Poop Snow Plans Generate Ire in Native American Community
A Flagstaff, Arizona, ski resort is looking to make what many call "poop snow." As disgusting as the...
Published on: Mar 6, 2016
Transcripts - Poop Snow Plans Generate Ire in Native American Community
Poop Snow Plans Generate Ire in Native American
A Flagstaff, Arizona, ski resort is looking to make what many call "poop snow." As disgusting as the
prospect of face planting in a pile of snow made from human excrement, just think about all the
things you put in your mouth that aren't exactly sanitary and it might not seem so bad.
In any event, what the Snowbowl Ski Resort is planning to use is "sewage effluent" in its jet pump
water recycling efforts. It will reclaim water from Flagstaff's water treatment plant and then convert
that water into snow on an as-needed basis. The resort will build a pipeline directly from the
treatment plant to the ski resort, where it will store the water in a reservoir. Work has already
started on the 15-mile pipeline, and ski fanatics in the Southwest will probably be tickled to have a
viable option for the times the 12,000 foot San Francisco Peaks don't get enough snow to provide a
safe skiing environment.
So, what's the problem? Waste water is safe for consumption. There exist a few basic adjustments
that may be madeto a commercial
centrifugal or positive displacement pump. For pumps containing overhung impellers, replacing the
shaft with a solid shaft is a desirable change instead of the industry standard sleeved shafts.
Mechanical seals ought to be improved upon with the addition of silicon carbide faces, and
elastomers can be replaced with EPDM. In addition, magnetic bearing protectors will prove to be a
vast improvement over the lip seals which nearly all chemical pumps depend on to keep bearing
sump oil free from contaminants.
You might actually be bathing in treated waste water, or even drinking treated water. As disgusting
as that sounds, it's not levy pumps all that uncommon. However, the local tribes have been fighting
the waste water pipeline effort for years. They reason that even treated water is still waste water,
and would sully the mountain peaks they consider sacred. In fact, if the pipeline goes through, and
the waste water is used on the slopes, the tribes would believe their holy ground would be
irreversibly and negatively impact the mountains' spiritual purity.
If you think it's not a big deal and they should suck it up, just think: would you want someone
dumping what is essentially poopy water in your church? If you were Catholic, how would you feel if
your church used recycled sewage for the holy water? Would you feel a bit sullied? If your answer is
yes, then you can understand how the Navajo tribe feels, as well.
As ingenious as the solution to an inconsistent snowfall problem, should Snowbowl Ski Resort
consider other ways to generate snow so it can retain skiiers and maintain a reliable source of snow?
ÃÂ©2011 Reno Berkeley for Gather News.
Subscribe to Gather News: Articles by Reno Berkeley