Water Recycling and the Significance of Re-Usable “Waste” Water

by Vins
Published: Last Updated on

According to architect and brewer Russ Drinker, “If Californians really want to have an impact on our water use, we have to recycle our freshwater…and get over our psychological resistance to that,” reports Kristine Wong for the Guardian. Active treatment of water is a simple way to save money, fuel, as well as time for any manufacturer. As the media constantly berates agriculturists and citizens for lack of conservation, there is a major misunderstanding that water from showers, sinks, dishwasher, and such can be utilized as an alternate source of H2O.

Within the past decade, technology has been introduced to combat waste of water. In fall 2014, the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company developed and presented a blind test batch for one of its beers at an urban sustainability conference. After judges blindly tasted one product containing clean water and another batch that used recycled “greywater,” they could not taste a difference between the two. The recycling techniques utilized by Half Moon Bay Brewing Company to develop safe recycled water implements the same technology used by NASA for its astronauts (including Scott Kelly, during his one-year tenure on the International Space Station).

On a larger industrial scale, the EcoVolt is a proven prominent method of bacteria deterioration utilized by breweries and food and industrial manufacturers across the US. It can remove pollutants by up to 90%, decrease water usage by almost 40%, recreate energy and fully process up to 300,000 gallons of water per cycle. If more corporations and agriculturists nationwide utilized and implemented this process in their daily production, then environmental security could increase a substantial amount.

The idea of “toilet to tap” is a common theme among industrial and civil processing that converts pre-used nutrients and water back into safe consumables, though these processes are frequently misunderstood by the public and reported inadequately by the press. As a result, reuse of water is disregarded as a solution.

By actively conserving and reusing desalinated water sources such as rain and sea water, countries such as Singapore and Australia have already utilized methods of water recycling through a process that directly benefits the environment and the public. Drought has been a serious issue among the west coast, and water retention projects could very well improve conditions from multiple sectors; but instead, media demonstrates the local perspective rather than a proven global resolve.


Kristine Wong, “The Californian Craft Beer Brewed From Waste Water,” Guardian, March 14, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/mar/14/californian-craft-brewer-beer-recycled-water-environment.

Tom McCormick, “Beer, Water & the Draught,” California Craft Brewers Association, June 23, 2015, http://www.californiacraftbeer.com/beer-water-the-drought-part-i/.

Kristine Wong,”Singapore Has No Natural Water Supply, but the Country Isn’t Going Thirsty,” Take Part, November 5, 2015, http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/11/05/singapores-solution-water-crisis.

Student Researcher: Alexander Protell (University of Vermont)

Faculty Evaluator: Rob Williams (University of Vermont)