Big Bear Lake, CA, March 28, 2012, 8:00am – The Department of Water and Power Board of Commissioners awarded three pipeline contracts at the March 14th Special Board Meeting. The contracts amount to about 29,000 feet of replacement pipelines throughout Big Bear Valley. The DWP will also release two additional construction contracts. The pipelines being replaced are undersized and aging. The new pipelines will provide enhanced fire protection. Also, water mainline leaks will be reduced so DWP staff will be able to focus more on proactive maintenance projects rather than reactive maintenance. Weather permitting, construction of the three pipeline projects will begin the middle of April and they could be completed and in operation by August, before the next fire season. The three new wells will enable the DWP to meet water demands during busy holiday time periods. Some of DWP’s older wells have recently been taken out of service and these new wells will replace the older pumping plants with modern, more efficient pumping units. The DWP has secured $7.2 million in low interest loans and grants to provide the funding for these projects ($5 million in low interest USDA loans, $1 million in USDA grants, and $1.2 million in EPA grants).