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Brewery Blows off City Water, Dodges 300% Utility Increase

Breweries, known for using large amounts of water that is eventually discharged into a city’s water treatment plant, face the potential for steep increases in sewer rates as craft- and microbrew breweries put increasing pressure on a municipalities water infrastructure. But at least one brewery is solving the problem on its own by building an on-site wastewater treatment facility.

Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon, was facing an increase in sewer rates of 316% over the next few years, according to KUOW radio station’s website. Those increases would equal well over a million dollars, so Deschutes is looking at decentralized water treatment options at the brewery and plans to have a $9.5 million system in place by the end of 2018. (A decentralized solution is one that manages wastewater at or near the site where it is generated).

Smaller breweries do not have the option of bringing in their own treatment systems and exiting the municipal system; Deschutes competitors in the area, such as Crux Fermentation Project, will face tougher competition as they continue to pay increasing water utility prices.

The KUOW article comes at a time when business concerns about water and wastewater treatment are at a high. In fact, a recent Frost & Sullivan report found that commercial and industrial end-users could gain a strong competitive advantage by using decentralized wastewater treatment options. Decentralized packaged/containerized treatment is economical and highly sustainable, the report says.

Water scarcity, severe water stress, stringent regulations to control pollution in water bodies, and aging city infrastructures are all issues that can lead to utility price jumps which are increasingly affecting businesses in the industrial and commercial arenas. These factors are leading to the growth of decentralized packaged/containerized water and wastewater treatment globally.


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