In a world grappling with water scarcity and climate change, innovative solutions are vital to addressing the growing concerns. One such creative endeavor comes from the American brewery Devil’s Canyon in collaboration with Epic Cleantec, a water treatment startup based in San Francisco.
The two have embarked on a groundbreaking project, called “Epic OneWater Brew,” to make beer using recycled wastewater sourced from the showers, sinks, and washing machines of a residential building in San Francisco.
“Buildings globally use 14% of all potable water. Almost no buildings reuse that water — that’s what we’re trying to change,” CEO and co-founder of Epic Cleantec Aaron Tartakovsky said.
The CEO says the unusual ingredient doesn’t affect the taste of the beer, describing it as a “nice, crisp, Kölsch-style ale.” The brewing industry is known for its high water consumption, requiring around seven gallons of water to produce just one gallon of beer.
The type of water used to make the beer, called greywater, can be treated to meet drinking water standards, potentially reducing household bills and addressing global water shortages exacerbated by climate change. Before being treated, the water usually contains dirt and chemicals but has never been touched by fecal matter.
The water for this project came from a 40-story apartment building in San Francisco, where a water treatment unit was installed to collect and treat about 7,500 gallons of greywater per day.
“There is a yuck factor associated with the thought of recycled water. I think a lot of people think that recycled water is of lesser quality than tap water,” Tartakovsky said.
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Since the beer cannot be sold commercially due to regulations, this project primarily aims to spark conversation and demonstrate the potential and importance of recycled water.
As Tartakovsky explained: “When I first entered the industry, a lot of people said that the public is just not ready for recycled water, that public perception is too difficult for people to overcome. And I think what our beer project has shown people is that the public is a lot more ready for recycled water than we give them credit for.”
As public awareness grows and regulatory frameworks adapt, the prospect of turning recycled greywater into safe and drinkable products may become a reality, paving the way for a more sustainable and water-resilient future.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — Featured Photo Credit: Epic Cleantec.