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Arizona Snowbowl To Start Blowing Man-Made "Poop & Pee" Snow


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.

Is this an innovative green concept or is it gross? What do you think?

  • Rango Dingo

    The City of Flagstaff post signs all over Flagstaff warning against ingesting or coming into contact with this water where its used for irrigation. If it’s so safe, why all the warnings? If people shouldn’t ingest it in Flagstaff, why should they be put at risk of doing so at the ski area?


    Arizona is one of the most quickly drying and warming parts of the world. Even without factoring climate change, Flagstaff is expected to be out of water in the next two decades. Using scarce water for skiing in the face of that shortage is stupid. Pumping it 15 miles and 5000 ft uphill with globe-warming coal electricity is even stupider. Stupidest of all is the Forest Service who ironically cites global warming as the need to do so.

    Idiot Flagstaff skiers have cowered under threats from the ski area’s ownership that, if not for snowmaking, the ski area will close. Bullshit. They’ll sell it and somebody else will run it, just as has happened time and again since the 1930s.

    Ski Area Citizens Coalition was right last year to rank Arizona Snowbowl fourth worst in the nation for environmental responsibility .

    • Bigger Sky

      So instead of using water that would otherwise just be used for nothing, its BAD that they are recycling?

      • Rango Dingo

        The smart thing to do would be to invest in advanced treatment to maximally clean the water and then let it percolate into and recharge aquifers subtending the City. It’s not a resource that should be wasted on skiing, and its one that should be made much safer to use.

  • Mike

    The effluent water that is being at Arizona Snowbowl tested positive for a variety of endocrine disruptive. This will likely have a very strong impact on the surrounding ecosystems, including the wet lands immediately down stream from the ski area. Endocrine disruptors literally interrupt processes in the endocrine (hormone system). This can cause cancer, birth defects,and other development and reproductive problems. These trace compounds are sourced in birth control, pesticides, PCBs (coolants and lubricants), BPA and other pollutants. Since the treated sewage water comes from human waste most of the endocrine disruptive present are from birth control pills such as Perfluorooctanoic acid. Perfluorooctanoic acid is known to decrease semen quality and render a male infertile- water used at Snowbowl has been shown to sterilize male amphibians and small reptiles.

    Besides the technical science in the area in which Arizona Snowbowl is located is considered sacred by at least 13 recognized Native American Tribes. Not only is the act of using effluent water to make snow on the area a controversy in it self, but the development required to install the pipeline and equipment also harmed the area. Perhaps the ski area is already located in an inappropriate spot to avoid such controversy, however, the Native Tribes should be respected in this, or any situation. I personally have given a blessing to the mountains via a young Englemann Spruce sapling that has now been bulldozed an uprooted. I stood at site just below the parking lot, where the new pipeline runs for the snowmaking equipment. I stood in a circle with members from multiple tribes and clans, while a Navajo Medicine man led is song and prayer to give a blessing to the mountains. A Hopi medicine man closed with a prayer to bless also the desert and the life the mountains support. Where we stood was covered with 3 inches of April snow covering the first green leafs of at least 15 different medicinal crops still used by multiple tribes. Now the same area is home to a scar of bare dirt, and the beginnings of what will be a new parking lot.

    As an outdoors man, a scientist, and a snowboarder I feel recognizing the knowledge and life style of our elders is wise. These people have lived here much longer than anyone. Their ancestors learned about these places by watching carefully, and living carefully. We should not disrespect them, or their homeland in the name of money and money now.

    I am not saying development of any kind should be halted. But planning should carefully incorporate the spiritual value, the ecological value, and the global value into account. By doing so development can ultimately be done in a way that respects the Forest Service Mission statement, Arizona Snowbowls Mission Statement, and the locals values and life styles.

    In my opinion Snowbowl has a very “I want it and I want it now!” type attitude. The native peoples of this area are being disrespected in the name of greed. Peaceful people who wish to keep access to their wild garden are being punished for no reason.

    How would you like it if the pharmacy was turned into a recycling center and you were no longer permitted to obtain your medicine?

    • Offensive Guy

      Here’s a Crystal. Go hug a tree.
      Indians didn’t seem to mind tearing up Mother Earth to build their “sacred” casinos. LOL

      • ChemDawg

        Like x10. I think skiing on this shit is definitely better than having no shit at all to ski on.

    • BIgger Sky

      You know whats crazy? The Apache Tribe (one of the biggest groups that sued snowbowl) owns and operates 2 southwest ski areas – White Mountain near Greer Arizona and Ski Apache in central New Mexico. Both of these areas are direct competitors with snowbowl, and both make snow. This reclaimed water is already used in Flag’s parks to water the grass or released. This is water that would be going back into the environment anyways. I think its smart. I think from a business standpint, the Apache tribe was smart to try to prevent snowmaking. but losing this same lawsuit over and over since the 1980’s should be a sign.

  • porpcorn

    I work in the lab at a water reclamation plant in Tahoe, and though we have more stringent requirements than most plants, our effluent that gets seeped back into the river and streams is much cleaner than the shit thats already in the rivers. But the fact that our ‘requirements’ are based on a monthly average, we could have one shitty day where our treatment may not be up to perfection and one day where we got every single poo particle out of the influent and it averages out. Hate to be one of the skiers that get a blast full manmade or assmade snow to the face on one of those shitty days.

  • concerne citizen

    it will no doubt effect plants and ecology. baffles me that there is skiing in AZ. go to utah or california if you want to ski. leave your shit in AZ

  • Deeznutz

    Way to side with the Indians unofficial. It’s reclaimed. And goes through a treatment center. Besides- does a ear shit in the woods? Do you use a bathroom while skiing? This is good shit. As shitty as SNOWBOWL is maybe this can help it have a better park.

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