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Distilling Water: City, Well or Surface?


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I'm researching the different sources of water to consider using in the distilling process. Are there any advantages/disadvantages or pros/cons to using city, well or surface/stream/creek water?  The articles below discuss the three types of water use: mashing, cooling and dilution. The first article seems to point that some believe surface water is better for mashing water. And there certainly are plenty of examples of distilleries using ground water and spring water.



https://books.google.com/books?id=O-t9BAAAQBAJ&lpg=PA360&ots=rV_n7hBfd2&dq=scotland "surface water" for mashing distilling&pg=PA360#v=onepage&q=scotland "surface water" for mashing distilling&f=false

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Regarding using surface waters for cooling, a good place to start are your local regulations (start with the EPA) regarding discharge of non-contact cooling water.  Fortunately for fish and wildlife, heat is now considered pollution, unfortunately for us, it makes using stream water for condenser cooling difficult.

Using surface water for mashing, I would imagine you would need to have some serious water purification equipment in place.  You might want to have your local health authorities weigh in.  If they are treating you like a food manufacturing plant, they might have some serious issues with using untreated (and untested) surface water in a food product (and arguing with them that it shouldn't matter pre-distillation is going to be interesting).

Dilution - RO is a cost effective way to ensuring you don't have post-dilution issues with haze/particulate from high mineral levels, etc.

We treat municipal water with UV and Carbon to eliminate Chlorine/Chloramine - as our water out here in the Northeast is generally pretty solid.  For dilution we use RO plus Deionization, and for still condenser cooling we use a recirculation system with a large holding tank.

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The cost or pollution issues of cooling water can most easily be taken care of by recycling cooling water. If you can store enough reusable cooling water for a days use it becomes free other than pumping it around. In my eyes it doesn't mater where it came from initially if it's filtered, kept bacteria free and Ph balanced.

To discharge grey water to the field, more than 75 feet from any other ground water, I had to get an agri water discharge permit.

Mashing depends on the state of the city or well/ground water. I want to use spring/well water, but it will be filtered, Ph balanced inbound and will be boiled before grain is added.

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