Squaw Valley Publishes Statement Regarding Upper Mountain Water Quality


Squaw Valley has now issued a comprehensive statement in response to news that went around this week that E. coli and some coliform bacteria were discovered in the drinking water at the upper mountain of Squaw Valley.


The potential health hazard was first reported on November 8th to the Placer County Department of Environmental Health. From that time, the water is being treated consistently and is exhibiting tremendous improvement. Currently, three out of the four main wells that serve the upper mountain are showing very low levels of coliform and no E. coli. The good news was announced via Sierra Sub on Tuesday by Wesley Nicks, the director of Placer County Environmental Health.


While all restaurants at the upper mountain remained closed most of this week and skiers are not permitted to drink water until the issue is totally resolved. However, no any health issues have been reported, and the top-to-bottom skiing is permitted to continue safely at the prestigious ski resort.


Squaw Valley statement

Here is the full statement as seen on the Sun on Wednesday, November 30, by Liesl Kenney. Kenney is the public relations director for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.

These are the real facts regarding water quality at the Squaw Valley’s upper mountain. In October 2016, a rare heavy rain storm affected some water systems around Placer County. At the Squaw Valley, the unusual weather phenomenon led to an inundation of the upgraded water project installed over the summer of this year at the High Camp as well as at the Gold Coast. The event resulted in a contamination of the water system.

However, this issue was only limited to that water system, and none of Squaw Valley’s other water systems were affected as a result. It should be noted that at no single point was the contaminated water availed to the public.


After some routine testing detected the contamination issue, we immediately contacted the Placer County Environmental Health together with the Squaw Valley Public Service District. We also moved fast to consult other prominent water safety experts. Through their help, we have taken drastic steps to address the issue, and we intend to continue doing that until the water in the reserves returns to normal levels. Due to this, we will not return to our normal water usage at the High Camp or the Gold Coast until we are completely assured by health officials together with other professionals that the water is safe.


The welfare of our beloved customers is paramount to Squaw Valley, and that is the reason we are taking that issue quite seriously, as we normally do to all safety issues. While this matter is being resolved, our esteemed guests at the High Camp and Gold Coast will enjoy normal and total access to our facilities which will include free bottled water for drinking. In the meanwhile, we will update all our guests when the water experts confirm that this matter has been resolved fully.


We would wish to thank the Placer County as well as the Squaw Valley Public Service District for their immense assistance and constant cooperation with this matter.