Bill Gates Backs Up Startup Turning Wastewater into Drinkable Beer

Discover how a Bill Gates-backed startup is transforming everyday wastewater from showers and laundry into a refreshing beer, setting a new standard for sustainability and innovation in water use.

Bill Gates Backs Up Startup Turning Wastewater into Drinkable Beer

Monday February 12, 2024,

3 min Read

In an innovative leap towards sustainable practices, a Bill Gates-backed startup, Epic Cleantec, is revolutionising the way we think about wastewater. Through their groundbreaking project, Epic OneWater Brew, they've managed to turn wastewater from everyday activities like showering, laundry, and using the sink into drinkable beer. This effort not only showcases an inventive use of recycled water but also aims to broaden the conversation about water sustainability and reuse.

Pioneering Water Reuse

Epic OneWater Brew emerges from the need to address global water scarcity by repurposing the so-called 'greywater'. The process involves an advanced filtration system that purifies water to meet, and sometimes exceed, drinking water standards. The initiative is part of the broader "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge" by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, aimed at promoting water reuse and conservation technologies.

The Science Behind the Brew

The transformation from wastewater to beer begins with collecting greywater from a large apartment complex in San Francisco. This water undergoes rigorous purification, including filtration through membranes one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair and disinfection by ultraviolet light. A third-party laboratory then evaluates the final product to ensure safety and quality, resulting in a beverage that's not just safe but deliciously crisp.

Regulatory and Public Perception Challenges

Although Epic OneWater Brew can't be sold due to current federal and state laws, it's given away for free to demonstrate the potential of wastewater conversion. This approach also serves to challenge and potentially shift public perceptions about the use of recycled water, highlighting its safety and viability as a drinking source.

The Future of Water Reuse

The project signifies a crucial step towards normalizing the use of recycled water for potable purposes. With states like Arizona and Texas legalizing wastewater filtration for public tap water, and others possibly following suit, Epic Cleantec's efforts could herald a new era in water management. The initiative underscores the importance of finding innovative solutions to utilize our water resources more efficiently, especially in light of studies predicting significant freshwater shortages in the coming decades.


Epic OneWater Brew is more than just a novel product; it's a testament to the untapped potential of water reuse. By turning greywater into a palatable beer, Epic Cleantec not only demonstrates the technological feasibility of such processes but also invites us to rethink our relationship with water. This project serves as a beacon for future endeavours in water sustainability, aiming to ensure that societies worldwide can maintain access to this vital resource.

This engaging venture into sustainable brewing is a vivid illustration of how innovative technologies and forward-thinking can lead to practical solutions for global challenges, making Epic OneWater Brew a pioneering example of environmental stewardship and a model for future sustainability efforts​​​​.

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