Conventional technologies

Generally speaking, it can be said that conventional technologies treat wastewater intensively through physical, chemical and biological processes to achieve faster reaction and treatment speeds, but with higher operating and maintenance costs, which translates into high energy consumption, chemicals and the need for specialized personnel. However, conventional systems have difficulties adapting to the highly variable organic loading and flow rates in wine industries throughout the year, meaning that their performance and efficiency is limited.

Natural systems

On the other hand, natural systems, such as constructed wetlands, are characterized by low energy consumption, do not require chemicals for wastewater treatment (as they reproduce the treatment processes carried out in nature) and do not need specialized personnel for their maintenance. This is why these systems have lower implementation, operation and maintenance costs; however, the time required to carry out the pollutant removal processes is greater.

All in all, the main differences between natural and conventional systems are that natural systems have lower or almost zero energy requirements (generally 5-10 times lower than conventional systems) and a retention time up to 100 times longer than conventional systems. This is why a larger area is necessary for the implementation of natural systems with respect to conventional systems for the treatment of the same volume of effluents, representing a limitation of these natural systems with respect to conventional systems.

Advantages of the WETWINE system compared to conventional technologies

WETWINE Technologies

(natural systems)

Conventional technologies

Energy Consumption

Low or zero


Chemical consumption

Not required


Implementation and operation costs



Operation and maintenance



Sludge management

Biosolids as a fertilizer in the same system

By authorized companies

Destination of treated effluents



Environmental impact

Reduced, favouring the circular economy


Treatment times



Area required



Suitable for discharge volumes

Low or medium

Large or very large

One of the activities carried out in the WETWINE project is the study of the impact of the WETWINE system on the environment using the methodology of life cycle analysis. In this way, the WETWINE system is compared with other technologies for the management of wine sector wastewaters currently more used in the wineries of the SUDOE region.

This WETWINE web tool allows, in a simple and quick way, to evaluate the environmental impact of the WETWINE system, simulating the specific conditions of each winery based on a specific operating parameters.