Squaw Valley was founded in 1946 by Alex Cushing and has been the go-to ski and snowboarding resort in the Lake Tahoe area for decades. The resort was voted 2016’s Best Ski Resort on the continent by USA Today and is known all over the world. It spans over 6,000 acres and is a year round resort. The resort features constant events and over 60 bars, restaurants, and shops. Squaw Valley is known as the spring skiing capital of Lake Tahoe.
The famed resort has been in news recently for a water issue. On November 8th, a report was made to the Placer County Department of Environmental Health stating that Squaw Valley had detected E. coli and coliform bacteria in the drinking water of Squaw Valley’s upper mountain.
Since the report was made, the water has been continuously treated and is reportedly showing improvements. There are low levels of coliform and no traces of E. coli found in three out of the four water wells in question, according to the Director of Placer County Environmental Health.
Squaw Valley has shut down their bars and restaurants but is still allowing skiing and snowboarding services to continue. Skiers are not allowed to drink the water until the water issue is resolved and no health issues related to the issue have been reported.
On November 30th, Squaw Valley’s Public Relations Director, made a statement. Liesl Kenney stated, on behalf of the resort, that there was an unusually heavy storm in October that affected many water systems in the county. This storm created an inundation of a recently upgraded system that had been installed over the summer, which resulted in the said contamination of the system. The contamination was limited to that one particular system at the High Camp and Gold Coast areas, and absolutely no other water systems were affected. He also made it clear that at no point was the contaminated water available to anybody.
After performing the resort’s routine testing, Squaw Valley immediately contacted the Environmental Health Department. They also began immediately consulting other water safety experts. With the help of the county and water safety experts, the resort immediately began taking steps to address the water issue and they will continue to take these steps until the water returns to normal levels. The resort will absolutely not return to any normal water usage until they are assured by officials that it is safe to do so.
Kenney makes it clear that the safety of their customers and staff at of the utmost importance to Squaw Valley. They are taking this matter very seriously, as they do with any matter regarding Squaw Valley. While they are spending time resolving the issue properly, customers will still have full access to their facilities. The resort will supply skiers and snowboarders with free bottled water for drinking purposes. The resort will continue to update their customers and the public with experts confirm that the water issue has been completely resolved.