DRINK TAHOE TAP
Squaw Valley voted best water in California.
WRITTEN BY ERIN MEYERING
PHOTO COURTESY OF SQUAW VALLEY ALPINE MEADOWS
Maybe you drink tap water, maybe you don’t. But if you live near or visit Squaw Resort, you definitely should.
In April, water from Elevation 8,200’ Water Co., which supplies Squaw Valley’s upper-mountain water, won Best Tasting Water in California at the California Rural Water Association Expo. It also took home the same honor in 2011.
In addition, the Squaw Valley Public Services District, which supplies water to the base of the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort and other customers in Squaw Valley, received the award in 2015.
Squaw’s water tastes superior because it’s extremely clean and fresh. Keeping the area’s water supply clean is a huge priority for both companies. SVPSD officials do this by maintaining many safety checks in the water distribution system and consistently monitoring the aquifer and watershed.
“The water is very young,” says Michael Geary, SVPSD general manager. “Age-dating analyses reveal the water is, on average, one year old when we serve it to our customers. It tastes great when you capture it at the top of the mountains.”
In related news, in January 2015, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows officials launched the Drink Mtn Tap initiative, which entailed discontinuing the sale of bottled water while offering reusable bottles — at the same price point (about $3) — as well as water stations.
“Staying hydrated in the mountains is important,” says Kristyn Lingenfelter, risk management and environmental supervisor. “We just wanted people to do it in a more environmentally friendly manner.”
The resort’s leaders joined Mizu — a California-based company founded by former pro snowboarder Jussi Oksanen — to provide refilling stations throughout the property that would give people easy access to the area’s clean tap water.
“My heart is at Squaw because that was my stomping grounds for snowboarding,” Oksanen says. “It was a natural partnership.”
Mizu’s mission is based on the idea of “protecting where you play.” So far, more than 25 refilling stations have been installed at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. Annually, the Drink Mtn Tap initiative keeps 28,000 plastic bottles out of its waste stream.
Drinking local water not only supports local businesses that provide it, but also helps reduce the proliferation of single-use bottles, which often end up in landfills and take an extremely long time to decompose.
For details and to check your city’s water quality, visit Water.epa.gov/drink/local.
Erin Meyering is the associate editor of edible Reno-Tahoe magazine. She’s always working on staying hydrated. And having access to clean, local water makes it easier.