Squaw Valley is an icon in the ski industry. The famous ski resort hosted the Winter Olympics Games in the 1960s. For more than 50 years, skiers from all over the world have been coming to the pristine lake Tahoe area. Skiers enjoy the snow and trails in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range for at least six months a year. Squaw Valley merged with the Alpine Meadows ski resort a few years ago, so skiers could have more trails, and slopes to explore. The massive resort of Squaw Valley sits on 6,000 acres, and it is considered the pride of Northern California and Nevada when it comes to winter recreation.
The lingering drought in the West had an impact of snowfall for more than four years, but the heavy snowfall in the 2015/2016 season changed all that. The snow came back last year, and so did the skiers. The staff at the resort were expecting another great season because of an early snowfall this season. The rain soaked the area in October before the first major snowfall, and it was a torrential rain. Two water systems in Squaw Valley were inundated with water, and the wells were contaminated with bacteria. The bacteria that was discovered from the first routine tests was e. coli. E. coli is a killer germ that lives in the digestive tract of humans once it enters the body.
There have been more than four hundred outbreaks of E. coli over the last 13 years. More than 4,900 people became ill from the virus, and more than 1,200 of those people were hospitalized. Thirty-three people died from the E. coli virus during that time period. So, the resort didn’t waste any time calling the Environmental Health Department and the Squaw Valley Public Service District in Placer County. Both agencies went to work on the two water systems located in the High Camp and the Gold Coast areas of the resort. Squaw Valley provided other sources of water for the guests, and free bottled water was used as drinking water.
Liesl Kenney, the Public Relations Director for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows issued a statement confirming the fact that water safety experts were called in to ensure all the appropriate methods were used to rid the water of the dangerous bacteria. The executives at Squaw Valley made the decision to stop using the water systems located in the Gold Coast and High Camp areas until health officials were convinced that all dangerous bacteria was removed from all the wells.
According to the Squaw Valley statement, three of the four wells in those two areas now have low levels of the coliform bacteria and no E. coli. Andy Wirth, the CEO and president of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows said that restaurants have been closed and skiers are safe.
Learn more about Squaw Valley: http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Squaw-Valley-USA/6day/mid