What is the Breweries & Wineries (Fermentation) Code of Practice?


The Fermentation Code of Practice is a regulation for managing waste materials generated by breweries and wineries. All fermentation operators in the Region must follow the code of practice. Fermentation waste includes:

  • solids and pH (acids and caustics)
  • high strength organic wastes

The fermentation sector is comprised of about 45 businesses throughout the district, including brew pubs, micro breweries, cottage breweries, vint-on-premises and wineries.

Why are fermentation wastes a concern in our environment?

Liquid effluent from fermentation operations may contain contaminants such as suspended solids, sulphides and other chemicals and substances in concentrations above the levels specified by under the CRD's Sewer Use Bylaw.

Suspended solids can contribute significantly to the chemical and biochemical oxygen demand in municipal sewage. High concentrations can have an adverse effect on aquatic organisms by removing available oxygen from the water. Some cleaning chemicals used by fermentation operations can also be toxic to aquatic organisms. Organic loadings can also cause odours in the sewer system and corrosion of sewer pipes.

Variable pH, as a result of cleaners and acidic waste beer or wine, is also a concern. Causics and acids are corrosives that may, in large volumes, cause damage to sewer pipes and infrastructure.

What can fermentation operators do?

By following the code of practice for fermentation operations, you can prevent the influx of large amounts of acid or caustic wastewater from entering the sewer system. Keep records to show your due diligence.

  • Use a strainer or filter with sieve no greater than 1000 microns to strain solids from wastewater
  • Separate waste mash and organic solids for proper reuse (such as composting) or disposal
  • Monitor discharge to prevent high or low pH

Create an Environmentally Sustainable Business

Other wastes from fermentation can also be a concern. Follow the best management practices outlined in the code of practice.

  • Choose products with less packaging and those made from recycled materials.
  • Recycle as much of your waste as possible. Spent grains can be used as cooking ingredients, animal feed, fertilizer or compost material.
  • Use spent yeast as a byproduct, reuse it in the next fermentation batch or recycle it as animal feed or fertilizer.
  • Investigate biodegradable cleaning products and water and energy conservation.
  • Keep machines and chemical storage areas clean and well-maintained.

By reducing waste overall and disposing of waste in the proper manner, you can help protect our region's environment.

Read the Regulations

The Code of Practice for breweries and wineries, developed under CRD Bylaw No. 2922 - Sewer Use Bylaw, gives a detailed description of the regulations that these businesses need to follow.

Bylaw Schedule

What are prohibited & restricted wastes?

Read the list of prohibited and restricted wastes, including details on maximum allowable concentrations.