Following a recent E. coli and coliform scare in Olympic Valley, Squaw Valley has been questioned about the quality of the drinking water in and around their upper mountain region.
In early November the Placer Country Department of Environmental Health was made aware of the appearance of contaminated water, and that’s when treatment began. In a statement from Squaw Valley, 75% of the wells in the upper mountain have seen steady decreases in bacteria, having expelled the E. coli contamination and only low levels of coliform. These are figures made public by Director of Placer County Environmental Health Wesley Nicks.
While conditions are improving, caution is still at the forefront of Squaw Valley’s operations. While there have been no public health concerns over the water, there are restrictions placed on restaurants and skiers are prohibited from imbibing water until the water issue is resolved in full. But top-to-bottom skiing is permitted to continue as normal.
As for the cause for the contamination of their water source, Squaw Valley believes they have figured it out.
In the aftermath of unseasonable rainfall this past October, the Placer County water systems were pushed beyond their capacity, leading to the inundation of upgraded water systems at High Camp and Gold Coast. The sitting water is believed to be the cause behind the contamination, but it was also isolated to these systems. The greater public was never at risk of contamination.
Once Squaw Valley was made aware of the contamination, the Placer County Environmental Health and Squaw Valley Public Service District were alerted and water treatment began. Since October, Squaw Valley has continued to address the contamination levels and reduce bacteria back down to levels safe for drinking.
The statement (which can be read in full here) went on to state Squaw Valley’s commitment to preserving the safety of their visitors to High Camp and Gold Coast and doing their part to maintain the public health of the region.
As the water systems at both locations continues to be monitored, Squaw Valley intends to maintain contact with local authorities on the matter and the public will be notified when the water situation is resolved in full.