Jun 29, 2018

Vermont Breweries Contributing to Lake Champlain Wastewater Discharges

Burlington, Vt., released 1.8 million gal of wastewater earlier in June

Vermont breweries played a significant role in a recent wastewater discharge

Earlier in the month of June, the city of Burlington, Vt., was forced to discharge 1.8 million gal of wastewater into Lake Champlain. This prompted the closure of beaches in the city among problems. It has now been revealed that breweries and food producers played a significant role in contributing to the problem.

Burlington’s Department of Public Works has publicly called on these food and beverage industry players to improve their wastewater management practices in order to avoid further discharges in the future. Wastewater produced by breweries is increasingly becoming a problem across the country as their production remains on the uptick, especially considering that beer is composed of 90% to 95% water.

In order to combat these issues, breweries are focused on driving sustainability and improving water management issues. Such an industry only contributes to other pervasive water issues including scarcity, water stress, strict pollution control and obsolete infrastructure.

Several examples exist of prominent American breweries making positive strides towards reducing their water footprint. Lagunitas Brewing Co. successfully improved its water efforts, reducing its footprint by 40% by installing a membrane bioreactor which effectively removes approximately 99% of pollutants and solids, which allows the brewery to explore water reuse options.

Ballast Point Brewing Co. of San Diego, Cal., successfully completed its first beer batches utilizing water pulled from the air using a water generator, which is able to pull moisture from the air, capitalizing on San Diego’s coastal fog.

As for the Vermont wastewater discharge, breweries have already begun meetings with state officials in order to work towards more environmentally-friendly water use moving forward.