Spanish Peaks Mountain Club Plans To Use Reclaimed Water Snowmaking

Cross Harbor Spanish Peaks Acquisitions (CHSP), LLC has applied for an MPDES permit to discharge treated domestic wastewater as artificial snow on ski runs of the Spanish Peaks Mountain Club on Spirit Mountain, Andesite Mountain, and the Spanish Peaks base area.

The source of the treated wastewater is the Big Sky County Water and Sewer District wastewater treatment facility. CHSP, LLC proposes to discharge up to 44 million gallons of treated wastewater as artificial snow in two phases: 23 million gallons per year (MGY) in Phase 1 and an additional 21 MGY in Phase 2. Snowmaking will occur primarily during the early portion of the ski season.

Natural snow will accumulate on top of and mix with the artificial snow. The wastewater will be disinfected to standards required for wastewater reuse. The permit includes additional effluent limitations to protect human health and the environment and the beneficial uses of the receiving waterbodies. The permit also requires significant surface water and snowmelt monitoring during the spring snowmelt and runoff season. Surface water and snowmelt monitoring must be conducted, and the results reported to DEQ every year of the permit term.

A nondegradation analysis was performed in development of the proposed permit and appropriate requirements have been included in the proposed permit to prevent significant changes in the receiving water quality.

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