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Brewery Crafts Sustainable Wastewater Plan

Friday, June 23, 2017

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Wastewater facilities are often filled with unpleasant materials, but a plant in the works in Oregon will primarily carry a much more welcome substance: beer. Or at least, beer byproducts.

Deschutes Brewery, in Bend, recently announced plans to build its own wastewater treatment plant at a price of $11.2 million in order to handle the more than 100,000 gallons of waste liquid its plant creates each day.

Deschutes brewery
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr

Deschutes Brewery, recently announced a plan to build its own wastewater treatment plant at a price of $11.2 million in order to handle the more than 100,000 gallons of waste liquid its plant creates each day.

According to the Bend Bulletin, owners of the brewery, which reportedly creates about three times as much wastewater as it does beer, decided to make the investment when fees for using the city’s treatment facility were raised such that the brewery would be paying $1 million more annually.

In addition, a service that had taken wastewater from the brewery to local farms to be recycled, reportedly told the brewery it would soon no longer be able to serve the facility because the farms it delivers to are being bought and redeveloped.

Sustainable System

The brewery’s owners hope to eventually hook the cleaned wastewater into an irrigation system to water grassy areas in a nearby retail district.

According to the Associated Press, the digester will double as a power generator for Deschutes: Methane generated in the process will be burned to produce electricity.

Deschutes brewery
chronic-shock, CC BY-ND 2.0, via Flickr

The brewery reportedly creates about three times as much wastewater as it does beer.

The Bulletin reports that Deschutes is seeking state, federal and nonprofit support to make the sustainable facility a reality, hoping that funders can bankroll more than half of the cost.

While many smaller breweries are able to utilize municipal treatment facilities, Deschutes isn’t the first craft brewery to build its own treatment plant: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Chico, California, and Mills River, North Carolina, breweries have pretreatment facilities that clean the plants’ wastewater before returning it to a municipal treatment plant. According to Sierra Nevada, those treatment facilities recover biogas from the waste and use it to fuel boilers and microturbines.

   

Tagged categories: non-potable water; North America; Program/Project Management; Wastewater Plants

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