Arizona ski resort finds wastewater makes yellow snow

Lindsay Jolivet
Daily Buzz
Skiers and boarders were loving the fresh flakes falling at the Jay Peak Resort in northern Vermont Wednesday.

You shouldn't eat yellow snow but can you ski on it?

A ski resort in Flagstaff, Arizona is finding out after its project to create snow using wastewater from a sewage treatment plant has turned, well, off-colour.

Flagstaff city council is investigating the Arizona Snowbowl after the project, launched on Dec. 24, according to the New York Times, resulted in ski hills covered with yellow snow. The reaction was something like a collective "ick" from skiers and anger from environmental and aboriginal groups concerned about damaging an ecologically fragile mountain.

The Times reports that J.R. Murray, the resort's manager, says rust in the pipes is causing the snow's gross colour. Nonetheless, when snow made from treated wastewater turns out yellow, the optics aren't ideal.

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Not to mention environmental groups, such as the Center for Biological Diversity, told the newspaper the explanation was inadequate. Environmentalists say antibiotics, hormones and pharmaceuticals from the water could hurt kids, especially if the snow reaches their faces.

Aboriginal groups protested at Flagstaff city hall last week as part of the growing Idle No More movement that originated in Canada, according to Earth First! Newswire.

City council voted yesterday to open an investigation. Meanwhile, the Snowbowl might say everything is dandy but at least one visitor told the Times conditions are "kind of disgusting."