If you plan to start a craft brewery, it’s important to evaluate both water use and wastewater discharge options. On average, seven barrels of water is needed for every barrel of product made by a brewery. Seventy percent of the water used by breweries is discharged as wastewater. Careful consideration and infrastructure planning by the brewery and the community are key to the success of any brewery development or expansion project.
If a brewery will discharge its wastewater to a local municipal sewer (called a publicly owned treatment works or POTW), the local POTW determines the requirements the brewery must follow for discharging to their system. The wastewater/effluent created by the brewing process is high in organics, and can be an operational challenge for a POTW. Because of this, some POTWs implement an extra surcharge on high-strength brewery effluent. POTWs may also require pre-treatment of wastewater to reduce contaminants prior to discharge. Installing a pretreatment system will likely require a permit-to-install (PTI) from Ohio EPA’s Division of Surface Water (DSW), along with permit from the POTW. Even the installation of a holding tank or other storage/treatment system may require a PTI from Ohio EPA.
Partnering with your local POTW early for proactive planning to address potential challenges will help your new business run smoothly. More information about Ohio EPA’s environmental compliance requirements and opportunities to reduce pollution can be found in Ohio EPA’s Want to Start a Craft Brewery fact sheet, or you can call OCAPP’s hotline at 800-329-7518.