Pacific Beverages’ new Bluetongue Brewery in New South Wales features a state-of-the-art water recovery plant, which targets best-practice water reuse standards. The water recovery plant also provides renewable energy for the brewery, reducing its dependence on fossil fuels.

The water recovery plant was designed as a model for food and beverage plants globally and was installed by a partnership of CST Wastewater Solutions and Global Water Engineering (GWE).

The state-of-the-art Bluetongue Brewery on NSW’s Central Coast will ultimately have an annual capacity of 150 million litres, producing premium beers for increasingly discriminating palates in a nation that consumes 109.9 litres per capita every year.

Pacific Beverages – a joint venture by Coca-Cola Amatil and global brewer SABMiller – has ensured the brewery will boast strict environmental standards and water and energy savings.

Bluetongue Brewery’s water recovery is subjected to GWE’s state-of-the-art anaerobic treatment that significantly reduces the brewery’s carbon footprint by avoiding the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The wastewater passes through several pre-treatment steps before entering a GWE ANUBIX-B anaerobic methane reactor in which the wastewater’s organic content (COD) is digested by bacteria in a closed reactor, degrading the compounds and converting them into valuable biogas and cleaned effluent. Biogas from the process is collected and reused as renewable energy to power the brewery’s boiler.

Treated effluent continues to an aerobic post-treatment stage in which organic content is further reduced by GWE’s proprietary MEMBROX Membrane Biological Reactor (MBR) system.

In the water polishing step, the water from the MBR unit is directed through a Reverse Osmosis (RO) installation. Finally the effluent is led to a disinfection and storage unit, where the recycled water is kept for reuse applications.

GWE and CST say environmental initiatives such as green energy generation from wastewater treatment do not always attract as much attention as the more traditional renewables, such as solar and wind. In fact, there is an often hidden potential in using wastewater as a source of renewable energy.

Global Water Engineering (GWE) encourages businesses with organic content in their wastewater and waste streams to investigate the anaerobic potential for their specific case.

More information on water recovery plants and water treatment systems is available from CST Wastewater Solutions.