In early November, E. Coli and coliform bacteria were discovered in the drinking water of Squaw Valley’s upper mountain. Since then, Squaw Valley has been working closely with Placer County Environmental Health both to resolve the issue and to ensure that skiers can continue to safely use the facilities in the meantime.
Their efforts have seen results. A water quality report shows no E. Coli and a very low level of coliform bacteria in three out of four drinking wells. Restaurants remain closed but skiers are provided with bottled water and are able to ski as usual.
Squaw valley released a statement on November 30th with details about the issue. It states that the issue came from an “unusually heavy rainstorm” that overloaded a recently upgraded system. The combination of unexpected weather and a new, untested system led to the contamination of the water. It reassures readers that the contamination was detected during routine water testing and that contaminated water was never made available for public consumption. The statement ends saying that customer safety is “paramount to (Squaw Valley)” and that the issue is being taken “very seriously.” In the meantime, skiers are being provided with bottled water and are still allowed full access to facilities. As soon as experts verify that the water is clean and safe to drink, access to drinking water will be restored.
While E. Coli and coliform are dangerous contaminants, Squaw Valley is handling the situation in the safest way possible. They are working hard to make the water safe for consumption and to make sure that customers can ski with minimal interruption until repairs are made. Squaw valley will be issuing an update when the water is safe.