LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A brewery in Sonoma County is tapping into technology to help ease the drought.

CBS2’s Sylvia Lopez reports that with water in tight supply, Bear Republic Brewing Company in Healdsburg is tapping into the world’s first bio-electric water treatment system.

The newly-installed $2 million EcoVolt system is housed in a big container just outside the brewery and reuses all the water at the facility.

“I do think it’s going to be a trend. Especially in places like California or Arizona that are very water-stressed. This is a good solution,” Bear Republic Brewing Company spokesperson Peter Kruger said, noting that for every gallon of beer produced seven gallons of water is needed, mostly for heating and cleaning kegs and bottles.

The EcoVolt system produces electricity while it cleans water, generating half of the brewery’s energy needs in the process.

“It uses electrically active microbes that quickly treat waste-water and generate really high-quality gas,” EcoVolt Founder and CEO Matthew Silver said.

“We take that gas and we can put it in a boiler, to offset natural gas costs, or we can put it in a co-generation system to generate electricity and heat. And those two things together can radically cut the cost of operating a brewery or winery or a food and beverage company,” Silver said.

Although health officials say the recycled water it is safe enough to drink, it’s currently not being used in the actual beer.

But the brewery says that could change once beer makers get more comfortable with the idea.


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