Winery General Order

On January 20, 2021, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) adopted a General Order to regulate Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs) for wineries in California. This order requires facilities that produce wine or grape juice and discharge their waste to land for reuse or disposal to enroll in this new General Order by January 20, 2024, unless current WDR coverage is provided.* New facilities need to apply for coverage at least 190 days before their opening date. This General Order does not cover any facilities that process other fruits, beverages, stillage waste, and/or other types of wastewater.

* Facilities with existing WDR’s will be contacted by the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) regarding their specific submittal and compliance schedule.
Napa County facilities may qualify for a 3-year enrollment extension.

The General Order is intended to provide uniform regulation and streamlined permitting for wineries that discharge process water (PW) to land.  However, some of the proposed requirements represent a significant departure from current regulatory requirements. Here is a brief breakdown of the Winery General Order requirements:


The General Order requirements will vary from facility to facility, with five different tiers based on total annual PW volume according to the table below. These annual volumes should be based on flows that are measured directly or calculated using an accurate alternative method.

All facilities eligible for Tiers 1-4 that discharge winery waste to land must apply for coverage under the General Order, even if they are also enrolled in an Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP).


Here is a flow chart to provide a high-level overview of compliance required based on Tier level and type of system.

If you have any questions or concerns related to the operation of your specific facility, please contact us to discuss how the General Order may impact your operations. We can also assist with enrollment under the new General Order when you are ready to do so.