For Earth Day on April 22nd, Ontario’s Cowbell Brewing released a description of their forthcoming closed-loop system for water usage.

The system will supply fresh Ontario well water to the Cowbell brewing facility. The brewery will treat all effluent wastewater and release it back into the groundwater table on the property. The closed-loop brewing system will have no connection whatsoever to the municipal water supply or the municipal sewer systems. Cowbell has announced that this will be the first closed-loop water system used for brewing beer in the world.

Water table well

Cowbell will source 100 per cent of all brewing related water from an onsite aquifer. The onsite well will supply all brewing related needs—brewing liquor, CIP, transfers, and packaging.

Particle, carbon, & UV filters

The brewery will treat all incoming water through the use of particle and carbon filters and UV sterilizers in order to remove any water impurities.


The brewing process will use water in four main areas: brewhouse, cellar, packaging, and utilities. The process of brewing beer involves using a lot more water than what is actually contained in the final product. Beer is 90–95 per cent water but typically for every 1 Litre of beer produced there can be upwards of 10 Litres of water used and discharged. Cowbell’s goal is to minimize water use in the brewing process by eventually achieving a 4:1 water to beer ratio. For every batch of Cowbell beer that yields up to 5,000 Litres of product and will strive to use only 20,000 Litres of water throughout the crafting process.

Cowbell Brewing

Courtesy, Cowbell Brewing.

Wastewater collection system

Cowbell’s wastewater collection system will involve three sanitary sewer outlets that will collect all sewage, kitchen. and brewing effluent and lead into the main wastewater line, conveying it to the onsite wastewater treatment system.

Wastewater treatment tanks

Cowbell’s wastewater treatment system will consist of a series of seven underground tanks that will treat all of the effluent before its released into the onsite wastewater bed. The system will be monitored from an onsite control and blower building that will house all dosing stations and pumping equipment.

Wastewater bed

Cowbell will release all treated water through three force mains that will lead into a series of underground perforated piping, which will then allow the treated effluent to slowly infiltrate through sand back into the groundwater table. The bed will consist of six cells, each with nine runs of parallel perforated pipes that are 28 metres long. This part of the system is approximately 1,512 metres in total length and has an area of about 7,590 metres squared.

This content was adapted for editorial purposes from a post made by Cowbell Brewing on Earth Day, which was written by Mr. Brock Spencer, brewer and environmental engineer. Visit Cowbell Brewing online for more information.


Please enter your name here
Please enter your comment!