(Update: adding video, comment from city utility department)
'These are resources. They're not waste products, in the modern way of thinking.'
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Ever thought about how liquid waste from a brewery can actually be used on a farm?
While some of the brew waste ends up going to city treatment facilities, a lot of it has to be trucked out, but it can then be used for agricultural needs.
Christina Davenport, the city's industrial pre-treatment program manager, told NewsChannel 21 Tuesday, “Their high-strength brew waste is land-applied, and I believe it’s like six or eight truckloads a day just from Deschutes Brewery.”
But Davenport said there’s becoming an excess of liquid hauled waste from breweries, restaurants, septic systems and portable toilets.
“We estimate 7.5 million gallons of a slurry of septic waste, portable toilet waste and fat, oils and grease that are commingled and land-applied every year,” she said.
And as the city grows, so does the excess.
“As the tourist numbers go up, as the restaurant numbers go up, portable toilet use increases -- the numbers go up every year,” Davenport said.
Now the city is looking at hiring engineers to produced an analysis and find better ways of getting rid of the excess liquid waste. It's an item on Wednesday night's city council consent agenda, where items are usually (but not always) approved without council discussion
"These are resources," Davenport said. "They're not waste products, in the modern way of thinking."
And she hopes one of the solutions could be using it for power generation.
"One of the potentials they're looking at is maybe doing a partnership with the county landfill and co-digesting food waste, brewery waste and FOG (fats, oil and grease) waste,” she said. “There's very good amendments to add this liquid waste to food waste and generate power."
The agreement with Leeway Engineering Solutions will cost the city no more than $211,410.