Allagash Brewing Recognized for Pretreatment Excellence


Allagash Brewing was recently recognized for their outstanding efforts in Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment with the 2019 Pretreatment Excellence Award presented by the Maine Water Environment Association.

As with any industrial user connected to the Portland sewer system, Allagash’s wastewater has the potential to disrupt treatment at the East End Wastewater Treatment Facility and ultimately impact the quality of water being released into Casco Bay. Allagash does an outstanding job maintaining their facility and is committed to environmental excellence and complying with their industrial pretreatment permit. 

Brewery wastewater is a potential concern because it can be more concentrated than residential wastewater. Cleaners and sanitizers used in the brewing process can also cause low and high pH which can be challenging. In addition, solids used in making beer (such as grain, hops and yeast) can cause problems in sewer pipes and at pump stations if not effectively managed. Allagash uses a whirlpool to separate spent grain and a centrifuge to remove yeast following fermentation.  These solids are side-streamed to local farmers for beneficial reuse.  To address the challenge of pH fluctuation from the cleaners and sanitizers, Allagash operates an equalization tank with automated pH adjustment. This allows mixing and neutralization of high and low pH wastewater.  Discharge to the sewer occurs only when pH is within the acceptable range.

The Portland Water District administers Industrial Pretreatment (IPT) Programs in Portland and Westbrook, overseeing 41 industrial users and regulating the wastewater they release into the sewer systems. Waste from these industries must meet certain criteria for various metals, sediments, oil and grease. The Portland Water District works with industries to monitor wastewater and establish and install measures to ensure continued compliance with discharge permits. 


Rebekah Sirois, Industrial Pretreatment Supervisor at the Portland Water District presents the award to Luke Truman, Facilities Manager at Allagash Brewing.

Allagash’s centrifuge (to the right), which separates the beer from yeast and proteins, yeast pumping station to the left.