Solitude Ski Resort's recent redevelopment and expansion program has earned it an award for water-quality control.

The Salt Lake City-County Health Department and Area-Wide Water Quality Council recognized the resort for outstanding achievements in water pollution control, in the area of design and implementation. The award concerned Solitude's Phase One master plan mountain redesign, completed last summer.The project cost Solitude about $600,000, according to project backers.

"Solitude's process of upgrading lift and support facilities to meet projected skier demand required us to make significant alternations to the existing acreage," said Mike Goar, the resort's vice president for operations.

Resort workers have been regrading, compacting and contour-grading the slope, as well as planting new vegetation. They also have installed erosion-control netting and mulching, said spokeswoman Georgia Cuthbert.

The tasks were undertaken simultaneously on the upper and lower sites to reduce erosion and the sediment-loading that would be dumped in the streams otherwise. Erosion and sedimentation would have been a problem, especially during storms and the yearly snow melt runoff.

Because a sizable area was cleared, cut, filled, regraded and recontoured, Solitude employed specialized erosion-control teams in the project.