ST. HELENA -- Trinchero Family Estates has been harvesting water, energy and cost savings from a more than $2 million new process wastewater treatment system at its main St. Helena winery, where Sutter Home and other wine brands are made.

The facility currently can treat each day 70,000 to 100,000 gallons of water full of grape juice, wine and other organic material from washing presses, barrels, tanks, bottles and equipment used in production of Sutter Home, Napa Cellars, Menage à Trois, SeaGlass, Trinity Oaks and The Wine Cube. Installed less than a year ago and put into service in September, the plant can handle up to 250,000 gallons per day.

Investment in the system is part of the Trinchero family's commitment to environmental stewardship since 1948, according to Bob Torkelson, president and chief operating officer. 

“As a company, it is imperative to us that we protect and contribute to the communities where our employees, customers and industry peers live and work,” he said.

Treated to water-quality standards, the processed water can be used for crushpad cleanup, refrigeration systems and manmade wetlands, according to Kevin LeMasters, vice president of operations.

“In the processed water ponds, we have six species of new birds, frogs, geese, and a new family of baby ducks, which is a testament to the water quality,” Mr. LeMasters said.

The treatment system is saving the company money on electricity -- more than $27,000 since the company -- with its more efficient water aeration system.

And it's creating less sludge, which are solids leftover from treatment that have to be disposed.

Trinchero Family Estates (www.tfewines.com) hired Diana Ortiz as its environmental resource coordinator to oversee the treatment system and other sustainable winemaking efforts.

“Trinchero has been really proactive at cleaning the waste water at their facilities, which is good for the community of Napa Valley and our environment,” said Sheldon Sapoznik, county of Napa land use development supervisor. “TFE’s new system is unique and effective - we hope this will set an example for other companies to follow.”

The system installer was Lyve Systems Inc. (707-342-0915, www.lyvesystems.com), a New Zealand company with offices in Napa.

One of the largest wine companies, Trinchero Family Estates produced 16.5 million cases of wine from various facilities last year.