Two men have invented a product they say wineries can use to comply with stormwater regulations and avoid building costly structures over crush pads.

Architect John Ward of Napa and general contractor Butch Chamberlain of Auburn designed the VinValve, an automatic diversion valve that diverts wastewater from crush pads into holding tanks for treatment and sends rainwater to storm conveyance systems.

VinValve systems are available at contractors' supply houses.

The pre-manufactured system includes a control panel, remote rain sensor and valve capsule. The system is low voltage and comes provided with battery backup power that will keep the system working for approximately 72 hours of constant use in the event of a power outage.

Napa County banned uncovered crush pads with manual diversion valves several years ago.

(Compiled by Staff Writer Derek Moore. Submit items to