Your Favorite Washington Wine Might Cost More After State Puts Squeeze On Winery Wastewater

Nov 8, 2017

You might soon have “bottle shock” when your favorite Washington wine costs more. That’s because the state is proposing changes to how winery wastewater is handled.

Winemakers figure they make at least three gallons of wastewater for every gallon of wine. 

Very large wineries are already required to get state permits. But the state may require the smaller tier wineries to get permits now too -- those making more than 7,500 cases a year. 

Brett Isenhower, a winemaker outside of Walla Wall, said his rural winery would have to haul water away in trucks, or build an evaporating pond on site.

“We use quite a bit of water for cleaning barrels, for cleaning tanks, for cleaning all of our equipment especially for harvest -- when you use that much water, it’s heavy and expensive to haul and it costs a lot of money to process.” Isenhower said.

Overall, affected wineries would have until 2019 to get into compliance. The state is taking public comments on the proposed rules until February

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network