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Thread: City Building Code

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    new york
    Posts
    146

    City Building Code

    This is a pretty broad question to ask, but I need some help.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to approach/deal with city bulding departments when it comes to explaining a brewery in simple terms?

    My biggest concern is how to approach them with the issue of "liquid" going down the sanitary sewer. I know from experience that most brewerys do not have thier own waste water treatment facilty, so beer, yeast and cleaning water must be going down the drain.

    Any literature or websites on the topic would aslo be appreciated.

    cheers,
    Scott

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    India
    Posts
    138
    It is not so much, how much goes down the drain as what goes down. Two things at the top of the list for breweries are "BOD" and "pH" (ex. yeast and cleaning solutions) Even some small breweries now are required to have some sort of treatment for there waste water. (holding tank to check pH and areator before discharge)
    You have to remember you municipal water company has a permit issued by the DEP and that have to conform to standards which they pass on to you.( useally more strict)
    Your town/city may have its' own website with information or ask and I'm sure they have documents to share with you. Your STATE EPA and Federal DEP have good websites with loads of information.
    One last bit, try to work with them, never argue with government beaurocrats. They useally have the last word.
    Hope it helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    304

    Re: City Building Code

    Originally posted by ScottV

    ...............My biggest concern is how to approach them with the issue of "liquid" going down the sanitary sewer. I know from experience that most brewerys do not have thier own waste water treatment facilty, so beer, yeast and cleaning water must be going down the drain..............

    Any literature or websites on the topic would aslo be appreciated.

    cheers,
    Scott
    Scott,
    It really depends on the size of the Sewer District. Here in Mukilteo, WA, even though we're a 7 Bbl operation we brew about 4 times a week. This produces a lot of yeast and yeast effluent. Unfortunately, our Sewer District is a small one and we're a "big fish in a little pond" when it comes to BOD effluent, so we got popped with a big bill and a demand to do something about it.

    Sisne we're too small for our own treatment facility, we install a 525 gallon tank and pump our yeast effluent to it. It is then pumped out by a sanitation service for about $.28 - $.35 per gallon.

    The issue is the BOD and TSS levels, as mentioned by Matt earlier. BOD is Biological Oxygen Demand and is not a function of whether the yeast is alive or not........it's how much oxygen is required to break it down in the sewer system. TSS is Total Suspended Solids and is the ppm (parts per million) of whatever it is that's going down the drain. Our yeast effluent was so high in both the testers had to continuosly dilute the sample until they could get it to measure in their equipment.

    pH is another factor, but one our district is willing to waive after we get the BOD and TSS levels down. We've been operating for 10 years and they finally started to have problems with this, I imagine. They have been nice so far and have exhibited a real "work with" attitude.

    Teh biggest problem I had was explaining to the Building Inspector that brewing equipment, Fermenters in particular, do not explode, and his Grandpappy once told him. I gave them several Breweries to go tour, but they never did check on out.

    It's just patience, patience, patience, and a desire to educate. Really avoid getting smart with them even if they do deserve it....... it only makes the red tape turn only slower and slower.

    Ironically, there is a light at the end of teh tunnel. We're currently opening our 2nd facility in the same little town and the Building Inspector knows our process pretty well, so all is moving a whole lot faster than before. He also trusts, after 10 years, that we know what we're doing.

    Good luck,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    407

    What to do with all that yeast...

    Something to consider:

    While it's unlikely that we can capture all the yeast that's heading for the drain, there are alternatives for handling some of the more concentrated portions we get but don't need:

    I just found a local "craft baker" who will gladly take my unwanted yeast off of my hands, and even throw a few tasty loaves my way. His demand for it is never-ending since he kills it with each baking. Our situation is of course the reverse.

    Ask around.
    Scott

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson Wy
    Posts
    6
    Scott,

    I enlisted the help of a civil engineer specializing in water treatment to talk with the building and planning department in my community, also present were the town engineer and sewer super. They were all able to discuss any concerns in a language that the engineers could translate to the planners etc.

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