On November 8, 2016, officials of the Placer County Department of Health in California received a potential health notice regarding water in the famed Squaw Valley Alpine Mountains ski resort, Olympic Valley, California. The concern was about levels of e.coli and other coliform bacteria in the water supply. Restaurants at Upper Mountain were closed, and skiers were not allowed to drink the water. However, no health issues had been reported.
According to a statement released November 30, unusual weather in the form of heavy rain inundated a water supply system at High Camp and Gold Coast, resulting in a contamination of that new system. Public Relations Director Liesl Kenney stressed that at no time was contaminated water available to the public. He also stated that they would not resume normal consumption of the water from this system until it was proven to be safe.
The resort offered free bottled water and pre-packaged food to guests at High Camp and Gold Coast and assured guests they would have full access to the facility during the course of the event. The Placer County Department of Health continues to monitor the situation.
Since the November 8 report, 3 out of 4 wells serving the upper mountain were found to have no E. coli and low levels of coliform bacteria, proving the current water treatment process is working.
The press release reiterated that guest safety was of paramount importance to the resort and they are working hard to resolve the problem. Once water levels are deemed safe through testing, all normal activities of the resort will resume.