Arizona wants to expand its Snowbowl Ski Resort and is working with the Forest Service to find a way to make it happen. The solution? Use reclaimed poop water to get that powder you need. Gross! Except the poop might not be the problem.
You recall that there’s the whole issue of psychological contagion, right? It makes the gross stay gross even after it has been cleansed of whatever makes it gross. Like how purified water will stay dirty in the minds, say, whole communities when it doesn’t really present a health/ickiness issue. That’s what’s happening here. According to Mother Jones, environmental agencies and Native American councils have been up in arms against the move, claiming it endangers the ecological and cultural integrity of the landscape there. And, admittedly, skiing on frozen poo already sounds kinda nasty.
But there’s another issue at work here. Rather, it’s what might be in the snow after it’s been cleansed. According to an analysis conducted by Dr Catherine Propper and her associates at Flagstaff’s Rio de Flag treatment facility, treated water can contain “hormones, steroids, and household and industrial compound”. None of which sounds particularly good for you.
However, there are still no known adverse effects this effluent can have on people. More study is needed in that area, but you can still expect people to get riled up about it. My guess? Maybe just let the snow alone. [Forester Press, Mother Jones]