Chicopee Tube Park makes snow from stormwater pond

Chicopee Tube Park requires approximately 15 million litres of water per year to make artificial snow. At 2015 rates this volume of water would cost approximately $50,000 over one season alone. Combined with the trend in rising water rates, it became increasingly clear to Chicopee Operations Manager Bob Harris that continuing to make snow with municipal water was becoming unsustainable, both economically and environmentally.
Chicopee Tube Park is a year-round recreation facility accessible by public transit in Kitchener. In the winter months they operate a snow tubing hill with a growing customer base of around 65,000 visitors in the winter season. The business operates on land leased to them by the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA).

Solution:Chicopee Tube Park was able to develop a plan, which included funding from the W.E.T. Program, to help with the design of a stormwater pond at the base of the hill that would capture melting snow and rain water. The hill has been contoured to feed into a trench, so that runoff from the slopes is transferred into the pond. Water is also captured from the roof of the main building and the parking lot and directed to the pond. This water is then harvested to make snow for the Tube Park. The lower temperatures of the water and the fine particles of dirt in it make it ideal for making snow.

With the assistance of the RAIN program, Chicopee Tube Park is expanding its drainage system to the pond. Stormwater that runs off the hill onto River Road will be redirected to the pond. This will reduce the potential for erosion on an existing GRCA trail and amount to a further capture of 100,000 litres of runoff over the winter season. The goal is to use the pond for 100% of its snow-making.

3,785,000 Litre capacity

Project Details:
Location: 1600 River Road East, Kitchener,
Maximum Capacity: 3,785,000L

diagram of the rainwater harvesting and snow-making system at Chicopee Tube Park

RAIN Partners & Funders

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