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Donner Summit PUD Wastewater Facilities Upgrade

California’s first application of recycled wastewater for ski area snowmaking

  • $24M


  • 1.2


  • Soda Springs, California

    Soda Springs, California

Making fresh snow for the sunny state

The Donner Summit Public Utility District provides wastewater treatment services for a community consisting primarily of a ski resort, which contributes large seasonal and daily variations in flows and loads. The plant is required to meet stringent discharge requirements, including total nitrogen removal, and Title 22 unrestricted reuse equivalent effluent prior to discharge to the pristine South Yuba River. With the plant in violation of these discharge requirements, we were retained to investigate alternatives; develop, design and implement improvements; and assist in the permit application. 

We completed a facilities plan preforming life-cycle cost analysis of various treatment alternatives and recommended the construction of a membrane bioreactor (MBR) process with in-pipe UV disinfection and microfiltration. This project was particularly challenging because of the sudden increase in flows and loads during the ski season, which coincides with the very low temperatures. 

We prepared the preliminary and detailed design, which included procurement pre-selection packages for the MBR and UV disinfection system. GE's LEAPmbr with ZeeWeed membranes and Wedeco’s LBX Series in-pipe UV disinfection systems were selected and constructed within an architecturally designed building to blend with the surrounding site. We also provided construction management and PLC/SCADA programming.

The Soda Springs ski area uses the plant's recycled water for snowmaking, the first such application in the State of California.

At a Glance

Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence, 2016
Donner Summit Public Utility District

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