Big Bear, Ca, December 6, 2011, 9:00am – With below freezing temperatures this past week, the Big Bear Lake Department of Water and Power has had 15 calls from valley residents in the last week, in which all of the callers experienced pipe breaks, cracks or leaks due to the freezing temperatures.  To avoid leaking or bursting pipes, the Department of Water and Power reminds valley residents to drain your pipes in the winter months when you will be away from your residence for an extended time.  Winterizing, as they call it, will help your pipes from freezing, and in turn leaking or bursting.  To drain your water, find your stop and waste valve, which is located between your house and water meter, and use it any time you leave your house for an extended period of time to drain your water lines, and remember to also shut your water off.  If you are experiencing a small leak, call a plumber, however if you are finding an excess of water in your home, call the DWP, as they need to see if the freezing temperatures compromised your pipes, and caused a large leak or crack.  The DWP can be reached at 909 866 5050, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You can also find complete information on how to winterize your home online at