Thanks for reading.  I think you will agree, there is no other source of such practical information out there.  And there is a lot more to it.  Stay tuned, I will continue to add information to this page as time goes on.

This page is a bit of a hodge podge of information…

  • Make sure you have a hot & cold water wash down hose located near your wastewater tanks as well as near your spent grain area. If you are in a cold climate, hot water is especially important as well as compressed air.  Hot water melts ice and snow, then at the end of your washing work run compressed air through the water hose to prevent freezing.
  • When being billed sewer charges, make sure you are not billed for water that ends up in your product.  Most cities have a system in place to not bill sewer charges for irrigation water.  What you are asking for is to not bill sewer charges for beer that will be packaged and shipped out of your sewer district- or for wastewater you side streamed and will land apply (or water in spent grain, evaporation…).

Load, you have heard me mention that many times already.  Load is expressed as ‘Pounds per day of BOD’ (or TSS, COD, ammonia, etc.).  What the heck does that mean?  You may need to know what load is when looking at limits, or for surcharges your municipality wants to enforce.

Imagine you have a keg of beer you need to dump.  You can dump it down the drain as is; or you can dump it in to 1,000 gals of water, and dump all of that down the drain.  The volume is very different, the concentration is very different, but the load is the same.  It’s still pollution that the local wastewater plant needs to remove.  To calculate load:

Pounds of (BOD/COD/TSS) per day =

(8.34*(BOD/COD/TSS in mg/L)*gallons)/1,000,000

Example: 10,000 gallons of 5,000 BOD wastewater equals


= 417 pounds of BOD


OK, it has to be in here somewhere.  Doing my service to the public works employees around the country.  These are a few things wastewater related but not brewery related:

  • Flushable wipes.  They’re flushable because they will go down the toilet when flushed, and that is the only thing flushable about them.  Do not flush them, throw them in the trash.  These types of wipes are durable, they don’t fall apart in the sewer the way toilet paper does.  The gazillions of flushed wipes collect in pipes and lift station downstream and eventually create a ginormous clog.
  • Grease.  In the wastewater world it’s called FOG (fats, oils, and greases).  Do not send it down the drain, not at home or in your brewery.  What to do with leftover grease or oil?  For grease, wait for it to cool, then wipe it with paper towels and throw them away.  For oil, most restaurants will accept your used cooking oil in their grease bin.

A flushable wipe clog.  Each of these pictures is of a pump impeller:

Flushable wipes

And a FOG clog:

This problem is generally biggest on the main drag through town where all of the fast food restaurants are.  For those lovers of fast food, ever heard of atherosclerosis?  Same thing, but in your veins!

Please contact me with further questions, leave feedback, or to add you own advice.  Thanks, John

Contact John:


Manual pH adjustment