In a recent statement to the Sierra Sun, Squaw Valley informed the public about the state of its water supply in Olympic Valley after reports that wells in their upper mountain region were contaminated with harmful levels of E. coli and coliform.
The cause of the bacterial spread has been traced back to a series of storms in October. Squaw Valley says that an unusual series of torrential rainfall burdened the Placer County water systems and exceeded their capacity for normal flow. Coincidentally, water systems at Gold Coast and High camp were undergoing a series of upgrades, which left them vulnerable to excess water. This wealth of sitting water and moisture absorption let to the contamination they soon detected.
Squaw Valley maintains that the as soon as they were aware of the contamination they immediately began treatment of their water systems and alerted Placer County Environmental Health and Squaw Valley Public Service District. They maintain that at no time was the greater public at risk of coming in contact with these contaminated water sources.
During the first few days of November Squaw Valley informed the Placer County Department of Environmental Health that the apparent contamination of their water systems had been addressed. Official inspectors were able to determine that three out of the four wells ad their E. coli levels significantly decreased as well as coliform. The Placer County Environmental Health Director Wesley Nicks was the one to extend this information to the general public.
Conditions steadily improve, and while no guests have become sick as a result of drinking the local water caution remains a primary concern. Until further notice restaurants are prohibited from unauthorized water usage and guests to Squaw Valley are not to drink any of the water. This, however, has not inhibited top-to-bottom skiing in any way.
Squaw Valley’s statement reiterates its commitment to the health and safety of its guests and those who live in the surrounding community. As treatment works to return the water systems of Gold Coast and High Camp to normal levels safe for drinking, local authorities and the general public will be notified of their progress.