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Super bacteria found in sewage snow

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Super bacteria found in sewage snow

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Snowbowl’s cannons will start making snow out of sewage effluent this Thanksgiving, but people may be getting more than they bargained for - super bacteria in the snow. Arizona Snowbowl won its case to produce snow from sewage earlier this year, after a decade of campaigning by native American Indians to prevent it because of potential damage to wildlife and a sacred mountain. Now, new research suggests that the waste water system is also a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant genes. These genes are thought to impede the body's ability to fight infection....See: http://www.environmentalleader.com/2012/10/11/wastewater-snow-making-could-breed-super-bacteria/
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
To put this article into some microbiological context....... If you dig up some soil it harbours millions of bacteria that all carry a multitude of antibiotic resistance genes so they can survive in the presence of the antibiotics produced by their neighbours. "Antibiotics" and "antibiotic resistance" are terms created by humans - let us not forget that antibiotics are compounds produced by bacteria/fungi to kill other bacteria/fungi. Antibiotic resistance only becomes a problem when human pathogens carry these genes, but antibiotic resistance genes certainly do NOT "impede the body's ability to fight infection" - they can cause treatment failure when the infecting bacteria are resistant to the chosen antibiotic therapy, but certainly do not impact our immune system.

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to human health when carried by human pathogens. This has resulted from a significant slow down/stop in the discovery of new antibiotics. So a lack of new drugs has enabled bacterial evolution to catch up, so to speak. Now it's us who need to catch up with them.

Bacteria growing on sprinkler heads is not surprising.....take a swab of your shower head, there will be all sorts growing on there. Very Happy

"The research has yet to be published or peer reviewed" - Probably the most important statement in this article.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Should Snowbowl be renamed Toiletbowl?

Tordi, you seem very knowledgeable about this so I can't argue with you. However, surely in terms of marketing this cannot be good for the resort!!
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
What are the chances of actually getting ill from sewage effluent being fired from snowcannons? Low, I would guess.

It's a crapshoot Smile
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Mr Piehole, you're right. Very low. I've just read through the actual study, and the data is not really useful in the context of snow cannons. Many bacteria (especially pathogens that live at human body temperature) die or stop growing when frozen anyway. So even if there are some antibiotic resistant bugs in the water (of which there are very few) and even if some of these are human pathogens (which the study didn't investigate or demonstrate), they probably won't survive being fired out of the cannon into the rather chilly air. Although, I'd probably avoid standing next to the cannon with your gob open, in the same way I wouldn't recommend drinking from streams/lakes/puddles.

It makes me really mad when articles such as this dramatise a phenomenon they clearly don't understand. These aren't "super bacteria", they are just bacteria. What are they suggesting as an alternative?? Fill up the cannons with purified and sterile evian water? Pfffft. Surely its good to recycle waste water for purposes other than consumption? The process required for purification of water to make it drinkable is one that requires a crazy amount of energy and resources, which is also generally not good for the furry animals and environment.

Therefore, I fail to see the importance until someone demonstrates that there are dangerous pathogens being fired out of the cannons. That wouldn't be good.

This kind of misinterpretation and scaremongering makes reading the science news section of the BBC website rather painful.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Tordi, thank you. This rubbish drives me mental but I don't have the patience to dissect it as calmly as you have Embarassed
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Tordi,

Very well argued. I guess that you and I work in the same Faculty.....

Mr Piehole,

Don't eat the yellow snow. rolling eyes
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Skiing on yellow snow is for losers.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Hahaha. A++ Whitegold post. Would read again.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
To be fair sewage has been used to water sports pitches for years. What's the difference between this and using it for making snow?
It all makes its way back into the soil at one point or another.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
IIRC Lake Louise was the first Canadian resort to use reclaimed water in some of their snow cannons.

I always hold my breath while going underneath them when they're running...
and always thought I could detect a certain - taint - to the snow nearby.
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