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Solving Six Harbors Brewing Company’s Wastewater Treatment Challenge with Above-Floor Drain Pump
Case Studies 11/01/2023
Long Island-based brewing company collaborates with its manufacturing partner, SmartBrew, to implement a new commercial duplex drain pump in its automated brewing system to dispose of the residue created by the brewing process.
HUNTINGTON VILLAGE, NY — Six Harbors Brewing Company is a family-owned and operated brewery that opened in May 2018. Located on one of Long Island’s prettiest and vibrant coastline towns, it is the first and only microbrewery in Huntington.
Six Harbors is known for its wide variety of beer styles and welcoming nautical/industrial feel, which beer drinkers would agree is unlike most breweries. As residents living close by the brewery, proprietors Mark and Karen Heuwetter wanted to create something special right in their own neighborhood.
According to Mark, Six Harbors works closely with its manufacturing partner, SmartBrew, in operating its brewing system. SmartBrew has developed a highly efficient and fully automated solution for brewing and fermenting beer. President and founder Brian Watson says SmartBrew is the most advanced automated commercial brewery technology on the market, requiring no brewing experience.
“The main goal for SmartBrew is to make it easier for hospitality owners worldwide to enter the brewing industry by eliminating common barriers. With the ability to brew on-site, these owners can enhance their offerings and increase their revenue potential,” explains Watson.
SmartBrew was established in Canada in 2011 and has steadily grown since. Watson relocated his family to Prince Edward Island, where his head office in Charlottetown is located, to kickstart the SmartBrew project.
The company has nearly a hundred installations globally, including in Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, the United States, and Canada. They also have plans to expand into other countries, such as China, Japan, India, and South America.
The SmartBrew system excels in automating the brewing process, utilizing a combination of water, malt in liquid form, and Watson’s own customized High Gravity Wort recipes. With just a push of a button, the system takes care of the rest, allowing owners to focus on tasting and fine-tuning their beers.
Having implemented SmartBrew’s automated system, Six Harbors faced a new challenge in managing its wastewater treatment process. As a result of new regulations imposed by Huntington Village, Six Harbors needed to store and treat its wastewater before it could be released into the sewer system.
“SmartBrew’s total wastewater volume by design has very low solids with a neutral pH. With that said, there are some customers ( less than 3%) who are asked by the municipality to pump wastewater into a settling tank and test it prior to disposing it via the drain. This is where the Saniflo pump is a great solution for our SmartBrew customers,” explains Watson.
“Approximately three years ago, the town imposed new regulations requiring us to take water samples of our wastewater before it was released into the sewer system,” says Mark.
“We devised a collection method, but our setup required a pumping mechanism to efficiently transport the wastewater from a lower area to our holding tank,” he continues. “To address this, my partner and I extensively researched pump solutions and discovered a single pump unit that worked well enough to meet the town’s sampling requirements.”
Soon after Six Harbors implemented this single pump unit, SmartBrew approached with a proposal to become a testing ground for a new, high-temperature, commercial duplex drain pump from Saniflo: the Sanicom 2. Six Harbors subsequently agreed to replace its single pump unit with a Sanicom 2.
“With this upgrade, we have achieved even greater efficiency in treating our wastewater before it enters the sewer system,” Heuwetter says.
Describing the cleaning process, Heuwetter says after the beer is kegged, the drain pump transports trub and hop residue five feet vertically to the holding tank. Once collected in the holding tank, the wastewater is treated, sampled, and tested by the town authorities, so that Six Harbors can receive positive feedback on its proper treatment and disposal. The SmartBrew system then allows multiple rinsing, cleaning, and sanitizing cycles, ensuring the tanks are thoroughly cleaned before the next brewing cycle.
SmartBrew’s collaboration with Saniflo has allowed the company to address similar challenges other operators face in different towns, ensuring that its wastewater treatment process always meets industry standards.
SmartBrew’s Watson shared some valuable insights about incorporating the Saniflo pump into their system. Regarding wastewater treatment, the SmartBrew brewing process generates a lower than traditional brewing system, but some municipalities do require some testing prior to discharge. He says SmartBrew recognizes the importance of environmental responsibility and compliance with regulatory requirements. This is where the incorporation of a drain pump when required becomes crucial.
“By integrating the optional drain pump into SmartBrew’s system, our brewery customers gain the ability to drive a settling and filtration system, ensuring that their wastewater is adequately treated before disposal,” he explains.
“This innovative design enables SmartBrew’s Customers options to meet or exceed their local municipality requirements with an easy solution.”
Watson adds that integrating the duplex drain pump into SmartBrew’s system is a case-by-case process, as each site has unique specifications and considerations. As an example, he cites a SmartBrew installation in Boston, where the pump is strategically placed away from highly visible areas to maintain aesthetics and functionality. Located at the bottom right corner of the site, this pump effectively directs the wastewater to a dedicated wastewater treatment system.
Installing the Saniflo Sanicom 2 drain pump brought several positive outcomes for Six Harbors Brewing Company:
First, the pump successfully transferred the wastewater from the lower tanks to the holding tank, enabling the brewery to comply with the town’s regulations.
The pump needed to handle a vertical lift of up to five feet at Six Harbors, a distance that was well within its maximum vertical lift capability of 32 feet. It should therefore be able to accommodate any future system modifications or expansions.
In addition, the unit is specially designed to withstand liquids with highly acidic properties, such as wastewater from processing applications. The Saniflo pump’s ability to automate the on-off and pumping functions and its capacity to handle heavier loads promises to be advantageous in SmartBrew’s systems.
Six Harbor’s Heuwetter says the duplex drain pump offered ease of installation and use. Gus Menocal, a master plumber and partner at Six Harbors Brewing Company, installed the unit and found it user-friendly, indicating the pump’s intake, outtake, and overflow piping were simple to connect.
The brewery customized the system’s outlet to accommodate the location of their existing 30-amp outlet. This ensured compliance with applicable electrical codes while maintaining a safe and efficient setup.
Six Harbors has successfully incorporated the pump and reported positive results to SmartBrew. As the first brewery to utilize this system successfully, Six Harbors has showcased the benefits of implementing the Saniflo Sanicom 2 within their wastewater management process.
In terms of customer feedback, SmartBrew is currently working with another brewery customer who is also in the process of installing and utilizing the Saniflo pump, according to Watson.
“The team at SmartBrew remains committed to delivering efficient and reliable solutions that meet the needs of our customers in the brewing industry.”
SFA SANIFLO U.S.A. – whose parent company originated macerating plumbing technology — offers a complete line of waste and drainage pumping systems for residential and commercial applications. Saniflo developed its innovative, “above-floor plumbing” technology more than a half-century ago and has led its commercialization worldwide. Today, the company markets macerating technology through 24 subsidiaries in 50 countries and has sold more than seven million units worldwide since 1958. Saniflo markets through independent sales agents throughout North America, and the product line is currently available at distributor and dealer locations throughout the United States and Canada.
For more information, contact Saniflo at 1-800-571-8191. Or visit the Saniflo website at saniflo.com.
For editorial assistance, including photography, contact John O’Reilly c/o GreenHouse Digital + PR: 708-428-6385 or [email protected].