As we all know, despite the recent snowy windfalls from our friend El Nino, California is still in the grip of a gruesome drought. Soda Springs, California’s longest-running resort, is seeking to adapt its snowmaking in order to cope with the erratic water supply by using recycled water to make snow.
From Soda Springs:
Soda Springs will lead the region as the first ski area in California to make snow from recycled water when snowmaking begins later this month. This innovation is the result of a shared vision and a unique partnership with Donner Summit Public Utility District (DSPUD). Soda Springs Mountain Resort and DSPUD have partnered to develop this innovative solution to lack of available water for snowmaking. Both organizations have made significant financial investments in infrastructure that enable a substantial increase in the production and storage of snow. In June 2015, DSPUD completed a $24 million project converting its treatment process from an older chlorination/de-chlorination system to a state of the art, UV distillation process, resulting in highly treated, pathogen-free, crystal clear water outcome that is cleaner than surface water.
The snow that is made is effective water storage in the winter and will be released back into the ground and surface water flows as the snow melts. . Recycled water is strictly monitored by state and federal agencies that are responsible for guaranteeing the quality of tertiary treated water used for non-potable purposes. Recycled water is currently being used across the state for non-potable, beneficial uses such as for irrigation, landscaping and recreation.
Read the full Soda Springs Recycled Water Initiative article on Snowboarder Magazine.