Determining Wastewater Composition

Wastewater Composition

When reviewing data from brewery wastewater analytical testing, a brewery must not only consider the test results relative to discharge compliance limits, but also take the time to consider what is contributing to any higher than expected values.

Representative Sampling

Good data starts with a good sample. The approaches presented below are practical ways to obtain a reasonably representative sample.

Sampling approaches:

  • Collect smaller volumes in a small vessel (i.e. tote or barrel) – mix well to ensure a homogeneous representative sample
  • Large volumes (i.e. after tank cleaning) – grab various samples at different times in the draining step – combine into one composite sample
  • OR grab a dip sample from the top of a vessel (if the contents are well blended)
  • OR grab samples from drains or sumps

Contract the services of a certified lab

  • Provide a list of samples to be collected and the parameters (e.g. pH, BOD, TSS, etc.) to be tested for

Depending on the sampling method used, keep in mind – the sample will not be an exact reflection of what is being measured, but that is not the goal.

The objective is to obtain data that is 'good enough' to allow a brewery to identify priority areas for improvement.

Example Data from Ontario Craft Breweries

The following samples were taken at various points in the brewing and cleaning processes in actual breweries.

Production Examples:

Beer & Wort Analyses
Production Analyses

Cleaning Examples:

Cleaning Processes Analyses
Trub in Drain