Craft Brewing Wastewater Controls

Craft brewers have challenges when it comes to treating their brewing wastewater. AMPS Industrial Controls recently designed and built a control system to help Brewdog in Columbus, Ohio treat and dispose of theirs.

brewing wastewater controls

Brewdog in Columbus

Wastewater Control System Overview

The control system is made up of two control panels which communicate with each other via Modbus TCP. This provides a stable network for the two PLCs which are located about 500 yards apart and one of which is located outside.

Brewing Wastewater Control Panel

Lift station control panel at Brewdog

Our lift station control panel monitors the level of wastewater in an underground detention tank. We then pump the wastewater to an equalization tank. Brewing wastewater is too acidic to simply pump into the city sewer system so our automation and controls panel circulates the water, treats it to get the pH within an acceptable level and then modulates a valve which allows wastewater to enter the sewer system.

Brewing wastewater PLC and HMI

UniStream PLC and HMI used at Brewdog

Brewdog faced another challenge, too. The small town of Canal Winchester does not want them to dump a large amount of wastewater in a short period of time. Our PLC controls monitor that tank and modulate the valve so wastewater is gradually released throughout the day.

The control system also stores data it collects and sends it to the city in the form of a spreadsheet via email every day. This proves compliance with city ordinances and helps personnel at the craft brewery know they are handling their wastewater efficiently.


Unitronics Control System Features

AMPS Industrial Controls accomplished all of this in a short period of time using the UniStream PLC and HMI platform from Unitronics. This platform allowed us to easily do the following:

  • Network two PLCs together using Modbus TCP
  • Monitor analog signals for liquid level, flow rate and pH
  • Control digital outputs for hardware such as pumps and valves
  • Control analog outputs for modulating a valve
  • Collect important data such as pH, flow rate and liquid level
  • Store the data to internal SD card
  • Allow remote access to both HMIs via VNC connection and web server
  • Send daily reports via email
  • Immediate email and text message notifications for alarm conditions

We are grateful for the opportunity to work on this project and help install it. Some projects are more enjoyable than others and this was definitely a great one! Having draft beer available a few yards away doesn’t hurt, I guess. If you’re in the Columbus/Canal Winchester, Ohio area be sure to stop in for an Elvis Juice.