October 2016 saw a major rainfall event in the Lake Tahoe region that caused problems for many businesses and individuals using groundwater wells, including the Squaw Valley Ski Resort that uses groundwater supplies for its Upper Mountain destinations. A statement released by Squaw Valley Ski Holdings explained the water contamination issue occurred in a supply system that had only been upgraded the previous summer and was identified before any guests had used the affected water supply; to date no health issues have been reported because of the contaminated water supply from four identified wells.
The wells have been cut off from public use, which has led to Squaw Valley officials on Weather closing all Upper Mountain restaurants in a bid to keep the guests using the Upper Mountain locations as safe as possible. Water supplies are not being used in the Gold Coast and High Camp areas of the resort and will remain shutoff until the traces of E. Coli and Coliform found through the resort’s own testing procedures on squawalpine.com have been removed from all four wells. Complimentary bottled water is being supplied to those guests using the Upper Mountain slopes that remain open to make sure every stay is as comfortable as possible.
Immediately after the bacterial contamination was identified Squaw Valley officials set into motion a plan designed to remove all contaminants from the water supply with the aid of independent experts and the Placer County Environmental Health Department. By the end of November Wesley Nicks, of the Placer County Environmental Health Department was able to report the swift action taken at Squaw Valley in the wake of the rainfall event had led to three of four wells now being free from E. Coli contamination; the same wells were now also being reported to contain lowered levels of the Coliform bacteria as the cooperation of different groups had led to initial success in returning the water supply to its usual quality level.