Beer Made From Sewage Water? In Oregon, That Might Soon Be a Reality

Waste water beer in Oregon?
One Oregon brewery and a water utility are trying to make sewage beer a reality. Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr

On Wednesday, the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission voted to let one brewery use water recycled from sewage to brew its beer, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports. The brewery, Oregon Brew Crew, would be supplied by Clean Water Services, a utility with a highly sophisticated treatment process that turns sewage into drinking-quality water.

The batches of beer made from recycled water would be served at events, not sold at a brewery, the radio station reports.

There's still one hurdle to anyone actually sipping a pint of beer that was once sewage: The state recycled water reuse regulations must be amended to include human consumption.

But the Oregon Health Authority has already approved Clean Water Services' request to provide water for beer, citing "the high quality of the treated water, additional microbial reduction in the brewing process, and a low health risk overall," in an official report.

Recycled sewage water is already used in some cases to spread on crops for irrigation in Oregon, as well as for recharging groundwater. But this is the first time the state has considered allowing the stuff to be repurposed for human consumption.