Squaw Valley Ski Resort had an alarming report back in November 2016 before the main season got off. A potential health risk was detected in the water system in the upper mountain water system during a routine water check. The Placer County Department of Environmental Health made the first announcement to the public on November 8th, 2016.
Apparently, rainwater leaked into the water system that had just been replaced that summer and created a small amount of E. Coli and coliform bacteria. Squaw Valley officials immediately contacted the Health Department who verified that the bacteria was contained exclusively in the upper mountain water supply, so the water was turned off until the water could be brought to the correct levels. Squaw Valley also called in two water supply experts to provide a second opinion.
The restaurants on the upper mountain were closed, and the guests at the resort were not permitted to drink the from the upper mountain, but they were permitted to ski from top to bottom. Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley, provided bottled water for the safety of everyone at the Resort.
Squaw Valley has been very open about the progress that is being made pertaining to the system and when high mountain restaurants will reopen. On November 30, Squaw Valley, Mr. Wirth and the Board of Directors published an updated statement on the information released on the water quality.
The report stated that the initial results were correct and revealed the issue. The water department and other experts are working on the issue, so this second report could be made; all progress will continue to be monitored until the levels return to normal.
Since the bacteria was confined to High Camp and Gold Coast, Squaw Valley will keep those restaurants closed until health officials can completely assure them that the water is safe. The amount detected is small, and no health issues have been reported by any of the guests or employees. Skiing is open throughout the Resort for all skiers at this incredible resort, and Squaw Valley thanked all the parties for their efforts.