News Release

Phantom Ranch Wastewater Treatment Plant Repairs Begin

A helicopter flies near the Colorado River near Phantom Ranch
A park helicopter flies into Phantom Ranch along the Bright Angel Trail

NPS Photo/D. Yurcik

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News Release Date: February 1, 2022

Contact: Joelle Baird, 928-606-3154

Beginning Feb. 8, 2022, the first phase of short-term repairs and upgrades to the Phantom Ranch Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) will begin. Work is anticipated to be completed by December 2022 and includes two phases of hauling equipment via helicopters. The first phase is anticipated to go through March, and the second phase is expected to resume in September.

Inner canyon trail users in the vicinity of Phantom Ranch may experience temporary delays of up to 15 minutes, and noise and dust from equipment and helicopters. The contractor, GSE/Coventina Water, LLC, will have limited use of a heavy-lift helicopter (Chinook) to haul supplies and equipment. Visitors should follow directions from National Park Service (NPS) staff and construction crew workers as needed in the work zones to maintain safety.

The Phantom Ranch WWTP has insufficient capacity and capability to treat the current user demand and meet the state quality standards, which has resulted in it operating at half capacity. Critical short-term upgrades will be conducted to the treatment systems as well as aeration and tank installation to improve performance. Building and mechanical monitoring will also be upgraded to improve personnel safety.

The NPS is coordinating with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to improve the Phantom Ranch WWTP quality standards with this short-term improvement project and maintain services while the NPS works on design and compliance for future replacement of the plant.

Critical backcountry updates, including trail closures and restrictions will be posted on the park's website at:


Last updated: February 1, 2022

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