COMPANY PROFILE

LESCURE ENGINEERS INC

Lescure Engineers Inc logo


CONTACT INFO

Address

5468 Skylane Blvd. Suite 203
Santa Rosa
CA, 95403
United States
Phone
707-575-3427
Fax
Primary
Demerus M. Lescure

Engineering for Sustainability

Engineering For Sustainability

Many people believe the purpose of civil engineering is to reshape land for human use.  A visit to Southern California reinforces this impression, revealing endless views of hillsides graded and terraced with rivers encased in pavement; nature engineered into submission.

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Here in Northern California our challenge as civil engineers is to reconcile human use with the inherent and unique characteristics of each site.  The key element is water: potable water, groundwater, surface water, stormwater, wastewater, reclaimed water for re-use. Engineering for appropriate water management is the central concern of Lescure Engineers' integrated approach.

Engineering for sustainability is evolving in response to the desires of individuals, companies and community groups, willing and economically able to pursue their development goals by sustainable means.  Time and again it has been demonstrated that economic viability need not be sacrificed to achieve environmental sensitivity and social equity.  Responsible engineering practices, guided by the environmental ethics of the community, can result in reduction of life-cycle costs and mitigate adverse environmental and economic impacts stretching into the future.

For more information, click here.

Our Services


Taking an integrated approach.....

Lescure Engineers' civil engineering, land surveying and environmental resources engineering services are performed by a single firm, utilizing the skills of cross-trained engineers, designers and civil / survey technicians.  The primary designer will start the project as a member of the topographic survey crew.   In this way, critical site features only a designer may recognize will be documented.  When the project is ready for construction, the same designer will be part of the construction staking crew and will perform construction observations as well. 

Wastewater Systems

Wastewater Engineering Services include:

  • Site Evaluation & Testing
  • Innovative Onsite Systems
  • Sewer Collection Systems
  • Tertiary Treatment & Disinfection
  • Wastewater Treatment and Storage Ponds
  • Irrigation Dispersal of Treated Wastewater
  • Operations Monitoring

Environmental Resources Engineering

Our Environmental Resources Engineering practice serves  municipal and industrial clients interested in saving money on natural resources and utilities, such as electricity, natural gas, or water. 

We offer a start-to-finish array of engineering services to identify, evaluate, and implement improvements to processes, which pay for themselves in cost savings. 

Learn more.....     Read Project Case Studies.....

 

Water Systems

Water System Engineering Services include:

  • Mutual Water Treatment Systems
  • Water Distribution Pipelines
  • Fire Suppression Water Systems
  • Water Rights Applications
  • Reservoir and Dam Plans

 

Site Development

Site Development Services include:

  • Grading & Drainage Plans
  • Private Driveways
  • Public Roadways
  • Parking  & Access Plans
  • Sedimentation & Erosion Control Plans
  • Stormwater Plans - SUSMP & SWPPP

 

Land Surveying

Land Surveying Services include:

  • Topographic Mapping
  • Boundary Surveys
  • Construction Staking
  • Flood Elevation Surveys
  • Certificates of Compliance
  • Subdivisions and Lot Line Adjustments
Peter J. Lescure, PE, CDT Principal Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor
Jeffrey S. Loe, PE, QSD/QSP Senior Project Engineer
Wendy K. Ziegler, PE, CDT Senior Project Engineer
Jonathan R. Olin, PLS Senior Project Surveyor
Vineyard Pond at Heintz Vineyard

In the words of Charlie Heintz: 

“This is a project that I have been wanting to get done for over 20 years. The completion and the use of this water source went into service the summer of 2009 and made a big difference in keeping all the vines in good shape in a dry year through harvest.  The addition of "extra" water will also allow us, at a future point, to plant out the rest of Heintz Ranch which would add an additional 15 acres of vineyard for total planted acres to 65.  Along with having enough water to farm it is how we collect and store the water from winter rain runoff that is the best. No ground water pumping. I keep a close eye on this pond and the water level.  This pond holds water really well, I do not see any signs of leakage. It takes about 12 inches of heavy rainfall to bring in a couple million gallons of water.  I think that I am the only guy standing out in the rain watching water go into a pond.  I am very happy with how this project turned out.”

The Heintz vineyard pond is designed to store vineyard runoff for irrigation, and to prevent offsite sedimentation. 

It also provides recreation for the owner’s family and wildlife habitat.  The pond site is in a naturally concave landform, situated approximately 600 feet from the crest of a flat top ridge. This  terrain was poorly suited for vineyard but ideal as a pond site.  The entire contributing watershed is situated on the subject property; the watershed is planted in vineyard.

Pond construction is a combination of excavation and embankment dam with an earthen liner of native clay-rich soils. The maximum pond capacity is approximately 21 acre feet. The pond spills through a grouted rock lined spillway terminating at a natural swale landform.  The 12 foot wide embankment crest is surfaced with gravel to allow vehicular access for maintenance. Three vineyard drains are directed to the pond. Construction was completed in 2008.


News Archive


Wastewater Engineering at Jacuzzi Family Winery
22 August, 2017

Jacuzzi Family Winery is a winery and olive processing facility located in the Carneros Region of southern Sonoma County. The facility is located in an existing vineyard. The proposed process wastewater system has been sized for an annual wine production of 25,000 cases of wine and 7,500 gallons of olive oil. The new system is designed to accommodate wastewater from both production processes. Grape harvest typically occurs from mid-August until mid-October. Olive harvest typically occurs from November to January. For this reason, olive processing is very compatible with winery operations from both a labor and a wastewater handling perspective. Additional wastewater flows generated from olive processing are not expected to exceed the 986 GPD.  Annual average daily flows from the winery and olive press are 986 and 137 GPD, respectively.

The winery and olive process wastewater system utilizes initial screening provided by screened baskets and strainers installed on the trench and floor drains within the facility. Screen opening sizes will be on the order of ¼-inch for exterior drains, to catch leaves, stems, etc. and 1/8-inch for interior drains, to catch pulp. A gravity collection system was designed such that all piping has a minimum slope of 2% or ¼-inch per foot. The olive processing facility only is equipped with a two-compartment grease trap prior to entering the process wastewater treatment system. A motorized solids removal screen removes the large solids from the system and as a result, reduces the organic biological loading on and the accumulation of solids in the treatment system.  Solids from the screening operation will be treated as pomace. 

The process wastewater pump sump and holding tank are designed to handle one days flow and are equipped with a duplex pump sump capable of pumping all of the anticipated process wastewater flow with one duty and one standby pump that can alternate functions. The duty pump would be used for all but the most extreme flow conditions. The second (standby) pump would be activated during peak hour events or similar events of infrequent occurrence and short duration. Storage in the pump sump would provide an additional factor of safety. A PVC force main to the treatment system will be sized to be adequate for the peak flow rates anticipated from the pump station. The pumps convey the process wastewater to the treatment system.

Pretreatment and pH neutralization will be achieved though the filtration of oyster shells to reduce the acidity of the winery and olive process wastewater.  The oyster shells will be contained in a chamber located in the process wastewater pump sump. The pH adjustment provides a more favorable environment for the growth of aerobic bacteria in the treatment system and will reduce the chance for emission of hydrogen sulfide odors that can occur in an acidic environment. The pH of the system shall be monitored for a year, as required by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, especially through one harvest season.

An in-line measurement device is installed to measure flows from the process wastewater pump station to the treatment system. Additional flow measuring devices are installed to measure flows from the holding pond to the land disposal system. A filter will screen secondary effluent prior to vineyard irrigation.

Biological stabilization will occur in the mechanically aerated facultative-aerobic pond. Surface mechanical aerators for the aeration ponds have been sized to satisfy biochemical oxygen demand as well as oxygen dispersion requirements. This pond system is large enough to provide a normal residence time of 140 days at average day peak harvest month flow conditions. This residence time is greater than the 90 to 120 days detention time recommended for these types of systems. For ultimate process wastewater / rainfall inputs and evaporation / irrigation outputs the pond water balance is based on the maximum average monthly rainfall from the previous 10 years. The total volume of the pond system is approximately 0.209 MG in addition to 2 ft minimum freeboard.


Wastewater Engineering at Jordan Vineyards and Winery
12 June, 2017

Since 1975, Jordan Winery operated a combined domestic and winery process wastewater system.  The wastewater system was permitted for treatment and disposal of 3,500 GPD of domestic wastewater and 14,000 GPD of process wastewater.  The wastewater package treatment plant needed to be replaced.   Jordan Winery’s goal was to avoid the cost and risk of continuing to operate a combined system which would require a Title 22 certification.  To this end, Lescure Engineers separated the domestic wastewater flow from the process wastewater flow while repairing the existing wastewater system.  Domestic wastewater treatment is provided by textile media filters with disposal of the treated effluent through subsurface drip dispersal.  Winery process wastewater will continue to be treated in the existing ponds and re-used for vineyard irrigation and frost protection. 

The new domestic wastewater system employs two Orenco Advantex AX-100 filtration pods for biological treatment to reduce Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), suspended solids (SS), nitrogen (N), and bacteria.  It does not require certified operator per current State Water Resources Control Board standards, but periodic maintenance is required as a condition of the manufacturer warranty.  Monitoring will be required per Sonoma County Operational Permit. The system is not subject to California Title 22 certification because disposal will be made using sub-surface drip technology.  No re-use or surface disposal will be employed. Daily flows ranging from 500 to 6,000 GPD will be equalized following the primary septic tank treatment, and prior to the secondary treatment.  Design flows for the Advantex AXâ100 pod and sub-surface drip field is 3,500 GPD.

Kitchen wastes are intercepted by an existing concrete in-ground grease interceptor of 1,200 gallons capacity. Maintenance of the interceptor for grease removal will be written into the Operations & Maintenance Manual.

The 10,000 gallon septic tank will be monitored and periodically pumped to remove accumulated sludge as indicated when sludge and scum volume approaches one-third of the tank volume. Sludge will be trucked to an approved disposal facility equipped and permitted to receive septage.

The domestic wastewater system repair will involve the use of electric power.  The septic and recirculation/discharge tanks at the Primary and Secondary Treatment Works, respectively, will require electric recirculation and discharge pumps.  The advanced technology Advantex AX-100 treatment unit requires an electric fan for active air circulation, and the overall system requires two control / alarm panels.  The owner will coordinate with the contractor for electrical service and dedicated telephone communication with the control panels.

Total electrical consumption of these intermittently dosed packed bed filters is much lower than suspended growth aerobic treatment units which require a continuous duty compressor to supply air. Solid state control panels require minimal energy to operate.  The air circulation fan consumes minimal energy with a fractional horsepower motor.  The flow equalization pumps will consume approximately 2,640 Watt Hours per day (24 doses * 5/60 hrs * 110 V * 12 A).  The Advantex pumps, fan, and drip dispersal pumps will each consume a similar amount for a total of less than 10 KWH per day.

Highly treated Advantex effluent will be dispersed to the soil via sub-surface drip irrigation technology in areas separate from any of the vineyards. These areas meet current standards for drip dispersal systems in terms of site slope, soil depth, soil permeability, and setbacks or separation from critical features. Sub-surface drip dispersal technology was selected as the preferred method for several reasons:

  • Minimal soil disturbance among the roots of several mature oak trees.
  • Optimal dispersal patterns to best utilize the soil mantle.
  • Efficient site utilization which would otherwise be limited due to varied slopes.
  • Rigid slope limitations among other system types which would otherwise require a different system type for each slope regime or range.
  • Minimal soil disturbance allowing better erosion control.

The sub-surface drip dispersal technology is designed and will be installed per current industry best practices. The primary field is subdivided into four zones to allow smaller more serviceable pumps.  Duplex pumps are specified for reliability.

Flow meters installed on the discharge pressure main and flush return line will allow measurement of total dispersal volumes minus the backflush volume.  A pressure gauge will be installed in the field to sense whether the pumps are delivering adequate flows, and whether a break has occurred in the dispersal lines causing lower pressure than required to disperse effluent evenly over the entire field.

For more information, click here


Wastewater System Created to Accommodate Winery & Olive Oil Productions
20 June, 2016

Jacuzzi Family Winery & Olive Press, Sonoma

Jacuzzi Family Winery is a new winery and olive processing facility located in the Carneros Region of southern Sonoma County. The facility is located in an existing vineyard. The proposed process wastewater system has been sized for an annual wine production of 25,000 cases of wine and 7,500 gallons of olive oil. The new system is designed to accommodate wastewater from both production processes. Grape harvest typically occurs from mid-August until mid-October. Olive harvest typically occurs from November to January. For this reason, olive processing is very compatible with winery operations from both a labor and a wastewater handling perspective. Additional wastewater flows generated from olive processing are not expected to exceed the 986 GPD. Annual average daily flows from the winery and olive press are 986 and 137 GPD, respectively.

The winery and olive process wastewater system utilizes initial screening provided by screened baskets and strainers installed on the trench and floor drains within the facility. Screen opening sizes will be on the order of ¼-inch for exterior drains, to catch leaves, stems, etc. and 1/8-inch for interior drains, to catch pulp. A gravity collection system was designed such that all piping has a minimum slope of 2% or ¼-inch per foot. The olive processing facility only is equipped with a two-compartment grease trap prior to entering the process wastewater treatment system. A motorized solids removal screen removes the large solids from the system and as a result, reduces the organic biological loading on and the accumulation of solids in the treatment system. Solids from the screening operation will be treated as pomace

The process wastewater pump sump and holding tank are designed to handle one days flow and are equipped with a duplex pump sump capable of pumping all of the anticipated process wastewater flow with one duty and one standby pump that can alternate functions. The duty pump would be used for all but the most extreme flow conditions. The second (standby) pump would be activated during peak hour events or similar events of infrequent occurrence and short duration. Storage in the pump sump would provide an additional factor of safety. A PVC force main to the treatment system will be sized to be adequate for the peak flow rates anticipated from the pump station. The pumps convey the process wastewater to the treatment system.

Pretreatment and pH neutralization will be achieved though the filtration of oyster shells to reduce the acidity of the winery and olive process wastewater. The oyster shells will be contained in a chamber located in the process wastewater pump sump. The pH adjustment provides a more favorable environment for the growth of aerobic bacteria in the treatment system and will reduce the chance for emission of hydrogen sulfide odors that can occur in an acidic environment. The pH of the system shall be monitored for a year, as required by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, especially through one harvest season.

An in-line measurement device is installed to measure flows from the process wastewater pump station to the treatment system. Additional flow measuring devices are installed to measure flows from the holding pond to the land disposal system. A filter will screen secondary effluent prior to vineyard irrigation.

Biological stabilization will occur in the mechanically aerated facultative-aerobic pond. Surface mechanical aerators for the aeration ponds have been sized to satisfy biochemical oxygen demand as well as oxygen dispersion requirements. This pond system is large enough to provide a normal residence time of 140 days at average day peak harvest month flow conditions. This residence time is greater than the 90 to 120 days detention time recommended for these types of systems. For ultimate process wastewater / rainfall inputs and evaporation / irrigation outputs the pond water balance is based on the maximum average monthly rainfall from the previous 10 years. The total volume of the pond system is approximately 0.209 MG in addition to 2 ft minimum freeboard.

To learn more about our services visit our website: http://www.lescure-engineers.com/services/


Planning on building or expanding your winery?
17 March, 2016

If you have been thinking about building a new winery or expanding your existing one, there is a lot to consider before starting. It entails more than simply finding available space and putting up a building. In the world of winery construction the difference between a happy, successful conclusion to a construction project and one that turns into a money pit nightmare is pre-planning.

“Before you do anything, find your use permit either in your files or at the county records department,” said Demerus Lescure, vice president at Lescure Engineers, Inc., a civil engineering firm in Santa Rosa, California. “With an existing winery there is a description of what the county will let you do in terms of how many cases of wine you can produce, or whether or not you can have winery events. You may need to apply for a modification if your existing permit doesn’t match up with your new plans and sometimes, previous restrictions have gone away.”

It’s common, especially for rural wineries that don’t have as much public interaction, to run into trouble with use permits. As Lescure has observed, these winery owners often think nobody’s watching, so they just go ahead and add a new out building, or a new fermentation facility to enlarge their capacity. It’s all good until the neighbors start noticing more truck traffic and turn them in. It happens.

“It’s easy to say let’s add a room, or more barrels, or a new crush pad,” said Lescure. “But pretty soon the neighbors are paying attention. Over the years, we’ve seen wineries who do illegal building, get turned in, and have the book thrown at them. That never ends well.”

Lescure pointed out that even if your existing use permit doesn’t cover your current vision, there may be creative ways around the problem. “One restriction wineries encounter is that the amount of cases they can produce is based on their wastewater treatment pond. Are there ways to enlarge or increase capacity? Often we can develop a strategy that expands a wastewater treatment facility without building a bigger pond. There may be other options that can be considered to handle domestic wastewater, and increase the capacity for wine making.”

Pre-planning construction projects not only helps avoid permit violations, it helps solidify the costs ahead of time so that there are fewer surprises. The truth is, many projects end up costing more than originally thought. This is often not because of contractors lowballing their bids, however, but because the owners want to expand the original plan.

“Sometimes,” said Lescure, “an owner will suddenly decide that he wants the pond in another place. That type of change is not as simple as just digging a new hole. The original plans considered the initial topography; if you want to move it, it will require plan modifications, and that costs more money.”

It can pay to select professionals with experience in winery construction, especially if yours is a rural winery. Rural properties have special needs, for example, they have to retain their own storm water, have their own water source, and their own water disposal areas, all very important considerations.

“As civil engineers, we fill in the underpinnings—the things that will make sure that water won’t end up in the basement,” said Lescure. “Often architects that have little or no experience in rural settings are used to just plugging in to municipal services;—the stuff cities have all figured out for them. We can help with all of that, and the more professionals you can consult with before construction , the better your results will be.”

When Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” he might have been talking about winery construction.


Planning on building or expanding your winery?
18 August, 2015

If you have been thinking about building a new winery or expanding your existing one, there is a lot to consider before starting. It entails more than simply finding available space and putting up a building. In the world of winery construction the difference between a happy, successful conclusion to a construction project and one that turns into a money pit nightmare is pre-planning.

“Before you do anything, find your use permit either in your files or at the county records department,” said Demerus Lescure, vice president at Lescure Engineers, Inc., a civil engineering firm in Santa Rosa, California. “With an existing winery there is a description of what the county will let you do in terms of how many cases of wine you can produce, or whether or not you can have winery events. You may need to apply for a modification if your existing permit doesn’t match up with your new plans and sometimes, previous restrictions have gone away.”

It’s common, especially for rural wineries that don’t have as much public interaction, to run into trouble with use permits. As Lescure has observed, these winery owners often think nobody’s watching, so they just go ahead and add a new out building, or a new fermentation facility to enlarge their capacity. It’s all good until the neighbors start noticing more truck traffic and turn them in. It happens.

“It’s easy to say let’s add a room, or more barrels, or a new crush pad,” said Lescure. “But pretty soon the neighbors are paying attention. Over the years, we’ve seen wineries who do illegal building, get turned in, and have the book thrown at them. That never ends well.”

Lescure pointed out that even if your existing use permit doesn’t cover your current vision, there may be creative ways around the problem. “One restriction wineries encounter is that the amount of cases they can produce is based on their wastewater treatment pond. Are there ways to enlarge or increase capacity? Often we can develop a strategy that expands a wastewater treatment facility without building a bigger pond. There may be other options that can be considered to handle domestic wastewater, and increase the capacity for wine making.”

Pre-planning construction projects not only helps avoid permit violations, it helps solidify the costs ahead of time so that there are fewer surprises. The truth is, many projects end up costing more than originally thought. This is often not because of contractors lowballing their bids, however, but because the owners want to expand the original plan.

“Sometimes,” said Lescure, “an owner will suddenly decide that he wants the pond in another place. That type of change is not as simple as just digging a new hole. The original plans considered the initial topography; if you want to move it, it will require plan modifications, and that costs more money.”

It can pay to select professionals with experience in winery construction, especially if yours is a rural winery. Rural properties have special needs, for example, they have to retain their own storm water, have their own water source, and their own water disposal areas, all very important considerations.

“As civil engineers, we fill in the underpinnings—the things that will make sure that water won’t end up in the basement,” said Lescure. “Often architects that have little or no experience in rural settings are used to just plugging in to municipal services;—the stuff cities have all figured out for them. We can help with all of that, and the more professionals you can consult with before construction , the better your results will be.”

When Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” he might have been talking about winery construction.


Lescure Engineers, Inc. Honored with ACEC California Engineering Excellence Award
27 July, 2015


ACEC California member firm, Lescure Engineers, Inc, was honored with a Small Firm Merit Award at the 2015 Engineering Excellence Awards for their work on the Graton Community Services District Water Resource Recovery Facility Upgrade. The intent of the Awards is to recognize outstanding achievements in engineering and land surveying projects completed by California firms.

Compost Facility and Dewatering Pad

The Water Resource Recovery Facility project upgraded an existing wastewater treatment facility to tertiary treatment using a combination of technologies for a “first in the world” system eliminating residuals requiring further treatment or removal.  Lescure Engineers, Inc. designed the process control system to integrate equipment from three manufacturers; Heron Innovators’ Suspended Air Flotation Clarifier, Schreiber Packed Media “Fuzzy Filter” Tertiary Treatment Filter, and the Pasteurization Technology Group Disinfection System.

Schreiber Fuzzy FiltersAccording to Lescure Engineers, Inc., the GCSD Water Resource Recovery Project has introduced three new technologies to be considered by communities seeking to deliver cost-effective wastewater treatment in the interest of lower sewer service rates. The addition of competing technologies may serve to drive down the capital costs of wastewater treatment in the future.

“Every day these firms work in collaboration with public and private sectors and state and local agencies to help build a better California,” said Brad Diede ACEC California Executive Director. “It’s with great accolade that we honor their work.”


Water Storage, Pond Development and Planning Projects
17 July, 2014

Water storage for frost protection was the concern when Pete Lescure made this presentation to growers with the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission in 2013.  In 2014 water storage has become an even more critical issue with the onset of the drought.  This presentation looks at the process and requirements for developing a water storage pond to inform growers in making that vital business decision.

 
See the full Slideshow Here!
 

 


Water Development Strategies for Frost Protection and Irrigation Seminar, November 12, 2012
16 October, 2012

The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission is presenting an informational seminar on Water Development Strategies for Frost Protection and Irrigation on November 12, from 2:30-5:00pm at the Hilton Hotel located at 3555 Round Barn Blvd., Santa Rosa. For information contact Karen at 707-522-5862 or karen@sonomawinegrape.org. There is no cost to attend but RSVPs are required. RSVP to attend by November 5 to: http://www.sonomawinegrape.org/Water-Development-Strategies

The need to develop dependable water sources for frost protection and irrigation without impacting endangered or threatened salmonids remains a critical need despite the recent court ruling invalidating the California State Water Resource Control Board's vineyard frost protection regulations.

This Seminar was created in response to AB 964 which provides new options for growers and vintners to develop water storage up to 20-acre feet and to address efficient water use in Sonoma County.

Topics covered include: regulatory requirements for diversions and storage of surface water and subterranean flow; enforcement activities against storage ponds; changes to small domestic registrations; capturing unregulated water; identifying and permitting water sources; water recycling and using tertiary water for vineyards; identifying suitable pond sites; the importance of proper siting and property line measurements for a storage facility; permits; construction costs and variables; and project financing and government cost sharing.

Presenters are: Paula Whealen of Wagner & Bonsignore Civil Engineers, Pete Lescure of Lescure Civil Engineers, Dennis Kirwan of GeoDynamics and Bill Rodda of American AgCredit. There is no cost to attend but RSVPs are required.

For more information contact Karen at 707-522-5862 or karen@sonomawinegrape.org .

# # #

The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission was established in 2006 as a non-profit marketing and educational organization dedicated to the promotion of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier grape growing regions. SCWC’s goal is to increase awareness and recognition of the quality and diversity of Sonoma County’s grapes and wines through dynamic marketing and educational programs targeted to wine consumers around the world. For more information about SCWC and its programs, visit www.sonomawinegrape.org.


Winery Construction and Expansion – Success depends on good planning.
16 April, 2012

If you have been thinking about building a new winery or expanding your existing one, there is a lot to consider before starting. It entails more than simply finding available space and putting up a building. In the world of winery construction the difference between a happy, successful conclusion to a construction project and one that turns into a money pit nightmare is pre-planning.

“Before you do anything, find your use permit either in your files or at the county records department,” said Demerus Lescure, vice president at Lescure Engineers, Inc., a civil engineering firm in Santa Rosa, California. “With an existing winery there is a description of what the county will let you do in terms of how many cases of wine you can produce, or whether or not you can have winery events. You may need to apply for a modification if your existing permit doesn’t match up with your new plans and sometimes, previous restrictions have gone away.”

It’s common, especially for rural wineries that don’t have as much public interaction, to run into trouble with use permits. As Lescure has observed, these winery owners often think nobody’s watching, so they just go ahead and add a new out building, or a new fermentation facility to enlarge their capacity. It’s all good until the neighbors start noticing more truck traffic and turn them in. It happens.

“It’s easy to say let’s add a room, or more barrels, or a new crush pad,” said Lescure. “But pretty soon the neighbors are paying attention. Over the years, we’ve seen wineries who do illegal building, get turned in, and have the book thrown at them. That never ends well.”

Lescure pointed out that even if your existing use permit doesn’t cover your current vision, there may be creative ways around the problem. “One restriction wineries encounter is that the amount of cases they can produce is based on their wastewater treatment pond. Are there ways to enlarge or increase capacity? Often we can develop a strategy that expands a wastewater treatment facility without building a bigger pond. There may be other options that can be considered to handle domestic wastewater, and increase the capacity for wine making.”

Pre-planning construction projects not only helps avoid permit violations, it helps solidify the costs ahead of time so that there are fewer surprises. The truth is, many projects end up costing more than originally thought. This is often not because of contractors lowballing their bids, however, but because the owners want to expand the original plan.

“Sometimes,” said Lescure, “an owner will suddenly decide that he wants the pond in another place. That type of change is not as simple as just digging a new hole. The original plans considered the initial topography; if you want to move it, it will require plan modifications, and that costs more money.”

It can pay to select professionals with experience in winery construction, especially if yours is a rural winery. Rural properties have special needs, for example, they have to retain their own storm water, have their own water source, and their own water disposal areas, all very important considerations.

“As civil engineers, we fill in the underpinnings—the things that will make sure that water won’t end up in the basement,” said Lescure. “Often architects that have little or no experience in rural settings are used to just plugging in to municipal services;—the stuff cities have all figured out for them. We can help with all of that, and the more professionals you can consult with before construction , the better your results will be.”

When Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” he might have been talking about winery construction.

Rural Communities

Water and Wastewater Management Systems Designed to Scale

URJ Camp Newman
Wastewater upgrade for expanded use

Odd Fellows Park Wastewater Management System
Winner of 2002 CELSOC Engineering Excellence Award of Honor

Western Hills Mobile Home Park, Ukiah
Upgrade of Community Onsite Wastewater System

Occidental Arts & Ecology Center
An Educational Intentional Com

 

Municipal Utilities

City of Santa Rosa
Laguna Regional Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation Facilities

Graton Community Services District
Wastewater Treatment Facility Upgrade
Effluent Pump Station Upgrade

 

Wineries & Vineyards Projects include:

The following winery, vineyard and food processing projects are currently in progress or have been completed by Lescure Engineers.

Abbondanza Vintners Square, Santa Rosa          Site improvements, water & wastewater systems

Amy's Kitchen, Santa Rosa                               Process wastewater plant site infrastructure

Barlow Apple Facility, Sebastopol                      Process wastewater treatment facility

Chalk Hill Vineyards, Healdsburg                       Vineyard plans, wastewater system

Field Stone Winery, Healdsburg                         Site evaluation for wastewater system

Goldridge Organic Farm, Sebastopol                  Use Permit, subdivision, olive oil process wastewater system, site improvements

Goldridge Pinot, Sebastopol                              Boundary survey

Heitz Cellars, St. Helena                                   Process wastewater system

HMS Vineyards, St. Helena                               Site evaluation for wastewater system

Hunter Farms, Sonoma                                     Wastewater system, pond dam evaluation

Jacuzzi Winery, Sonoma                                   Winery & olive process wastewater pond system

Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Healdsburg               Design of domestic wastewater system for tasing room and event facility

Kunde Winery                                                  Zero-Net Carbon Energy Case Study

Opus One, Oakville                                          Grading & drainage plan, wastewater system

Patassy Winery, Sebastopol                             Tanks pads, wastewater system

Porter Creek Winery, Healdsburg                       Site grading and wastewater system plan

Pride Mountain Vineyards, Santa Rosa               Pond grading and drainage plan

Rabbit Ridge Winery, Healdsburg                       Process wastewater pond plan

Ridge Vineyards, Lytton Springs                        Water and process wastewater systems

Simplers Botanicals, Graton                              Site grading and drainage plan

Sonoma Cutrer, Windsor                                   Vineyard erosion control plans, three agricultural bridges, water rights application..

Sonoma Wine Company, Graton,                       Master planning, Use Permit, facility improvements, wastewater pond upgrade

Stryker Sonoma, Geyserville                              Winery site improvements, water and wastewater systems

The Napa Valley Reserve, St. Helena                 Site utilities and improvement plans

Bennett Lane Winery, Calistoga                         Process wastewater system to drip irrigation, domestic wastewater system mound

 

The following projects were participated in by Lescure Engineers employees when they were working for other firms.

Alderbrook Winery, Healdsburg

Araujo Estate Wines, Calistoga

Arrowood Vineyards & Winery, Glen Ellen

Beaulieu Vineyards, Rutherford

Cakebread Cellars, Rutherford 

Champlin Creek Vineyards, Sonoma

Chateau St. Jean, Kenwood   

Chimney Rock Winery, Napa 

Cliff Lede Vineyards, Napa

Clos du Bois Winery, Geyserville

DeLoach Vineyards, Santa Rosa

Duckhorn Wine Co., St. Helena

Ehlers Estate Winery, St. Helena

Estancia Estates Winery, Soledad

Ferrari-Carano Winery, Healdsburg

Fleming Winery, Calistoga

Flowers Vineyard & Winery, Cazadero

Frogs Leap Winery, Rutherford

Gallo Sonoma Estate, Healdsburg

Gary Farrell Wines, Healdsburg

Groton Vineyards & Winery, Oakville

Hanna Winery, Healdsburg

Imagery Estate Winery, Glen Ellen

Kapcsandy Family Winery, Yountville

Kistler Vineyards, Sebastopol

Korbel Champagne Cellars, Guerneville

La Crema Winery, Santa Rosa

Markham Winery, Calistoga 

Montevina Wines, Amador County

Mumm Winery, Napa

Opus One Winery, Oakville

Paraduxx Winery, St. Helena

Paul Hobbs Wines, Sebastopol

Premier Pacific Vineyards, Napa

Ravenswood Winery, Sonoma

Rhys Vineyard, Santa Cruz

Round Hill Winery, Rutherford

Rutherford Hill Winery, Rutherford

Silver Oak Cellars, Oakville

Silverado Vineyards, Napa 

Simi Winery, Healdsburg

Sonoma Cutrer Vineyards, Windsor

Staggs Leap Wine Cellars, Napa


Sutter Home Winery, St. Helena 

Teldeschi Winery, Healdsburg

The Hess Collection, Napa

Tom Eddy Wines, Calistoga


Villa Amarosa, St. Helena

Williams Selyem Winery, Healdsburg

Site grading, wastewater system.

Site grading, facility plan

Site grading, wastewater system

Site grading.

Site grading, parking

Master planning, Use Permit, site grading.

Site grading

Site grading, parking lot

Site grading, wastewater system, SWPPP

Master planning, Use Permit

Site grading

Site grading, wastewater system

Site grading

Site grading, wastewater pond

Site grading

Master planning, use permitting

Site grading

Site grading, SWPPP

Site grading

Site grading, wastewater system.

Site grading

Site grading, water rights application, initial

Site grading

Site grading, master planning

Use permitting

Site grading, crush area, receiving area

Fire protection / wastewater ponds, site grading

Site grading, parking, crush pad, plaza

Site grading

Site grading, wastewater pond, left turn lane.

Site grading, fire protection / wastewater pond.

Site grading, SWPPP

Site grading, wastewater system.

Site evaluation, Certificates of Compliance.

Site grading, wastewater, mining site reclamation.

Master planning, Use Permit

Site grading

Site grading

Site grading, CalTrans turn lane, Use Permit

Site grading

Site grading

Site grading

Use permit, grading, storm water detention, wastewater system.

Site grading

Planning, site evaluation, site grading

Site grading, wastewater system, structural retrofit

Site grading, master plan, Use Permit, wastewater system.

Site grading, wastewater system.

Master planning, Use Permit

Title Name Email Phone
Principal Peter J. Lescure, PE plescure@lescure-engineers.com 707-575-3427 Ext (114)
Business Manager Demerus M. Lescure le@lescure-engineers.com 707-575-3427 Ext (101)
Senior Project Engineer Jeffrey S. Loe, PE, QSD/QSP jsloepe@lescure-engineers.com 707-575-3427 Ext (112)
Senior Project Engineer Wendy K. Ziegler, PE wziegler@lescure-engineers.com 707-575-3427 Ext (117)
Project Surveyor Jonathan R. Olin, PLS jolin@lescure-engineers.com 707-575-3427 Ext (106)