SCOTTSDALE, AZ — Water pumping its way inside Fate Brewing in Scottsdale Monday is a first of its kind.
"I mean we're always striving to make the best beer we can, we're always tweaking things, changing things," said Adam Schmeichel of Fate Brewing Company.
Over the next 30 days, brewmaster Adam Schmeichel is making a big change. Using water once found in our sewers to make his next beer.
"Some people it makes them a little uncomfortable but they need to realize that it is pure very good water," said Schmeichel.
Fate and several other breweries will compete in November to see who can brew the best batch using recycled water provided by the City of Scottsdale.
Scottsdale Water has now been issued Arizona's first permit for direct use of recycled water. The groundbreaking permit effectively establishes a model for cities across Arizona to begin working towards reusing their water resources for future, long term water sustainability.
"Sinks, garbage disposals, washing machines, dish washers and yes, the toilet," said David Walby.
Water Resource Director David Walby is walking us through how sludge is turned into what they call ultra pure water.
"The end goal is to establish a blueprint for others to follow," said Walby.
The semi treated water is pumped into the plant, from this point, this is what you'd use for irrigation.
From there it will pass through another filtration system, then reverse osmosis, removing everything.
"So at this point the water is very, very clear," said Walby. "We removed everything like chlorine, calcium, sodium, pharmaceuticals and regular organic matter.”
But not clear enough yet, the water is also disinfected with ultraviolet light, destroying the DNA of bacteria and viruses.
What comes out is described as the cleanest water you can get.
While Scottsdale has the technical ability to treat recycled water to a level exceeding drinking water standards, the city will not be sending recycled water into the drinking system just yet.
The technique is now getting attention locally and across the world.
"We have folks from Kazakhstan, Kenya, Israel, Iraq all coming to learn how we do this," said Nicole Sherbert with Scottsdale Water. "Water is a limited resource, we all know that and it's certainly a resource that's too precious to use just once."
Finally the time had come to let the taste buds do the talking. So I gave it a try myself. Attempting to put the sight of the sludge out of my mind before taking my first sip. I know it can be hard to believe, but the water tasted clean and refreshing.
And while it won't be heading to your tap any time soon, the city hopes brewmasters across the Valley can provide the public their first taste November 8 and 9 at the One Water Brewing Showcase.