A public statement issued, on November 30th, by Squaw Valley addresses the E. coli and coliform bacteria outbreak in Squaw Valley’s upper mountain potable water supply. This is in response to the initial contamination complaint registered with the Placer County Department of Environmental Health, on November 8th.
Since alerted to the health crisis, local health departments and regional water utilities responded with immediate treatment of the four upper mountain wells. Placer County Environmental Health and the Squaw Valley Public Service District attribute the upper mountain well contamination to abnormal weather systems in the region, in October.
The weather systems dumped several inches of rain, which overwhelmed the retrofitted High Camp and Gold Coast water processing systems. The excessive rainfall totals contaminated the systems, resulting in well contamination. Only four wells registered excessive bacteria readings. All other public water systems remain potable.
Working with water safety engineers, Placer County Environmental Health and the Squaw Valley Public Service District officials assessed the hazardous situation, and developed decontamination measures, to restore water quality to safe consumption levels. All precautions and safety measures are being enforced and will remain in effect until the health issue resolves itself, according to local authorities.
Placer County Environmental Health Director Wesley Nicks stated all upper mountain restaurants will stay closed until the contamination clears up. Authorities have prohibited drinking water from faucets and shower heads. For the duration of the health issue, ski resort customers can receive complimentary bottled water. The snow pack of the resort remains unaffected by the contaminated water. Skiers can ski top to bottom without any fear of contamination.