The good news is Squaw Valley always puts safety first, the better news is restaurants are not required for skiing. While water quality issues have caused some problems with the drinking water system for High Camp and Gold Coast, it is a water quality issue only and limited to that one section of the resort. That’s not a powder quality issue, and we’re happy to report the ski season was largely unaffected. So what was the problem with the water?
Back in October surface water reached extreme levels, as precipitation events dropped 9.5 inches of rain in under 72 hours. The abnormal weather patterns affected several water systems in Placer County, including the recently upgraded system at High Camp and Gold Coast part of the famous Squaw Valley ski resort. Water systems for the rest of the Squaw Valley Alpine Resort were not affected by ground water contamination issues and remained in operation while the upper mountain system was taken offline. No contaminated water ever reached the public.
Squaw Valley routinely tests their systems to maintain the highest quality – part of their continuing commitment to public health and safety. Leading water-safety experts were immediately called in to assist with correcting the issue. Treatments and water purification measures continue. Testing now shows that safety levels are returning to normal, though slowly. While the issue continues to be resolved, water usage remains restricted to sanitation purposes only. In other words: Flush it, but don’t drink it.
Potable water is available, in the form of bottled water being handed out free in the area affected. Restaurants on the upper mountain were closed, but much of the public may not even realize there is any issue with the upper mountain’s water system. However, Squaw Valley spokespersons report that they will continue with restricted water usage not returning to full-services “until we are fully assured by health officials and other experts that the water is safe.”