Sleeman Breweries is saving 298,000 litres, or 5,000 kegs’, worth of water every day due to the results of the City of Guelph’s Water Smart Business audit, leading to $266,000 in savings for the beer company.

“Our community understands the importance of using water wisely,” said Steven Snopkowski, Water Smart Business program coordinator at the city, in a press release. The water saved by Sleeman now could fill 40 Olympic-sized swimming pools every year.

“It’s great to see local businesses, like Sleeman Breweries, playing their part in being water efficient. Sleeman has shown great leadership that’s a real win-win situation for our whole community.”

Through the Water Smart Business program, Sleeman identified key areas of their operations where they could reduce water use at their Guelph brewery, one major area being the replacement of their bottle line pasteurizer.

Pasteurization uses hot water to kill bacteria and stop the growth of yeast in beer after packaging to improve shelf life and freshness. Wear and tear of old pasteurizers can cause temperature fluctuations, meaning more water and energy used in the process.

Replacement of the pasteurizer cost Sleeman just over $2 million. In return, Sleeman received a one-time financial incentive of $89,682 from the City, based on annual water saved through the Water Smart Business program.

As the third largest brewer in Canada, we brew about 120,000,000 litres of beer annually in Guelph and water plays a huge part in the brewing process,” added Kyle Kelly, continuous improvement manager at Sleeman Breweries.

“We owe it to our community to brew responsibly, and part of that is reducing our environmental impact. Through the Water Smart Business program and guidance from the City, we were able to do exactly that while also saving our business money.”