The Truth About Squaw Valley’s Water

There’s a lot of information going around and various reports offering different versions of what’s going on with the water systems on the upper mountain at Squaw Valley Alpine Resorts. Here’s what you need to know:


  • No contaminated water reached the public.
  • No health issues have been reported.
  • Only the water systems for the upper mountain (High Camp and Gold Coast) areas were affected.
  • Water to the rest of the resort and surrounding areas were not impacted.
  • A few restaurants were closed, but bottled water is being handed out free. The skiing stayed open.
  • Resort management and public health officials are working together to restore potable water.


The longer version of what happened? Here it is. Last summer Squaw Valley was upgrading and installing improvements to the water systems on the upper mountain. Construction had just finished and the system passed all water quality tests and was put into full service. Then it rained. Epic amounts of rain.


With more than nine inches of surface water in 72 hours impacting the area, resort management protocols triggered additional testing of the water quality. Coliform bacterial contaminants were found in the in the four wells recently disturbed by construction, but the problem was confined to the one water system. Squaw Valley took immediate action to protect public health and safety. The affected water system, which served High Camp and Gold Coast, was taken offline. Placer County Environmental Health and the Squaw Valley Public Service District Authorities were contacted, and they continue to work with the resort to purify the water.


Testing shows that three of the four wells responded quickly to treatment, and test results for the fourth well show improvement, although potable water standards require further treatment. Squaw Valley is committed to the safety of all its patrons and guests. They will maintain restricted water usage until the system tests at optimal conditions. Full-service water usage will be restored when health officials and water safety experts working with the system are assured that this issue is entirely resolved. Squaw Valley puts your safety first.