This season Arizona Snowbowl will be the first ski resort in the in the world to use 100 percent reclaimed wastewater for their artificial snow making.
That’s right, man-made poop and pee snow.
“It’s a disaster, culturally and environmentally,” said Taylor McKinnon of the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the plaintiffs. He worries about the impact on the delicate alpine tundra and to human health should skiers fall into the treated sewer-water snow and ingest it.
The United States Forest Service, which owns the land where the resort is, says the treated water meets the highest standards — just below drinking water — and is already used to irrigate golf courses, soccer fields and parks, according to Corbin Newman, a regional forester. More at Resort’s Snow Won’t Be Pure This Year; It’ll Be Sewage from the New York Times.
53 inches in 48 hours, Arizona Snowbowl.
Face Shot Bro!
Wastewater treatment isn’t perfect but it does do a darn good job of removing suspended solids, nutrients, and pathogens (bacteria and parasites that can make you sick) from the water. In most cases treated effluent is actually just poured back into streams or into the ocean. Sometimes it’s used to water crops or even just allowed to infiltrate into fallow land. But whether you like it or not all that treated water gets right back into the whole big water cycle.