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Skiing on Yellow Snow

Treated sewage water is used on slopes in Arizona.

You may have heard the joke as a child - don't eat the yellow snow.  Well, you can't avoid skiing on it at one Arizona ski resort.

The Arizona Snowbowl is just outside of Flagstaff, and it's the first place in the world to make artificial snow completely out of 100 percent recycled and treated waste water.

The resort started using the reused flakes back in December.  But it was a rough start because the first blown snow had a yellowish tent. 

The resort didn't give up though.  They say it's an excellent use of recycled water.  The water comes from the general municipal sewage system.  The material is first treated by passing it through a series of tanks where it is decomposed by bacteria.

That mulch is then put through filters before being sterilized with ultraviolet light.  This water is then piped to the Snowbowl and blown into snow.

Resort managers say the water is cleaned to a very high quality...just below that of drinking water. 

They say the resort is saving a tremendous amount of water.

But not everyone is a fan.  Some say there is an 'ick factor' or the 'perception' that the water is dirty.

Campaigner Rudy Preston displayed pictures of the unsightly powder and wrote on the True Snow web site: 'After a decade of legal battles and opposition from environmental groups, concerned citizens, and Indigenous Nations, Arizona Snowbowl ski area has started making fake snow from Flagstaff's treated sewage effluent. Surprise... it's yellow!'

The Snowbowl claimed the unfortunate color of the snow was due to rust in the pipes.

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