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Reclaimed water for vineyard irrigation in Mediterranean context

4 June, 2050

Reclaimed water for vineyard irrigation in Mediterranean context

Waste water source

The source is domestic wastewater from a small (2,000 person equivalents) wastewater treatment plant in the region of Roquefort-des-Corbières. BRL exploitation, initially called ‘Compagnie Nationale d'Aménagement de la Région du Bas Rhône et du Languedoc’, is the operator of the plant.

Distribution System

The wastewater flows to a buffer container with a 12 m³/h pump which charges a storage basin of 3,000 m³. Thereafter, the wastewater is drawn from the basin using a submerged pump and undergoes filtration and chlorination. The reclaimed water is distributed via a pressurized piping system. Irrigation is then performed using subsurface drip irrigation.

Farming system

The reclaimed water is applied to the crops through drip irrigation. In general the drip irrigation system is also used to apply fertilizers (fertigation) and phytosanitary products.

Waste water treatment description

Nutrient removal : Activated sludge
Pesticide removal : none
Disinfection : Chlorination and filtration
Suspended solids removal : Chemical coagulation


The wastewater treatment plants discharge is about 100 to 300 m³/day. The clean water is used for irrigation purposes from June to mid-August. About 500 to 600 m³/ha/year is foreseen, which results in a total delivery of 6,000 to 7,200 m³/year.

Extent of the agricultural beneficiaries

The extent of the agricultural land benefitting from the reclaimed water is 12 ha. The irrigated area is divided in smaller plots over nine different farms. The average yield for the wineries is about 70 to 80 hl/ha.


OPEX : Around 250€/Ha/year

CAPEX : Not known

Type of agreement

The farmers are organized within an irrigators union. BRL exploitation operates the wastewater treatment and the reclamation plant. It is also responsible for the water quality, storage and water delivery to the plots.

Farmers are responsible for the disinfection of the irrigation pipes at the end of the irrigation season.

Scientific results

Additional information

The legal authorization document can be downloaded here (French only)


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Type of initiative
Research initiative
Waste water source
Waste water treatment
Nutrient removal, Desinfection, Suspended solids removal
Farming system
Permanent crops
Application use
Irrigation of processed food crops
Irrigation method
Drip irrigation
Implementation stage
Initial implementation