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article imageSewage to suds: Craft brewers to make beer from reclaimed water

By Brian Booker     Apr 30, 2015 in Environment
Portland - An Oregon waste water treatment operator is challenging Oregon's renowned craft beer community to come up with a tasty beer made from treated sewage water.
Brewers will have a chance to compete in the up-coming Pure Water Brew Challenge for the $100 grand prize, or one of five $50 prizes. Of course, most craft brewers aren't in it for the money, but instead the challenge.
The contest will be held in late July or early August. The winning brews will also be shown off at the upcoming international water conference in Chicago. The beer will not be sold in stores.
Come early June, Clean Water Services will release approximately 300 gallons of highly-purified water to 20 different brewers. The brewers will then set to work, turning the treated sewage water into home-brewed beer.
All of the brewers will be members of the Oregon Brew Crew, the state's oldest home-brewing club.
By introducing reused sewage water through craft brewing contests and other public outreach programs, Clean Water Services hopes to change Oregon's regulatory environment.
Clean Water Services previously sponsored a beer brewing competition using reclaimed and treated river water. The contest, held last year, was won by Ted Assur and his Vox Max Belgian beer.
From sewage to clean water
Producing a tasty beer from sewage might seem like a daunting task, but Clean Water Services has assured brewers and the public that its reclaimed water is highly purified and exceeds US purity standards for tap water.
Purified water extracted from sewage is often referred to as “reused” water. Instead of treating sewage water and pumping it back into rivers or other water supplies, reused water receives additional treatment so that it is made safe for drinking.
Reused water is common in places that face water shortages. Parts of California, Texas, Singapore, and elsewhere reuse water.
Still for rainy Portland, which regularly enjoys some of the highest rainfall averages in the United States, recycled sewage water is a novel concept.
Clean Water Service’s water recycling program uses a combination of ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation to reclaim and purify water from sewage.
Clean Water Services hopes that the brew contest will warm Oregon consumers and regulators up to the potential of reused water. The company believes that the Pacific Northwest's growing population and other factors could eventually create a water shortage.
More about Beer, craft beer, water treatment, Sewage
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