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Septic and Leach Field Sizing

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  • Septic and Leach Field Sizing

    I've been working on a location for our brewery. We found a great location, but it's in an un-incorporated area of the county and there's an obscure regulation that states we could not have more than 1,999 gallons of total effluent per day (water, sewage, etc.). I'm hoping some of you can help me with a couple of questions.

    1. If you use city/county sewer or septic, do you know and/or could you share your average outflow?
    2. Do you know any breweries that use septic/leach systems?

    I have called Denver waste water and they helped somewhat, although the locations had to be anonymous (they couldn't identify the exact breweries). The health department may allow us to provide comparables and try to prove that we would be under 1999, on average. The list I received had four breweries under 1999 and one brewery over. I gave her a list of names of breweries that had 10bbl systems, which is what we will have.

    There are a lot of questions and issues colliding here. We may need to treat the brewery waste water before sending it to the septic and leach field, but I'm not as worried about that. The total volume is the biggest issue. I need to make sure this will work, before signing the lease. The current owners have said they will expand for us, but the health department wouldn't allow it unless they are convinced we could be at 1999 or lower.

    Thanks, in advance, for any feedback! JT
    Last edited by JTbeermeister; 11-14-2016, 10:14 AM.

  • #2
    Vermont has a document here that says 2.5-3.5 GPD of waste per beer produced if you are being careful. So 1999 of waste / 2.5 gallons of water per beer = 799.6 gallons per day of beer would be 25.79 BBL a day.

    So at 10 bbl , you'd have to use 6.44 Gallons of water per gallon of beer produced to get 1999 Gallons of wastewater, that would be very high water:beer ratio, assuming you are not doing double or triple batches per day.

    Last edited by greenmtnbrewer; 11-14-2016, 11:04 AM.


    • #3
      I am working on doing a septic system for my brewery at the moment and would like to chime in with a few pieces of advice. You will want to make sure you have a brewery waste water holding tank and a bathroom waste tank. I am having both of mine pumped to the drain field through a common pipe. You will want to keep the tanks separate due to the fact that the bacteria that break down waste will be out competed by yeast and unfermented wort that will case the bathroom waste to not break down and create a thick sludge of yeast, trub and feces on the bottom of your tank. If you go this route and decide to upgrade your system size you could always pump out the brewery waste water and take it to you local water treatment plant to have it dumped instead of putting extra stress on your drain field and to still adhere to the code.


      • #4
        Here in Oregon a brewery waste-limited septic is required, separate from bathroom / kitchen waste (for reason stated above), maintenance must be documented and you pay $500.00/year permit fee. I'm working on a plan to transport brewery waste to the local treatment plant, but even at an anticipated 300-400 bbl/year for tap house that could get old real quick. I'm looking at reducing my water volume by double-batching w/ pre-chilled exchange water to cool 1st batch and to start 2nd batch, and then use glycol chiller to cool 2nd batch.
        Seems like even a dedicated septic would be overloaded /clogged pretty quickly without some sort of filter system upstream for yeast load.


        • #5
          The other option is to keep yeast out. send away with waste grain.