Reducing Water Use at Breweries
Most brewers pride themselves on being sustainable – creating a sense of community, protecting the environment, making great-tasting beer – and by doing these things, making a profit. Breweries can be more sustainable by implementing simple water conservation techniques that not only use natural resources more efficiently, but also make sense for the bottom line.
One New Hampshire brewery participating in our benchmarking program was reviewing their water bill and noticed a huge spike. They checked their operation for major leaks, but did not find any. This brewery was located in a building that housed other businesses and it was discovered that another tenant had a leaking toilet. All parties were astonished at the effect of one continuously running toilet had on water use in the complex. A leaking toilet results in as much as 300 gallons of water lost in a day; and for a month that’s 9,000 gallons! It may not seem like much but that water costs money and it is literally going down the drain. Most people don’t’ realize that you pay for water twice. Once when you use it and then you pay to dispose of it after it is used. In short, a simple adjustment and this costly problem disappeared.
Now let’s talk about some ways to reduce water use at your brewery. A cost effective way to conserve water is to clean up spills using a broom, squeegee or shovel instead of using a hose. If you need to use a hose, make sure it has a shutoff nozzle or better yet, a use high-pressure low-flow nozzle. Another way to manage water use is to create an employee Leak Patrol to check your operation for leaks once a week. Did you know that three faucets dripping one drip per minute results in more than 100 gallons of water wasted in a year? Reusing water wherever you can in your operation also saves water. For example, final rinse water can be stored in a tank and reused in the pre-rinse stage. Host an employee scavenger hunt to look for ways to reuse or conserve water at your facility. Last, track your use! If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Measuring how much water you use or lose at various points in your operation is critical to conserving water and saving money.
You’ve just read about some simple, yet effective ways to conserve water and keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket. Please contact us at NHPPP@des.nh.gov for more ideas on how to make your brewery more sustainable and watch our video on YouTube!