Big Bear Lake Receives USDA Loan and Grant to Modernize Water Infrastructure

By on December 21, 2018
Big Bear Lake striving to meet conservation goals

The city of Big Bear Lake has received word that they are to receive $15,000,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to replace important water infrastructure. Some of the city’s existing steel pipelines are nearly 70 years old and leak frequently, resulting in wasted water and increased energy consumption costs. Of the total to be funded by the USDA, $3,000,000 is a grant and the remaining $12,000,000 is a low-interest loan.

Rep. Paul Cook (R-8th District-Apple Valley), whose district includes the city of Big Bear Lake, had previously authored letters in support of federal grants supporting Big Bear Lake’s replacement of older inefficient pipelines.

“I’m pleased to learn about the USDA’s commitment to help rebuild our water infrastructure in our rural communities, particular(ly) in Big Bear Lake,” Rep. Cook said.  “It’s imperative that Big Bear Lake replaces these pipelines to improve delivery, minimize water waste, and reduce energy consumption.”

The USDA made the announcement of the investment earlier this month as part of awards in 46 states totaling $1.2 billion to help rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure. The work in rural communities will improve life for some 936,000 Americans living in less populated areas.

The Rural Development investment in the city of Big Bear Lake will be used to replace between 12 and 15 miles of undersized water supply pipeline and some of which is made of materials that are not up to current standards. The city of Big Bear Lake’s Department of Water and Power provides water to more than 15,000 customers in the city and in unincorporated areas in surrounding San Bernardino.

The pipes are located throughout the city Big Bear Lake and neighboring Fawnskin and are primarily off the city’s main boulevard so interruptions to traffic will be limited. The old and undersized pipelines will be replaced with PVC pipes of eight-inch diameter or more, depending on demand in the area. These larger PVC pipes will not corrode like the old steel lines, are efficient to install and will improve water quality and fire flow.