Andy Wirth, CEO and president of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Ski Resorts issued a statement on November 30 concerning the contamination of the water supply in the upper mountain water system. Squaw Valley had immediately contacted the Placer County Department of Environmental Health on the discovery of coliform bacteria and E.coli during routine testing.
Squaw Valley has the utmost concern for the safety of their guests, so the restaurants on upper mountain were immediately closed. Since the water was shut off, bottled water was provided for all the guests, and no one was ever exposed to the contaminated water supply. As a result, no one became ill from drinking infected water, and skiing remained open. Squaw Valley is extremely cautious concerning their guests.
The report that was released from Squaw Valley sums up the cause and effect of the water supply issue.
While this issue is being resolved, all of our guests, especially those at High Camp and Gold Coast, will have full access to all of the facilities in the resort. Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows will continue to keep the restaurants on the upper mountain closed and continuing to provide free bottled water.
The cause of the bacteria in this one system was found to be due to an unusually heavy rainstorm in October and rainwater also infiltrated several water systems in the area. As it relates to Squaw Valley, this heavy rain event inundated the system that had been upgraded during the summer. Since the other systems on the resort were not upgraded in any way, the issue was contained to High Camp and Gold Coast system. The contaminated water was never available to the public.
Through our routine testing, this issue allowed management to immediately contact the proper authorities. In addition, two water experts were called for a second opinion on the resolution.
High Camp and Gold Coast mountain’s water system will continue to be closed until the water levels have returned to normal levels. Our personnel will continue to report the progress until health officials confirm the water levels are normal at upper mountain. Safety is of major concern to Squaw Valley management.