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Brewery picks operator for wastewater plant

Joe Napsha
| Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 6:51 p.m.

City Brewing Co. has selected a New Jersey firm to operate a $7 million pretreatment wastewater plant the company is building at its Latrobe brewery, the management company said on Wednesday.

American Water Works Co. Inc. in Vorhees, N.J., said its contract services group will manage the startup and operations of the plant, which will have the capacity to pretreat 590,000 gallons a day from the brewery.

American Water's contract services group has employees working with City Brewing and its design consultants to provide operational input into the plant design. One employee will manage the plant when it begins operations, said Denise Venuti Free, a spokeswoman for American Water.

The pretreatment plant, which is being built on a 100- by 134-foot section of the brewery property off 33rd Street, should be operating by July, said Thomas Gray, Latrobe Municipal Authority manager. Construction began last summer and is scheduled to be completed in May.

The pretreatment plant is designed to handle high-strength organic waste from the brewing process. The waste will be treated using an anaerobic digestion process --- meaning without oxygen --- and then blended with other lower strength waste from the brewery before being discharged into the municipal authority's system along the Loyalhanna Creek, American Water said.

"Pretreating wastewater prior to its discharge is key to meeting environmental standards," said Adam R. McDonough, president of American Water's contract services group.

The pretreatment plant is needed because the discharge from some of the beverages that City Brewing produces, such as energy drinks, has a high organic content which affects the sewage treatment plant, Gray said. The high organic content of the effluent has produced odors at the plant, Gray said.

City Brewing is moving that high organic effluent to another treatment plant, Gray said.

To finance the project, City Brewing received a $4 million grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, plus a $3 million low-interest loan, Gray said.

Gregory Inda, chief financial officer for City Brewing at its headquarters in LaCrosse, Wis., could not be reached for comment.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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