A consequence of all activities is the production of wastes. Brewing is no exception. We are focused on creating the best beers possible, but we’re also focused on minimizing our environmental impact. Like at many breweries, our spent grains and hops is used for compost/fertilizer. However, our wastewater management is quite unique.
During our brewery designing phase we were surprised to learn that all wastewater in Niyodogawa-cho from industry to households eventually gets flushed back into the river. There are no drainage fields. This alarmed us because we have beautiful rivers that we want to preserve. In addition, we learned that there are no regulations regarding the treatment of wastewater due to the size of our brewery (we're a craft brewery, not a commercial brewery). This means we can actually discharge our brewery wastewater directly into the river. Of course, we don't do this. Furthermore, we found that professional wastewater treatment facilities have an enormous price tag (we were quoted one for ¥15,000,000!). Without that type of budget we decided Ken should make use of his science background to engineer our own wastewater treatment system.
It took a lot of work -- getting advice from professionals, acquiring supplies and equipment, and designing and analyzing many experiments -- but we successfully installed a system that treats our wastewater. After treatment our discharge looks like water, has no smell, and has minimal polluting potential (algal blooms, foaming, etc.). We are relieved, excited, and proud of our economical and efficient system. Thanks to all of you who helped in our research! We couldn’t have done this without you!