Water Management Hotspots

There are common hotspots in a craft brewery that are major contributors to volume of water used and wastewater strength (BOD and TSS). Click on the image below to see these hotspots. They represent areas where craft brewers can focus and prioritise their efforts to be more water efficient and to keep stuff out of the drain.

Water Filter


Hot Liquor Tank


Wort Chiller

Mobile CIP



Brite Tanks


Canning Line

Loading Bay

Keg Washer

Keg Filler

Clean Water In

Wastewater Out


Fermentation Tanks

Filter Rinse

Packaging Line

WATER USE: Up to 25% of total water use

The frequency of cleaning along with the challenges of cleaning the various brewhouse components make this a major water use point.

WASTEWATER TSS: 5,000-20,000 mg/l

Residual spent grains and trub that are rinsed from tanks and down drains are a major source of solids.

Fermentation Tanks
WASTEWATER BOD: 40,000-90,000 mg/l

Disposal of spent yeast (containing beer and yeast solids) to the drain from fermenters is often the largest single contributor to BOD.

WASTEWATER TSS: 30,000-75,000 mg/l

Sending yeast solids from fermentation tanks down the drain can be significant contributor to TSS.

Filter Rinse
WASTEWATER BOD: 40,000-75,000 mg/l

Backwashing or cleaning filters into the drain results in all the filtered organic material as well as DE ending up in the wastewater.

WASTEWATER TSS: 30,000-140,000 mg/l

Diatomaceous earth, along with all the solids it filtered from the beer, can be a major source of solids if it is disposed of down the drain.

Packaging Line
WATER USE: Up to 20% of total water use

Cleaning and rinsing equipment, returned kegs and bottles, and filled containers can use significant quantities of water.

WASTEWATER BOD: 13,000-50,000 mg/l

Over-fills, foaming, spills, and the emptying of mis-fills or returned product to the drain can result in high BOD wastewater.

These are generally good places to start when looking for improvements that will have the most impact, but every brewery is different.