An Oregon water treatment company, Clean Water Services, says that it purifies waste water so thoroughly that it is safe for human consumption. It is so sure of this claim that it has asked the Oregon State Department of Environmental Quality to allow brewers to make beer with their treated water.
The beer would be made by homebrewers who are members of the Oregon Brew Crew and would be served at events and not distributed by a brewery. Still, there are significant hoops through which the company must jump.
Environmental Quality has scheduled a public hearing on the matter for February and a ruling is expected in April. But, even if all goes well with Environmental Quality, Clean Water Services will still need additional state approvals for an amended Recycled Water Reuse Plan before the brews are cleared for human consumption.
Clean Water says that its filtration system high-purity water treatment system turns sewage into water that meets or exceeds all drinking water standards. By using a three-pronged approach, the company turns hazardous, contaminated water into pristine water suitable for drinking, the company says.
Water that is treated by Clean Water goes through ultra-filtration, a system that filters water through extremely tiny pores before subjecting it to reverse osmosis where it passes through a membrane that blocks chemicals and finally enhanced oxidation, which uses ultra-violet light and an oxidizing chemical to break down contaminants.
In 2014 the company sponsored a brewing contest using its purified water, but only 30% reclaimed water was used. In the new request, Clean Water wants to use 100% purified water.
In an interview to Oregon Public Broadcasting, a representative for the company said, “What we’re really trying to do here is start a conversation about the nature of water, and there’s no better way to start a conversation than over a beer.”