Recycled Water Initiative


Soda Springs will lead the region as the first ski area in California to make snow from recycled water when snowmaking begins later this month. This innovation is the result of a shared vision and a unique partnership with Donner Summit Public Utility District (DSPUD). Soda Springs Mountain Resort and DSPUD have partnered to develop this innovative solution to lack of available water for snowmaking. Both organizations have made significant financial investments in infrastructure that enable a substantial increase in the production and storage of snow. In June 2015, DSPUD completed a $24 million project converting its treatment process from an older chlorination/de-chlorination system to a state of the art, UV distillation process, resulting in highly treated, pathogen-free, crystal clear water outcome that is cleaner than surface water.

The snow that is made is effective water storage in the winter and will be released back into the ground and surface water flows as the snow melts. . Recycled water is strictly monitored by state and federal agencies that are responsible for guaranteeing the quality of tertiary treated water used for non-potable purposes. Recycled water is currently being used across the state for non-potable, beneficial uses such as for irrigation, landscaping and recreation.

Recycled Water FAQs

Safety & Benefits

What is recycled water?
Water is continually recycled in nature through the water cycle. The water we use every day is as old as the Earth itself.  Modern wastewater treatment replicates the natural recycling process to restore large quantities of water used by communities – quickly and effectively.

Recycled water is clear, safe, and treated to strict standards.  It is a valuable, sustainable resource that matches water quality to specific needs.  Every gallon of recycled water used for irrigation, industrial processes, snowmaking and other beneficial uses potentially can conserve a gallon of our community’s water resources.

Is recycled water safe?
Yes. Recycled water is as clean as – or cleaner than surface water. Donner Summit Public Utilities District produces tertiary treated water that meets or exceeds Title 22 requirements. Title 22 of California’s Water Recycling Criteria refers to California state guidelines for how treated and recycled water is used. The water used for snowmaking is frequently tested and is safe for human contact as regulated by the water quality control boards in consultation with the California Department of Public Health.

How is recycled water tested?
Similar to drinking water testing, samples of recycled water are periodically drawn and tested for qualities like clarity and presence of bacteria.  The frequency and types of tests performed depend on the water quality demands for each use of water.  For drinking water, testing is performed to ensure water is safe to drink.  For recycled water, testing is performed to ensure the water is safe for irrigation, washing cars, or other specific uses.

Why should we recycle water?
Across the country and around the globe, people recycle water for the same reasons they recycle other materials:  to make more efficient use of a precious resource.  Together, the DSPUD, Soda Springs and the greater community will all benefit from expanding uses of recycled water.

Both natural snow and snow made with recycled water should not be ingested