Water Quality in Squaw Valley

A water quality issue was detected and first reported on November 8th in Squaw Valley’s upper mountain after a heavy rainstorm in October that resulted in contaminating the new water system just installed over summer. Since then, Placer County Department of Environmental Health has been working to correct the issue with other leading water experts. Currently, water use is limited in some areas and restricted in others. Top-to-bottom hill skiing is still allowed but people aren’t allowed to drink the water and restaurants at the top of the hill are still closed.

To prevent any other issues from occurring, regular water use won’t return to High Camp or Gold Coast until water safety experts and health officials give the okay.

Currently, the facilities are still open and guests have full, normal access to High Camp and Gold Coast along with free bottled water. The safety of guests at Squaw Valley is very important with this issue as well as any others. The facility won’t allow access to the water until all tests come back as safe and the issue is fully resolved. Their Public Relations Director, Liesl Kenney released all of this information with a public thank you to Placer County and the Squaw Valley Public Service District for helping with the issue. Liesl also said that everyone will be updated when everything is resolved.


Squaw Valley Clarifies Water Quality Issue

Squaw Valley issued a statement in response to the water contamination that occurred in October of 2016. In October, an unusually heavy rainstorm overran the water collection system. The system was new and installed at High Camp and Gold Coast. During testing of the water coliform and E.Coli were detected and Squaw Valley promptly notified Placer County officials and hired water expert consultants. At no time was the public exposed to the contaminated water. The water systems at those locations were the only ones affected by the contamination.


Squaw Valley’s Prompt Safety Response

The resort closed restaurants and provided bottled water to guests and employees as a result of the contamination. The locations will not return to normal water usage until the water is certified safe by the county and other water experts.


E.coli and Coliform Facts

E.coli is a bacteria that occurs in the digestive tracts of humans and animals. People infected by E.coli usually suffered from intestinal discomfort and diarrhea. The bacteria is rarely severe and will usually go away on its own. The usual treatment is rest and drinking water.

Coliform bacteria are a good indication that drinking water is contaminated. When detected, scientists treat it as a sign of contamination. They work to locate the contamination, testing for bacteria in water is expensive and challenging. But, testing for coliform is rather inexpensive and easy. It’s usually one of the first bacteria experts check for when examining water.