Graf wastewater treatment plant for Somerset Vineyard

The management of sewage became a major issue for David Bailey and Lexa Hunt, following their acquisition of one of Somerset’s oldest vineyards, Wraxall Vineyard, in 2021. To make the vinieyard successful they had to expand the tasting facilities and develop accommodation to make a relatively small vineyard viable in the longer term. With visitor numbers likely to be in the 5-10,000 pa range and overnight accommodation for 14 people at any one time modern, compliant systems were required  to process effluent, in this sensitive environment, where no mains sewage facilities existed.

A full environmental review was completed and a GRAF One2Clean small wastewater treatment plant recommended. Given that this is brand new technology, expertise was sought regarding the installation and ongoing running of the plant. GRAF recommended that the vineyard sought the help of WCI.

Whilst the vineyard had its own contractors to deal with the groundworks etc. the brief to WCI included:

•  Review suitability of recommended system

•  Guide contractor on installation process

•  Check installation and initiate operation of system

•  Assist with application for relevant EA permit

•  Provide ongoing 6 monthly servicing and system testing

The initial review by WCI made some helpful changes to the initial recommendation (resulting in circa 10% cost reductions) and, following a site meeting to determine the best location, drainage solutions etc., help and guidance was at the “end of a telephone” for the contractor to ensure a speedy installation. Commissioning was straightforward and the system was fully operational within 2/3 hours. Some 9 months later the system has functioned perfectly and effluent is fully meeting regulatory requirements

“Our development of the vineyard, and in particular visitor numbers and overnight stays was critical to the longevity of the vines and the wines that we produce. It was really important to us that whatever we did, we were very kind to our very rural and special environment. The new GRAF system, allied to WCIs expertise knowledge and help has allowed us to achieve this. The 6 monthly system tests and checks give us peace of mind that everything is working properly. We know about grapes and wine – but nothing about effluent management! WCI have been invaluable in guiding and supporting us through this process”

David Bailey