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Byron Shire
April 21, 2024

Brewery reclaiming its waste water

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Stone & Wood’s Murwillumbah brewery is always in the process of becoming more sustainable and environmentally friendly, and they have recently finished commissioning their ultra-filtration and reverse-osmosis (UF-RO) system, the latest addition to their wastewater treatment process.

The system further treats the wastewater created during the brewing process, stripping everything out to create clean and useable reclaimed water.

But although the water will be of drinking quality, they won’t be using it in the beer; instead the brewery will use 100 per cent of this reclaimed water for utilities (boilers, refrigeration etc) and wash-down.

Managing director Ben Summons said that he was excited to continue implementing innovative technologies and processes to reduce the brewery’s environmental impact.

‘As a local business, we’re committed to treading lightly on this earth and minimising our impact on the local community and environment,’ he said.

Stone & Wood currently treats all of their wastewater on site. With the instalment of the UF-RO however, upstream the consumption of water supply will be reduced by up to 15 per cent, and downstream the amount of wastewater going into the local council sewer network will also decrease.

‘This not only turns a waste stream into something usable, but is also decreasing the amount of total water used at the brewery,’ said the sustainability manager James Perrin. ‘This is a part of our broader Green Feet strategy, which focuses on our water, energy, and waste impact, ensuring we prioritise not just what we do, but how we do it.’

Some of the brewery’s other environmental initiatives include:

More than 95 per cent of all solid waste is re-used or recycled. This includes grain as well as pack materials (glass, cardboard, plastic).

The implementation of #forcupssake, a re-usable cup exchange to stop single-use cups being used at events and thrown in the trash.

Boiler upgrades in conjunction with a NSW government grant, reducing energy consumption by 20 per cent.

The installation of 480 solar panels at the Murwillumbah site, providing up to 10 per cent of the site’s electricity use.

The installation of an ammonia refrigeration system, reducing electricity consumption by six per cent.

More info: www.stoneandwood.com.au

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