GE teamed up with the University of California Davis and Winesecrets to pilot a program that would use captured rainwater in wine production.

GE’s Water & Process Technologies supplied a reverse osmosis (RO) system and a total organic carbon (TOC) analyzer to the winery at UC Davis to use existing technologies with advanced digital capabilities for a new application. The RO system purifies the rainwater to a potable level and removes contaminants, and the TOC analyzer measures that the potable product water consistently meets the required quality.

The rainwater capturing system transports rainwater through downspouts to a holding tank with a capacity of 1,200 gal. After going through a 50-micron media filter, it is pumped into two 45,000-gal storage tanks that feed the water treatment system.

According to the university, rainwater is cleaner than groundwater sources, which makes filtering it easier. This makes the process more environmentally friendly, sustainable and cost-effective. In addition, relying on stored rather than municipal water puts the winery in control of its supply.