News Briefs: EPA Expands Program to Bring Wastewater Services to Underserved Communities

Also in this week's sewer and water news, a prestigious ski resort in Montana introduces an initiative to convert wastewater into snow for its slopes

News Briefs: EPA Expands Program to Bring Wastewater Services to Underserved Communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced the expansion of its successful Closing America’s Wastewater Access Gap Community Initiative to 150 additional communities as part of President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda. 

Originally launched in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the initiative partners with underserved communities to provide technical assistance on accessing federal wastewater funding. The pilot initiative has assisted 11 communities since 2022. Read more about it here.

Montana Ski Resort Converts Wastewater Into Snow for Slopes 

The Yellowstone Club, a prestigious resort near Big Sky, Montana, has introduced an initiative to convert wastewater into snow for its ski slopes. This approach, a first for Montana ski areas, is seen as an environmentally friendly solution to the challenges posed by dry winters, which have affected other ski resorts in the state. 

The transition to using treated wastewater for snow production on Eglise Mountain is the result of a decade-long partnership with local environmental groups and extensive review by state regulators. This initiative is part of the Yellowstone Club's ongoing efforts to find sustainable uses for wastewater, building on its previous success in using recycled water for golf course irrigation.

Legionnaires' Outbreak Linked to Grand Rapids Water Supply

The Minnesota Department of Health recently identified the municipal water system of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, as the likely source of a recent Legionnaires' disease outbreak. Since April 2023, 14 adults have been diagnosed with the disease, resulting in 11 hospitalizations. Fortunately, there have been no fatalities. 

Grand Rapids doesn't currently chlorinate its water supply — a practice not required for systems relying on groundwater in the state. In response to the outbreak, local health officials and the Grand Rapids Public Utilities are exploring solutions, including the potential introduction of a chlorination disinfection system.


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