In October 2016, the staff at the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Ski Resort was preparing for another good ski season. The weather predictions were favorable, and the resort was ready to greet thousands of guests. But a freak rain storm hit the upper mountain region of the resort with 9.5 inches of rain, according to Liesl Kenney, the Public Relations Director for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. Kenney released a statement to the Sierra Sun in November that explained the situation and what Squaw Valley was doing to address the contamination that developed in four wells because of the rain. The wells were closed, and restaurants in two areas of the resort, the High Camp, and Gold Coast areas were also closed. Kenney also said the Environmental Health Department and the Squaw Valley Utility District were notified when an initial water test discovered E. Coli and coliform bacteria in the four wells. Squaw Valley also called in other health experts to help remove the bacteria.
The good news, according to Liesl Kenney, is no guests were exposed to the bacteria. The two water systems on squawalpine.com that the wells service were turned off, and guests staying in the High Camp and Gold Coast areas were given free bottled water to drink. Squaw Valley has other water sources on the premises, so there was no shortage of clean water. Kenney’s statement also confirmed the fact that three of the four wells are E. coli free after being treated, but there are still low levels of coliform in all four wells.
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows addressed the issue as soon as the rain stopped, and that helped contain the bacteria, according to the statement at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw_Valley_Ski_Resor. The upper mountain area of the resort recently went through a system update to prepare for a new expansion project. The wellhead equipment was moved aboveground from underground. It’s not clear if that update contributed to the contamination issue.