LB - Northland Motorsports

Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Milestones | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS |
Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news May 24, 2016

2/5/2013 12:13:00 PM
ADEQ gives Snowbowl green light to continue snowmaking

David Yankus

After a Dec. 27 inspection at Arizona Snowbowl atop the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff, officials from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) ruled on Jan. 28 that snowmaking is an allowable use for reclaimed wastewater.

ADEQ conducted the inspection at Snowbowl to determine if the ski resort was in compliance with state laws and administrative codes. The Flagstaff City Council unanimously agreed to investigate possible violations after Flagstaff residents and True Snow founders Rudy Preston and Katie Nelson brought possible violations to the council's attention.

This is the most recent attempt to block Snowbowl from making snow with reclaimed wastewater.

Preston and Nelson argued that Snowbowl violated state and city laws because they say skiing and recreational activities are not allowed as part of a direct reuse of treated sewage effluent. Only snowmaking is permitted as a direct reuse of treated sewage effluent.

However, in a letter to Flagstaff City Manager Kevin Burke, Michael Fulton, director of the Water Quality Division of ADEQ said that "ADEQ does not consider skiing on snow to be a full immersion water activity that has potential for ingestion like swimming, wind surfing, or water skiing."

Fulton added that ADEQ anticipated that snow made with reclaimed wastewater would be used for skiing and considers snowmaking an acceptable use of Class A and A+ reclaimed water.

Preston also said Arizona Snowbowl violated its contract with the city because of a lack of prominently placed signs alerting the public to the use of reclaimed water.

ADEQ has required Snowbowl to improve signage at the resort.

Since the Dec. 27 inspection, employees from Arizona Snowbowl have posted required signage on snowmaking machines and have voluntarily posted additional signage at lift ticket offices, information boards, public areas, on the back of lift tickets and on the transmission pipeline conveyance from the city of Flagstaff to Snowbowl.

ADEQ also required the service connection piping to the snowmaking machines to read "Caution: Reclaimed Water, Do Not Drink."

However, proper signage in compliance with state law may still not be enough to satisfy opponents.

"Allowing water to get into an eating area is a major violation, not having signage on the hose bibs and the hoses themselves and not having the hoses the right color is actually a major violation of the law," Preston said. "Those they can't just fix on the spot, citations have to be issued and processes need to be followed. No court has ever ruled on whether this water is healthy to ski on, they've always managed to find a technicality that left them not having to make any ruling at all. The law says they can't do this, they're doing it, what gives?"

Arizona Snowbowl General Manager J.R. Murray assured ADEQ that the ski resort will take steps next year to avoid making yellow stained snow caused by rust forming on the interior of distribution pipes. The yellow stained snow caused concern when it was discovered around the Christmas holiday during the season's first snowmaking.

"That was predictable and we knew exactly what it would be and everybody knows that that was just the rust from inside the pipe, we anticipated it," Murray said. "The water coming from the city is crystal clear and that was just the rinsing of the pipes and it's already over with. It's no longer an issue, we're totally compliant."

Murray added that the signage issue was more about specific words and the locations of properly worded signs. He said that issue has been fully resolved as well.

    Recently Commented     Most Viewed
Mapmaker continues quest to document indigenous cultures
New documentary focuses on Native American veterans on Navajo Nation
Letter to the editor: Where do children learn to speak fluent Navajo?
Delegate Edmund Yazzie continues work for Thoreau, N.M. clinic
Pirates of the Navajo Nation under attack

Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. The email and phone info you provide will not be visible to the public. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to 1300 characters or less. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit your comment entries to five(5) per day.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Find more about Weather in Flagstaff, AZ
Click for weather forecast

Submission links
 •  Submit site feedback or questions

Find It Opinions Features Submit Extras Other Publications
Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Milestones | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS | Site Map
LB - Northland Motorsports

© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Navajo-Hopi Observer is the information source for the Navajo and Hopi Nations and Winslow area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Navajo-Hopi Observer Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the site's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Navajo-Hopi Observer Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved