There has been a rapid expansion in the viticulture industry in New Zealand over the last decade. An inevitable consequence of this increase in production has been the generation of increasing amounts of a range of waste products. One such waste is winery wastewater, recognised as containing a number of components (i.e. salts, nutrients, organic load) that have the potential to negatively affect soil, plant and aquatic health if not disposed of in an appropriate manner.
One issue which has recently been highlighted as a result of land based application of winery wastewater is the potential for soils to accumulate sodium (Na) and potassium (K) to concentrations which may adversely alter soil physical properties such as aggregate stability and hydraulic conductivity.
Several investigations have been undertaken addressing this issue.