Only a few years after adding a solar hot water installation, the Woodstock Inn Brewery is taking a new step in going green. This month, the brewery teamed up with Australian eco-innovator BioGill to test out two wastewater bioreactors.
Due to its strength, brewery wastewater often requires treatment before entering a municipal wastewater system to avoid disrupting or overloading the local wastewater facility’s own treatment process. BioGill’s above ground, attached growth bioreactors are an innovative technology breakthrough that delivers highly effective and energy efficient treatment for brewery wastewater that allows breweries to reduce nutrient loadings onsite and meet regulations cost-effectively.
By providing a high-oxygen, aerobic environment, BioGill bioreactors promote the growth of more active, longer-living cells that produce a lower volume of sludge compared to other biological and filtration technologies. The BioGill system also limits the biological reactions that produce unpleasant odors.
As their first demonstration brewery in the United States, BioGill will use the Woodstock pilot to prove that the bioreactors can provide a green solution with low maintenance and operating costs to small- to medium sized breweries in the US.
Woodstock Inn Brewery owner Scott Rice said that he's happy to continue the company's move towards sustainability. The solar hot water collectors on the Woodstock Inn installed in 2014 provide up to 75% of the restaurant’s water usage.
“People come to this part of the world because they love the outdoors – the beauty of the mountains and forests and the real friendly towns that surround them,” Rice said. “To us in the business, it is really important that these natural resources stay intact, and moving to more sustainable sources of energy and improved wastewater management makes that possible. It feels good to know that our inn is doing its part, and it’s good to see our customers appreciating that and coming more often because of it.”