Squaw Valley Ski Resort is the site of the 1964 Winter Olympics, and Andy Wirth is now CEO and president of Squaw Valley Holdings. In November 2016, Squaw Valley reported to the Placer County Department of Environmental Health that E. coli and coliform bacteria had been detected in the upper mountain’s drinking water. Management immediately closed the restaurants on the mountain until further investigation occurred.
When Andy Wirth contacted the health department, he also contacted two water system specialists in order to have second opinions on what happened, and how to restore the system. They found three out of the four of the upper mountain wells still showed low levels of coliform and E. coli. Some of the treatment had been started, and there was an improvement.
Squaw Valley is providing bottled water for all the visitors and skiers until the entire issue has been resolved. Because of this precaution, no health issues have been reported, and skiing is permitted throughout the resort. Squaw Valley is dedicated to providing the utmost safety at the Olympic Valley resort.
On November 30, the PR Director for Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows Resorts released the following statement about what happened concerning the water system in the upper mountains.
Apparently, an unusually heavy rain had occurred in October in Placer County, and several water systems in the area were affected. At Squaw Valley, the unusually high amount of water inundated the water systems at High Camp and Gold Coast, which had been upgraded during the summer.
The result was contamination of those systems, and the problem was completely confined to them with none of the other resort’s water systems affected. During routine testing, this issue was discovered and Squaw Valley immediately contacted the health department. Because of this isolation, no one was exposed to the contaminated water.
The safety experts have been working to bring the levels back to normal, and until then, restaurants will remain closed and bottled water will continue to be distributed throughout the property. When officials have found the water to be 100 percent safe, the facility will be reinstated.