Winery general permit

Washington is the second-largest wine-producing state in the nation. If not properly managed, corrosive wastewater from wineries can potentially harm aquatic life and even people.

Washington's first Winery General Permit regulates discharges of process wastewater from wineries to land, groundwater, and wastewater treatment plants. No surface water discharges are allowed under this permit.
 
The permit was issued on May 17, 2018, went into effect on July 1, 2019, and expires on July 1, 2024.

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Permit documents

Why did we develop a general permit for wineries?

The general permit supports both clean water and a robust wine industry. The new permit establishes wastewater management practices for wineries to prevent pollution and protect Washington waters. If not properly managed, process wastewater from wineries can:
  • Damage soil and crops.
  • Kill aquatic life.
  • Degrade the infrastructure in wastewater treatment plants.
  • Mobilize metals from the soil into groundwater, which can harm people.

We will continue to work closely with industry and interested people 

With the help of the wine industry, stakeholders, and input from the public, we developed a permit that contains good waste management practices for wineries. These practices will help protect groundwater, surface water, and wastewater treatment plants. 

Throughout the life of the permit, we will continue to:
  • Build cooperative relationships with winery owners and operators.
  • Gain a better understanding of the quantity and quality of wastewater discharges from Washington wineries.
  • Learn from permittees what practices and tools work best to effectively manage their wastewater.
See our Guidance and Resources section for more information on how we are continuing to work with our stakeholders.

Permit application and resources

Regional contacts

Central Region

For facilities located in the following counties:

Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan, and Yakima counties

Assistance with permit requirements or site-specific questions:

Matt Durkee
Matthew.Durkee@ecy.wa.gov
509-575-2821

Assistance applying for coverage, finding or completing forms, or drafting public notices:

Cindy Huwe
cynthia.huwe@ecy.wa.gov
509-457-7105

Mail forms to:

Attn: WQ Winery Permit Coordinator
Washington State Department of Ecology
Central Regional Office
1250 West Alder Street
Union Gap, WA 98903-0009

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