Sometimes people just have one question about their wastewater situation. Or they want advice about drain layout. Or maybe they have a complex project? I offer the first hour free for all clients. If it’s a simple project, the first hour might be all it takes? If it’s complex, the first hour will get me up to speed and actually working on a solution before billable time starts.
Although I find it hard to believe, not everyone knows the details about brewery wastewater:) I start by getting a good understanding of the situation myself, then sharing that with the client. Sometimes I move on to the City employees to educate them about brewery wastewater. It’s not uncommon for me to help the city people understand surcharges, loading, limits, and their own regulations.
I had one client in Michigan where the city told the brewery their wastewater surcharges would be about $900 per day. This couldn’t be right! After digging in and correcting the math errors (on the city side of things), the surcharges were actually only about $20 per month. Problem solved just like that.
How much wastewater will your future brewery create in the first year? How about next year, or 5 years down the road? Or maybe you have an existing brewery and have these types of questions? Is your future wastewater going to be a problem at the city treatment plant? I create forecasting models to estimate future wastewater production based on projected production volumes. This is often the first step I take in a project.
Below are a few sample 3D images of an underground pH adjustment system.
Each of these systems is designed custom for you based on your specific requirements. I wish I could say I had a standard model and it works for everyone, but it usually doesn’t work out that way. As it is, this is something I design and you purchase and install it all with the help of your own local contractors. This keeps costs down and keeps the knowledge of the system local. Controls are delivered programmed and ready to install. I can log in to the controller remotely to view the data files and help with trouble shooting.
3D drawings like this are great, they’re the future of CAD work. I can even do 3D design work like this for the rest of your brewery if needed. Of course I can do 2D CAD work as well, but this is much better.
An overhead view of the underground lift station
An interior view of the lift station with discharge and mixer pumps
A view of the inside of the building
There are two control systems I offer clients. Custom PLC based systems, and standard relay logic controls. They both work, the biggest difference is cost and ‘standardization’.
This system is based on off-the-shelf controllers. This in inexpensive and an amazingly functional option. The system functions similar to a PLC and has analog and/or digital inputs for pH, flow, tank level, and anything else we need. Based on these inputs there are outputs for pump control, mixing, discharge, and alarms; including conditional ‘if’ interlocks. Additionally the system is connected to the internet and allows remote access from anywhere. You can log in from home, I can log in from my office, or the factory can log in and help troubleshoot. This system is about 30% of the cost of the PLC based system below. I am an OEM supplier for Walchem industrial controllers. A controller you purchase from me will be delivered to you programmed and ready to wire in, with an accompanying electrical installation drawing. Heck of a deal!
PLC based logic
This is an integrated waste water control system that manages pH balancing. It has been developed in partnership with Cascade Integration & Development, a systems integration firm based in Bend Oregon. Being a PLC based system, this is more standard and easier for local controls electricians to access and modify.
The system consists of a single control enclosure that has a small color touch screen interface. In addition, the enclosure can also be integrated with your brewery’s control system or HMI software. The system provides pump control based on level, pH balancing, alarming, trending, and a variety of options that include auto dialing.
In addition to the waste water control system, we can also provide an array of brewery control solutions. Fermenter temperature control, brewhouse automation, wastewater temperature control devices, whatever you might need.
Part of my forecasting model is a financial model. This is something equipment providers usually don’t provide. What does future cash flow look like with respect to wastewater? The bottom line is you want to do what makes the most sense for your business, not what’s cool or flashy. What will those surcharges look in 5 years? What about inflation? Is treatment a better option? I help sort through this and make this part of my model.
Ugh, this is getting confusing. How much is this going to cost me? Which option is the best for our brewery? Should we start side streaming our high strength wastes? Where would it go? I help you answer these types of questions and compare all of your options. It’s what I do.
If you need help negotiating with your sewer service provider, I can help with that. See the education tab for a quick story about a project in Michigan I helped with.