Brewery plans to build wastewater treatment facility
BEND — Deschutes Brewery will be building its own wastewater-treatment facility.
The brewery plans to invest $11.2 million into the on-site facility instead of sending its wastewater to the city and nearby farms, The Bulletin reported.
The brewery came up with the idea after the city of Bend increased waste charges and the trucking company it used to take its waste to farms announced it would no longer be able to do so.
"The farmers benefit from it, but we don't know how long that business will be in place," said Michael LaLonde, the brewery's president. "Right now with the increase in rates that the City Council passed last year, plus that risk, we really had to dive deep into how we are going to handle our waste long term."
The new plant at the brewery's headquarters will be able to process more than 150,000 gallons of wastewater per day. It is expected to be completed by 2018.
It is also being designed to generate electricity for the brewery's operation.
Methane gas from the facility will be fed into an engine that burns the gas, turns a generator and makes electricity. The heat coming off the engine would heat the water used in the brewing operation.
The result will offset 50 percent of the brewery's power usage, LaLonde said.
"It's pretty substantial," he said. "We can actually generate electricity through this digester through the generation of methane gas."
Ryan Reid, project engineer at Deschutes Brewery, said the facility might also be available for other breweries in the area to use as well.