The Wildcat Hill sewage treatment plant in east Flagstaff isn't meeting the state's highest standards for reclaimed wastewater, so the plant's treated effluent is not being used for snowmaking this winter.
That's the announcement from the city of Flagstaff ahead of a Tuesday City Council meeting, during which staff are likely to propose further repairs of more than $1 million to the $37 million plant.
Rather than wastewater rated A+, the Wildcat Hill plant is producing Grade A quality wastewater -- and has been since early 2010.
"Solids" are the reason: Wildcat Hill is getting hundreds of tons more sewage than it was built to take.
The main difference in the kind of wastewater produced is the level of nitrogen: A+ effluent has less of that.
The number of fecal coliforms can be the same for A+ or A, and each level is state-approved for the same kinds of irrigation, snowmaking and other uses.
Because Arizona Snowbowl is using reclaimed wastewater for the first time this winter and Flagstaff had promised A+ water, city staff cut off all effluent coming into the pipes from Wildcat Hill this winter. Instead, it is coming only from the cleaner plant, Rio de Flag.
See more in Sunday's Arizona Daily Sun and online at azdailysun.com.