Fact Check: Squaw Valley Water

Olympic Valley, CA – Since November the stunning Squaw Valley Alpine resort has been garnering attention, not for the amazing skiing, but for their water. Squaw Valley prioritizes safety, down to the last detail. In this case, that detail was the drinking water. The shutdown of water on the upper mountain resulted from health safety concerns regarding the water system serving High Camp and Gold Coast. While much has been made of the resulting restaurant closures, the fact remains that this step was taken to protect the public, and Squaw Valley is to be applauded for their proactive approach to the issue. No unclean water ever reached the public. Here’s what happened:



  • Over the summer crews completed new construction and upgrades to the water systems on the upper mountain.
  • Heavy storms in October dropped record amounts of rain, inundating the area with excess surface water.
  • Procedural protocols initiated routine water quality tests to check for possible contamination.
  • When results returned positive for possible coliform bacteria contaminants (E. coli is a coliform-type bacteria), water use was disengaged, and public health officials were informed.
  • Water quality experts confirmed that the issue was isolated to the one system, and that the rest of the resorts systems were unaffected.
  • Treatments to remedy the issue began immediately, bottled water was made available, and the fabulous skiing continues as usual.


Squaw Valley is committed to continuing the restriction of full-service water usage until they can be sure that there are no further issues. Their investment in improving water quality and safety is evident in their openness about continued treatments and testing. Squaw Valley Public Service District and Placer County Environmental Health officials have been working together with resort management to take the necessary steps to correct the issue and ensure that all the water is safe to drink once again.