Recycled Wastewater Helps Maximize Water Treatment Systems

In Biology 101, we learn that water is the key to survival for all living organisms. Thanks to the natural water cycle of the ecosystem, water has always been a renewable resource. But at the current rate humans are consuming water, combined with factors influenced by climate change, we are drawing from the pool faster than the environment can replenish.

Fortunately, there are some forward-thinking companies and communities that are using modern technology to “reuse” water in healthy, eco-conscious ways – pioneering the field of water conservation in the process.

Recycled Wastewater and Beer

CH2M, an engineering company in Denver, CO, is one of the companies leading the charge in finding ways to repurpose recycled wastewater. They are battling the public stigma against recycled water and driving sustainable water reuse technology. CH2M saw the public’s general distrust of recycled water and derived ways to make it more accepted—by using recycled water in beer.

So far, three breweries in Denver—Lone Tree Brewing Company, Lost Highway Brewing Company, and 105 West Brewing Company—have used the 330 gallons of direct potable reuse water from CH2M to in their beer-making process.

How Does the Water Get Recycled?

According to CH2M, reclaimed water is pumped into a treatment trailer. Once in the trailer, it gets purified using a multi-barrier purification process that includes ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet disinfection with advanced oxidation, activated carbon filtration, and chlorine disinfection to transform recycled community wastewater into pure drinking water.

The idea is catching on.

Increased Usage of Recycled Wastewater

In San Diego, CA, the Stone Brewing Co. has already produced five barrels of a new craft beer that uses recycled water from San Diego’s Pure Water facility. Stone Brewing Co. named the beer Full Circle Pale Ale in an effort to bring awareness to recycled wastewater options and solutions.  

Another usage of recycled wastewater can be found in Big Sky, MT. Following the example set by CH2M and San Diego’s Pure Water Program, the well-known ski resort town is considering a proposal to use recycled wastewater for snowmaking. The town itself has boomed in population in the past two decades, thanks to its proximity to Yellowstone National Park, the unrivaled vistas, and its exclusive ski resort. But so much growth means a strain on existing infrastructure and resources—namely, water.

For all the open air and mountains, town authorities realized that Big Sky doesn’t have enough water to meet current demands. Groundwater, the only source of drinking water for the community, is rapidly depleting thanks to the population growth.

Another issue is the current treatment of wastewater. According to reports, “the sewage system was expanded 15 years ago at a cost of $15 million, but it’s already nearly at capacity and another expansion will be needed soon.”

Community members were adamant that the pristine nature of Big Sky, including the beloved Gallatin River, were protected and preserved before any development plans could move forward. To that end, three dozen community leaders formed the Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum that “strives to be a model mountain community by protecting and improving water resources, sustaining ecological health of the watersheds, and supporting a vibrant local economy.”

The Forum is open to all means of conservation and creative repurposing, including using recycled wastewater to help create the integral powder that keeps the snow-dependent tourism economy working, provides the water necessary for resident’s health and lives and doesn’t impede on the natural environment.

From suds to slopes, recycled wastewater is finding creative solutions to care for our future while preserving the present.

High Tide Technologies

High Tide Technologies is an end-to-end cloud-based SCADA company that enables our users to create a complete SCADA solution that utilizes field units, satellite, cellular or Ethernet communications as well as the Internet to monitor and provides automatic control of your systems. Many of our clients are water treatment plants that deal in municipal water distributionwastewater, and more. 

The responsible distribution of water and wastewater requires meticulous monitoring. We are committed to providing the highest quality monitoring products that give engineers, operators, and decision makers the required tools to make immediate, data-driven decisions.