How Ski Towns Turn Wastewater into Snowy Slopes

Lewis Bassett on February 16, 2018

Big Sky, Montana, is looking to become one of a handful of cities to tackle its water shortage problem through snowmaking with sewage-treated water.

The ski town of Big Sky, Montana, is a modern-day Western boomtown. From little more than a post office in 1973, it has become one of the world's most exclusive ski resorts. And not surprisingly, it has encountered some growing pains.

The biggest problem is water. Rapid growth in Big Sky threatens to deplete groundwater, the only source of drinking water for the community. A close second is wastewater treatment. The sewage system was expanded just 15 years ago at a cost of $15 million, but it's already nearly at capacity. Another expansion will be needed soon.

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