofiltro Treatment of Winery Waste Water

Constellation Pilots Innovative BioFiltro Wastewater Treatment System

By Wine Industry Advisor September 18, 2014

Constellation plans to put millions of earthworms to work in 2015. Don’t worry, they won’t be making the wine, they’ll be cleaning the wastewater from winery operations. BioFiltro is currently running a trial of their BIDA® System at Constellation Brands’ winery in Madera, California, and if all goes as expected, a new BioFiltro installation with a capacity of 1,000,000 gallons per day will be operational in the near future.

“We’ve installed a small trial system at the winery to run for 6 months,” says Sanjar Taromi, Chief Marketing Officer of BioFiltro, “it’s a chance for Constellation to ensure that the system can achieve their goal of at least 80% reduction in BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand). So far the results match our typical rate of 90% to 95% reduction in BOD.”

“The BioFiltro team is very innovative and understands the variability of winery operations, which has made our partnership thus far very productive,” says Wendy Garcia, Manager of Environmental Engineering Services for Constellation.

A BioFiltro system is already in operation at the Fresno State dairy unit, but Constellation could be the first BioFiltro installation at a California winery. However, the earthworm powered wastewater treatment system has been reducing BOD and TSS (Toal Suspended Solids) at wineries in Chile for some time.

“Constellation had staff working in Chile who visited some of BioFiltro’s commercial installations at wineries,” explains Garcia, “the feedback was positive, so we went forward with this pilot test.”

The system works by sprinkling wastewater into the BioFiltro where the earthworms reside in a layer of wood shavings. The worms eat the organic matter trapped by the shavings and produce castings with bacteria that break down dissolved contaminants in the water. The whole process takes about 4 hours for the waste water to be converted into water available for irrigation of vineyards.

“The BioFiltro typically has a smaller footprint than aeration ponds and consumes less energy,” says Taromi, “and in addition to allowing the winery to reuse the wastewater, the worms also produce castings that can be used as compost.”

A concern for Constellation is the amount of caustic chemicals that most biological treatment systems require to neutralize the acidic winery wastewater before treatment. These add big operational costs and the salts negatively impact the environment.

“Salinity build-up in the environment is a severe problem in the San Joaquin Valley and Constellation is always striving to find ways to reduce salinity impacts and improve operational sustainability,” says Garcia, “So far, the results are very good. It appears that the BIDA BOD reduction is very efficient, even at slightly low pH. We look forward to finishing testing and summarizing results around December.

BioFiltro will be showcasing their system to the wineries of Napa and Sonoma at the North Coast Wine Industry Expo in Santa Rosa on December 4th, and a successful trial through the crush season at Constellation will be an important stepping stone into the wine country market. The drought and the continuous drive for more sustainable practices in the wine industry will likely prove to be great motivators for BioFiltro adoption as well.



04 September, 2014

A short video describing and demonstrating the Biofiltro waste water treatment system at Fresno State University Dairy. Biofiltro is also piloting its proven system at a large winery in Madera, CA. With a 1,000,000 Gallon Per Day plant planned for 2015.