OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows met requests for more detailed information regarding potential health issues with an extensive statement issued November 30. Potential public health issues were self-reported to the Placer County Department of Environmental Health after unusually heavy October rains affected isolated water systems. Improvements over the summer to the four wells and water systems of the upper mountain made them susceptible to contamination during the unusual weather event. Routine testing at the beginning of November showed the presence of E. coli and coliform bacteria in water, but that water was not distributed to the public.
It is important to note that no health issues have been reported thanks to Squaw Valley’s pro-active approach. The water has been treated and regular testing continues, with good results and the expectation of a favorable resolution to this issue. Although restaurants on the upper mountain did have to close, skiing was uninterrupted by the water issues. No other water systems were affected, and guests at High Camp and Gold Coast were given free bottled waters to drink instead.
Acting with the assistance of Placer County Environmental Health and the Squaw Valley Public Service District, resort officials acted swiftly to ensure the health and safety of the public. Flushing the system with chlorine and sodium hydrochloride treatments has eliminated the E. coli presence and reduced coliform levels in three of the four wells. This means that the water can be used for sanitation purposes, though not as drinking water at this stage. Full services will be resumed as soon as experts can confirm water in the system has returned to normal safety levels.