Feb 12, 2020

Oregon County's Mobile Treatment System Recycles Water for Beer

Washington County, Oregon's Clean Water Services (CWS) created a mobile treatment system to recycle water for brewing beer.

industrial water reuse

Washington County’s Clean Water Services (CWS) created a mobile treatment system, Pure Water Wagon, to recycle small amounts of water specifically for brewing beer.

The county’s CWS utility is treating nearly 60 million gallons of wastewater at its facility in Tigard each day, reported Willamette Week. CWS uses a process that takes the highest quality of recycled water in state regulations from one of their four water resource recovery facilities and subjects it to a treatment train of ultrafiltration, reported My Oregon News.

"If you want people to talk about water," said Art Larrance, owner of Cascade Brewing, "you've got to make beer."

The Pure Wagon treatment system has been upgraded to have improved capacity, online monitoring and equipment with automated cleaning systems. The new system includes programmable logic controller-based controls and is capable of more automatic operation and control. 

The wagon is wrapped in signs that highlight the high purity water mission and contain educational material, which describe the unit processes and communicate the value of water and benefits of its reuse. 

The county was initially permitted to work only with home-brewers.

April 2015, the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission approved the use of high purity water for human consumption as an ingredient in the production of an alcoholic beverage, according to the plan. The proposed approach envisioned producing individual batches of high purity water to make home-brewed beer to use at specific professional events. 

The program is quickly expanding, however. At this year's Oregon Brewers Festival, it will provide the purified water to eight breweries.

“The goal is to communicate the benefits of reuse,” according to the Recycled Use Water Plan. “The district will host events such as tastings at professional and organized public forums to raise awareness and advance the conversation of reuse.”

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