US-based Fetzer Vineyards has revealed plans to installs a bio-filtration system at its Mendocino winery.

With this installation, it would become the first US winery to use the closed-loop biological wastewater treatment system to process 100% of its winery wastewater.

Powered by billions of earthworms working with beneficial microbes, the BIDA System will begin processing Fetzer Vineyards’ wastewater during the 2016 harvest season.

This will enable energy savings of up to 85% over current wastewater treatment technologies and optimise water conservation measures in support of the fight against climate change.

"This will enable energy savings of up to 85% over current wastewater treatment technologies."

Fetzer Vineyards CEO Giancarlo Bianchetti said: "It’s essential that we constantly ask ourselves if there is a better, more efficient and more regenerative way to approach our business, including the way we work with water.

"BioFiltro offers a compelling process that aligns with our business goals, as well as our overarching objective to leave the world a better place than we found it."

BioFiltro’s BIDA System is a passive aerobic bioreactor.

It catalyses the digestive power of microbes and some species of red earthworms to naturally remove up to 99% of contaminants from Fetzer Vineyards’ wastewater, in just four hours.

It is a chemical-free system and consumes less electricity than traditional wastewater treatment technologies such as aeration ponds, which require constant electricity to pump and circulate water.

In addition, the BIDA System works efficiently year-round in spite of seasonal fluctuations in wastewater flow such as those seen in the wine industry, and generates compost-enhancing castings from worm digestion, returning nutrients to the soil.