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Average ranges for waste water constituents?

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  • Average ranges for waste water constituents?

    Hello all,

    Applying for Michigan DEQ permit for groundwater discharge of brewery water. We're sidestreaming and screening out large solids, and our brewing and cleaning water is entirely separate from the rest of the building's septic system. Can anyone offer average ranges for BOD, nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.? We're brewing at a small scale (2 bbls), but as we're not in production yet, we can't very well sample our brewery effluent. We have a holding tank large enough to hold brewing water and CIP water at once. and would be pumping it out and hauling it to a farm once a week or so. The DEQ has a winery-specific application they've asked us to fill out, but I suspect our waste water will be different enough to try to get more specific to brewery water.

    The analysis they want is:

    Ammonia Nitrogen (NH3 - N)
    Nitrate Nitrogen (NO3- - N)
    Nitrite Nitrogen (NO2- - N)
    Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen
    Total Phosphorus

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    I realize this isn't the sexiest subforum, but I feel like there are lots of folks who might be able to give some feedback, but they might not subscribe to the wastewater thread. Is there any way to bump this so it gets seen by more people. I could repost in a less specific thread, I suppose.

    Patrick S. McGinnity
    Whiskey Point Brewing Company
    Beaver Island, MI


    • #3
      If you haven't already, I suggest you get a copy of the Water book by John Palmer and read the chapter on wastewater for a pretty good overview. These are some numbers I've gleaned from a few sources:

      Average Brewery Effluent

      BOD 2,000 – 3,500 mg/L
      COD 3,000 – 5,500 mg/L
      TKN 58 mg/L
      TSS 400-800 mg/L
      TDS 1,800 mg/L
      pH 6.7

      I run a small onsite water-treatment plant for our brewpub and can tell you it's a chore to keep everything in line. I've spent a great deal of time learning the ins and outs of effluent treatment, both for the pre-treatment requirements for the local sewer district and also for using our reclaimed water for irrigation. My advice is to work closely with your local sewer district and know enough to give them the info they need for them to feel comfortable about what you're doing. In my case, we're the only brewery in our area and they were new to dealing with effluent so it became more of an issue than it should have been. I now have an excellent working relationship with them and they've relaxed a bit about all of it. Heck, they even asked me to send them raw effluent when they get too much dilution from rain and snow melt. Not enough BOD and the bacteria in their plant starts dying off, which is not a good thing because it takes some time for it all to recover and get back up to speed when the dilution rate slows down.



      • #4
        Many thanks for the numbers. I do have the Palmer book, but had forgotten about the wastewater section. We don't have city water or city sewer, so it is the DEQ I have to deal with for how to dispose of the water. They've been fine, though we have to fill out an application for power washer waste water, since there is no brewery-specific application yet.



        • #5
          I'm one of those who thinks this water safety thing is overhyped - that cleanliness is a more important prevention. More on this below. From the 70s to the mid 90s we drank most WMNF water without treatment. We did boil water from questionable sources - Kinsman pond, Unknown Pond.

          None of us got sick from this. But someone with a weaker immune system may have. Now I bring a filter when hike with a group. I'm willing to take a chance on my own intake, but not on others.

          But, more importantly in my opinion, I also bring liquid hand sanitizer. After every bathroom stop and before meals, this stuff gets used.

          It's my understanding that, although giardia is one of the more frequent waterborne illnesses, the chance of getting giardia from person-to-person or object-to-person contact is greater than that from water. How many people do you know who wash their hands after handling children? Diapers? Toys at a daycare center?