SolarBee during maiden voyages on a Spanish Peaks holding pond.

SolarBee to the rescue

The Spanish Peaks Mountain Club maintains two storage ponds for reclaimed water that are critical to the function of Big Sky’s sewer system. One of them—known as the Hole 10 Pond—has experienced some minor odor problems caused by anoxic water. 

      Anoxic means it is depleted of dissolved oxygen.

      “I can tell you we are getting multiple complaints about odors,” said Jon Olsen with Spanish Peaks Mountain Club, explaining help is on the way in the form of a tool called the SolarBee. “It’s actually on a truck on its way here.”

      That was July 17. On July 24, Spanish Peaks installed SolarBee units on both of their reclaimed water ponds—the Hole 10 Pond, as well as the new irrigation storage pond constructed last summer.

      The SolarBee is produced by the Medora Corporation in North Dakota and company materials describe how the floating, solar-powered device can help solve problems involving odors. 

     “The SolarBee is designed to circulate water by lifting it from the bottom of the pond and releasing it at the surface in thin radial layers, preventing stratification of the pond, which can lead to unpleasant odors,” said Olsen. “These particular units will circulate one million gallons per day.”

     “It’s a pretty ingenious piece of equipment with a snorkel hose that sits at the bottom of the pond,” added Ron Edwards, general manager with the Big Sky Water and Sewer District, touting the SolarBee’s abilities. —DM


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