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DEQ hands down final approval for Yellowstone Club recycled snowmaking

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Snowmaking with recycled water was originally tested in Big Sky in 2011. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE YELLOWSTONE CLUB


BIG SKY – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality issued a final permit on June 7 granting the Yellowstone Club allowance to use treated wastewater for snowmaking.

The Yellowstone Club, a private residential club and ski and golf resort in Madison County, first applied for the permit in March 2020. Montana DEQ issued a draft permit in March 2021, triggering a period of public comment. The Yellowstone Club plans to draw 80 percent of the recycled water from the Big Sky County Water and Sewer District and 20 percent from the Yellowstone Club’s wastewater treatment plant.  

“We are grateful for the many community partners who have helped make this decade-long collaboration a reality,” said Rich Chandler, environmental manager for the Yellowstone Club, in a June 8 press release.“Fortunately, we have the opportunity to do a great project that will help conserve our limited water supply and protect the watershed. Hopefully there are more projects coming online like this in the future.”

The Yellowstone Club reported that studies included in their proposal show the recycled snowmaking project could equate to a 25-million-gallon net benefit to the local aquifer and watershed.

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