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Is Beer the Next Frontier for Clean Water Utilities?

There is a ‘yuck’ factor associated with what has traditionally been called Toilet to Tap initiatives in the arena of water reuse; but this may be changing.  With the summer upon us, and for some parts of the country, historic drought, comes renewed national attention on the issue of potable water reuse.  Two NACWA Member Agencies are pushing the boundaries by transforming treated effluent into a new end-product for consumption – beer.

Clean Water Services of Hillsboro, OR has initiated a project to donate their high-quality treated effluent to craft brewers to make ‘sewage beer’ for special events.  Similarly, in Milwaukee, WI, a wastewater engineer, Theera Ratarasarn, has undertaken an independent project of brewing Activated Sludge Wheat Ale, a beer made from purified Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District wastewater plant effluent.