From Drains To Drafts: Craft Brewers Will Compete To Recycle Residents’ Wastewater Into Beer

wastewater to beer

We aren’t embarrassed to discuss strange and unusual topics on sustainablog. We’ve told you about everything from why some are choosing to compost their loved ones’ bodies to how a company is turning big profits using cow poop. If you aren’t grossed out yet, you may appreciate the idea of recycling wastewater into beer.

Next month, a dozen or so craft brewers in Portland, Oregon will compete in the Pure Water Brew Challenge; they will create one-of-a-kind beers from residents’ used water. All of the water discarded from flushing, bathing, dish washing, laundry, etc. will be collected from a local treatment plant. It then will be thoroughly cleaned using a three-step purification process. Some believe the water will be so clean brewers will have to add minerals and salts to mimic the taste of tap water. The winner of the contest will be announced at the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference in September.

Whether you’re thirsty for a sample or repulsed by the thought, you have to admit it’s a bold attempt by Clean Water Services to raise awareness. The group hopes recycling wastewater for drinking will become the norm– just as it’s in drought-impacted parts of California, Texas, Australia and Singapore. Continue reading in the next section how wastewater could be a solution to a global problem.

Wastewater Can Help to Combat Future Water Scarcity

Experts warn the entire global population will experience a shortage of fresh water by as soon as 2030. Water scarcity will become inevitable problem that will greatly affect our way of life. Our question then changes from if we should reuse wastewater, but to when and what extent should we use the resource. Singapore is currently leading the way in cleaning its residents’ shower and hand washing water and redistributing it to taps. It’s time we too get past our social stigmas and make water recycling and conservation a part of our national conversation; maybe we can have a cold one while we chat!

What do you think of cleaning and reusing wastewater? Would you drink a beer made with wastewater?

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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