Brett French reports: Wasteful considerations
By angelamontana

Posted: December 28, 2023

Visitors to Yellowstone National Park, which now annually tops about 4 million people, are treated to fantastic sights like Old Faithful geyser, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and bubbling mud pots and fumaroles. What none of them are likely thinking about, however, is all of the human waste they produce and what the park does to handle it. The issue became very apparent last year following historic flooding that wiped out a sewer line between Mammoth Hot Springs and the community of Gardiner. The Park Service had to scramble to create a temporary fix, utilizing a system from the 1960s. By this spring, a new system had been built as a more permanent temporary fix. The wastewater treatment plant has already handled up to 180,000 gallons of effluent a day during the peak of summer travel. The technology the system uses also is providing training for wastewater operators, since similar equipment is set to be incorporated into updates at other wastewater facilities in the park.

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Written by Brett French | Outdoors Editor for the Billings Gazette
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