Located in lush Olympic Valley, California, expansive Squaw Valley is one of the largest ski resorts in the world, and hosted the entirety of the Winter Olympic games in 1960. Squaw Valley is situated just west of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and boasts a skiable 3600 acres. In spite of this area arguably being a top winter tourist destination, back on November 8 of 2016, the Placer County Department of Environmental Health first reported a possible health issue in Squaw Valley. The report indicated that coliform bacteria and E. coli had been detected in Squaw Valley’s drinking water at its upper mountain. Needless to say, Public Relations Director for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Liesl Kennedy, wasted no time in issuing a response.
The statement, issued November 30, stressed that never was the contaminated water made available to the public. It explained that an upgraded water system had been installed over the summer at nearby High Camp and Gold Coast resorts (same ownership) and those water systems were contaminated by an inundation of that water due to an unusually heavy rain storm. The PR Director assured the public and its customers that the contamination was isolated to that one system and at no time was anyone given access to that water.
When routine testing was conducted and problems detected, Kennedy stated that Placer County Environmental Health, as well as the Squaw Valley Public Service District, were notified immediately. In addition, other leading water safety experts were consulted right away and steps taken immediately to resolve this issue.
While we are told this may take time, Kennedy insists that no contaminated water will be available to their guests until the experts confirm that the problem is fully resolved; markedly lower levels of contaminants are already being reported by officials. The guests at High Camp and Gold Coast have full access to all Squaw Valley facilities and will be provided free bottled drinking water in the meantime. Naturally, the statement concluded, the health and well being of our guests is of paramount importance to the company and will always be our priority.