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Residental property based brewery and septic capacity?

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  • Residental property based brewery and septic capacity?

    I am looking to start a brewery in an outbuilding on the property of my residence in Vermont. I am wondering how septic system capacity plays into things as TTB and or state/local government sees it? My concern would be they tell me I need to put in a whole new septic system or that the land just does not support that kind of volume of wastewater. Has anyone gone through this?
    Last edited by greenmtnbrewer; 11-08-2013, 12:33 PM.

  • #2
    Step 1: contact your local municipality and see if what you want to do is even legal. TTB doesn't care about your local septic system issues, but your local government does. Good luck!
    Kevin Shertz
    Chester River Brewing Company
    Chestertown, MD


    • #3
      Agreed - you need to check with local authorities to determine if you can have a commercial manufacturing facility on your property (and serve alcohol for sale, if you plan on having a taproom and/or retail sales on premises) and if it is permitted, then see what the wastewater requirements will be. I would be highly surprised if the local county or municipal authority would approve construction of a brewery that uses a residential septic system but in Vermont...who knows.
      DFW Employment Lawyer


      • #4
        Vermont/our town does not care, but figuring out wastewater will be the issue. As long as you do not have people coming to your house for deliveries, etc. or store stuff outside (eye sore) , they do not care what you do. That doesn't mean you can't do those things, it just requires zoning board review. Within initial constraints, you don't need any review , which is nice. Actually, in our town, if you are selling what you create on site (not re-selling something you didn't make yourself) you can even have people stop by to buy onsite, again with no additional review.

        I will probably have to figure out how much water goes down the drain for each brew/bottle, how much I can/will brew per day, I imagine, as the wastewater systems are rated in gallons per day. It may be possible that by reducing the amount of water the other fixtures in the home use , you can create the extra capacity. Will inquire a bit more with the town, but still in preliminary phases.
        Last edited by greenmtnbrewer; 05-01-2014, 05:56 AM.


        • #5
          I was able to get a brewers notice with a similar setup a few years ago; residential and septic. Like the others have said, I don't think the TTB cares (at least they didn't seem to then). In my case, I was shot down by the "no business in the neighborhood" deed restriction. I just ended up with a big home brewery, which is ok too. It was a nice paperwork drill for my next attempt somewhere else. Keep at it!



          • #6
            they WILL care

            your town will care...when the EPA shows up. Be careful, disclose as much as possible and get permission for everything you do. When you file your brewer's notice the TTB will provide info to the department of ag and the EPA (at what level, I don't know...but the do disclose). A brewery of even modest size is a legit industrial concern and putting chlorinated caustic and yeast into a septic system has impacts.

            Consider surface application?
            Larry Horwitz