You wouldn’t know if you tasted it, but Epic OneWater Brew is a beer with a peculiar ingredient: it’s made with water recycled from the showers, sinks and washing machines of a residential building.
The beer is safe to drink, thanks to a series of treatments that include microfiltration and ultraviolet light, and it is meant to bring attention to the issue of water scarcity and reuse.
“Buildings globally use 14 per cent of all potable water,” says Aaron Tartakovsky, CEO and co-founder of Epic Cleantec, the San Francisco-based water treatment company that made the beer in collaboration with a local brewery. “Almost no buildings reuse that water — that’s what we’re trying to change.”
The beer is a Kölsch-style ale — a crisp, light-bodied drink originating from Germany — and was made with recycled graywater from Fifteen Fifty, a 40-story luxury apartment building in San Francisco. But it’s not for sale, as regulations prohibit the use of recycled wastewater in commercial beverages. At least for now.
Epic Cleantec equips buildings with its water recycling system, eliminating the need to discharge wastewater into a sewer to transport it to a remote treatment facility. “What we’ve done is just take a lot of existing principles in the wastewater world and design it for single buildings instead,” Tartakovsky said.