By Staff Reports
(Big Bear)– The City of Big Bear Lake Department of Water (BBLDWP) is the proud recipient of two WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants. Funding is provided through the U.S. Departments of Interior and Agriculture and includes $300,000 toward the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) program and an additional $300,000 toward the Big Bear Boulevard Pipeline Replacement project, both of which are currently underway.
“The DWP has worked tirelessly over the last five to ten years to make our water system increasingly reliable, dynamic and efficient. These two projects are critical and it’s rewarding to have the Bureau of Reclamation recognize the project’s importance to water conservation in our community,” said BBLDWP General Manager, Reginald Lamson. “Our customers work hard to conserve, and we work hard to save money wherever we can. Applying for grants to offset costs is one way we can do that,” explained Administrative Manager, Danielle McGee.
BBLDWP began an AMI meter replacement program in 2014 to replace each of the Department’s 15,580 meters with a radio-read meter. AMI offers many advantages, including the ability to measure exactly how much water is used, where, and when, and relay that information back to the DWP within hours for analysis. Real-time consumption data gives the Department a tool to find leaks much more quickly than in the past. DWP has upgraded about a third of its meters thus far. As evidence of the program’s success, in the first six months of 2016, DWP staff had already identified over 400 customer leaks, saving thousands of gallons of water for the Bear Valley community.
The Big Bear Blvd. Pipeline Replacement project is replacing a 69-year-old, 4,000 foot section of aging and leak-prone water main with a 12” PVC line. The riveted steel main will be replaced from the corner of Thrush, near Carl’s Jr. to just south of Catalina, near K-Mart. During recent construction one of the contractors discovered a leak on the existing steel main; undetected leaks such as this will be eliminated once the new 12-inch PVC Replacement water main is in service.
BBLDWP also extends their appreciation to all of those who supported these projects including Congressman Col. Paul Cook, Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, Senator Mike Morrell, and Big Bear City Community Services District General Manager Scott Heule.
U.S. BoR WaterSMART grant press release may be found at: http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55287.