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Complex Discharge Line Bypass at National Brewery Keeps Operations Online

Popham Mechanical Contractors


A national beer brewery in Georgia needed to address deterioration and replacement of some of the drain pipes running from their fermentation tanks. For this to be classified as a successful repair and replacement effort, it needed to be achieved while keeping 25,000 barrels of beer a day flowing and simultaneously maximizing plant uptime and profitability.

The huge 35-year-old facility produces up to 10 million barrels of
beer annually under a number of different beer labels. The plant is a complex maze of pipes and processing equipment that winds through the facility to perform a number of needed tasks – from intake of raw materials to final product packaging.

One of the last steps in the plant’s beer-processing operation is the discharge of by-product and waste streams from the fermentation tanks to the onsite wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The flow travels through header pipes, into an interior trunk line, and then finally into the exterior plant sewer line that connects to the WWTP.

Several times a day, to accommodate the cleaning and prepping of the tanks for the next batch of beer, the header pipes are subjected to powerful bursts of very hot and high-pH discharge. It’s a taxing- but-necessary process, and decades of wear and tear on the pipes had caused some of the lines to weaken and deteriorate. With that discovery, Popham Mechanical Contractors, Inc. was brought into oversee the replacement project.

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