The University of Calgary’s Advancing Canadian Water Assets (ACWA) has partnered with Village Brewery and Xylem Inc. to produce Alberta’s first beer made with reused water.

Village Brewery has brewed a limited batch of Village Blonde ale, using water provided by ACWA. But not just any water—this water started as wastewater.

“There’s a mental hurdle to get over of how inherently gross this could be,” said Jeremy McLaughlin, head brewer at Village Brewery. “But we know that this water is safe, we know that this beer is safe, and we stand by our process.”

“This beer shows that water reuse can be a safe and important part of our sustainable future,” added Christine O’Grady, program coordinator at ACWA. “Wastewater can be treated using advanced treatment technology, making it into a reliable and safe water supply for many uses.”

Alberta Health Services’ Safe Healthy Environments (AHS-SHE) provided guidance to the team as it created a water safety plan for the project. AHS-SHE supports safe and healthy communities, as set out under the Public Health Act and related legislation.

“AHS was happy to be part of this project to help develop a water safety plan and ensure the water met drinking water standards,” said Jessica Popadynetz, public health inspector at AHS. “With the right measures in place, alternative water sources such as wastewater, greywater, rooftop collected rainwater, and stormwater can be made safe for many potable and non-potable end-uses.”

Before being sent to the brewery, the water was treated at ACWA using tertiary treatment technologies, including advanced oxidation and nano-filtration. It was then tested to demonstrate that it met rigorous standards outlined by AHS-SHE for water reuse, including pathogen reduction requirements and Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.

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“Water scarcity continues to be a global challenge as populations keep growing,” said Albert Cho, vice president and general manager of Xylem Inc. “Innovation and re-use are essential parts of the solution. Xylem is proud to partner with Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets and Village Brewery in Calgary to demonstrate how we can all make this happen, together. And we’re excited to try the beer!”

More information about the partnership is available here.

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