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Thread: Brewing with Well Water vs. City Water in Wisconsin

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Menomonie, WI
    Posts
    66

    Red face Brewing with Well Water vs. City Water in Wisconsin

    Good Morning Everyone,

    I wanted to know if you are legally allowed to, in the state of Wisconsin, use WELL WATER as apposed to CITY WATER. Also, if you use well water, what are the regulations that go along with it.

    Thank you for any advice, much appreciated!!!

    Jon Christiansen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    West Des Moines, IA
    Posts
    60
    We used well water the first few years we opened only because the city didn't process any water. If you plan on using well water you are going to need a ton of equipment to process it(RO system, water storage tank, UV sterilizer, water chiller, and all the automation equipment to make all of those things work together). For a 10K bbl a year you might be looking at $24K in just the RO filters. We consumed so much water that the city decided to install their own RO system. I'm overall very happy they did. If you are looking to go the well water route I still have a lot of the processing equipment that I would be willing to sell at a fraction of what we originally paid for it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Idyllwild, CA, USA
    Posts
    139
    Is the water quality bad? Here in CA, I just went through the licensing process to use our new well for the brewery/restaurant. While the paperwork is daunting, we formed our own Transient Non-community Water Supply and have been approved by Environmental Health. We DO NOT have to treat the water in any way, shape, or form; that is, there will be no chlorine added or any other type of sterilization techniques. What comes out of the ground is what we'll be using.

    We have to follow this testing schedule:

    Bacteria: Quarterly
    Nitrate: Annually
    Nitrite: Every three years
    General Mineral: Once
    Flouride: Once
    Iron, Manganese, Specific Conductance: Once

    Granted, we're up in the mountains and the water is really pure and quite suitable for brewing. Also, since the ground is mainly decomposed granite we had to go down 150' with our sanitary seal even though the county only requires 50'.

    As a backup, I can switch the entire building over to town water in a minute if we ever need to.

    Check with your local Environmental Health office and they will tell you what you need to know/do.

    Cheers,
    --
    Don

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Menomonie, WI
    Posts
    66
    The water quality here in WI can vary from county to county, and really from neighborhood to the next. I do know of a brewer here in NW Wisconsin that uses well water with no treatment of any sort (besides maybe phos. acid in the mash) with wonderful results. This being said, every water source is different and I've tasted water with higher iron, other flavor flaws, etc.
    I can double check but I thought he only needed to test his grey water tank before he sprayed it on his land. Besides tasting the well water once our final location has been determined, I think contacting the Environmental Health Office for any testing information is in order.

    Gbrower, if we come across any major issues, and we happen to need some water processing equipment I would love to speak further with you.

    Thanks this information is a great start.

    Cheers,
    Jon

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