Big Bear Lake, CA — Those in the vicinity of the west end of Big Bear Lake may have noticed divers in the water which, per the Big Bear Municipal Water District, is for an annual inspection of the dam. These inspections were prompted by a crack, discovered three years ago, during a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department dive team training exercise. Since late fall 2008, there has been no indication from these periodic inspections that there are any additional cracks in the dam where two monuments, consisting of two stainless steel bolts, straddle the crack in the upstream side of the Big Bear Dam. As MWD General Manager Scott Heule tells KBHR, “As of noon today [April 19], and after about two hours of dive time, no concerns regarding dam safety or adverse changes in crack dimensions were observed, according to the district’s engineer. The district’s engineer, MWH Americas, indicates that their report of the divers’ inspection findings will be available for the Board of Directors’ review within about four to six weeks.” Heule notes that, provided the weather cooperates, the dive team will move to the site of the old dam tomorrow, to document its condition and accessibility for purposes of possible future lake management activities; they will also attempt to remove some debris that is said to be located on the upstream side of the old dam.
In other news from the MWD, the agency that oversees the lake, a proposal from MWH was approved on Thursday, during the MWD Board’s regular meeting; per Heule, MWH will be asked to provide additional consulting services as the district navigates the growing complexities of local lake management, and state and federal TMDL regulations. The April 15 meeting of the MWD also included lake permit approval for the Big Bear Paddlefest (on July 10 and 11), Jazz Trax (for three days starting June 18), the Big Bear TroutfesT (in October’s first weekend), and lakeshore access from B’s Backyard BBQ for the summer weekday program of the U.S. Adaptive Recreation Center.
Update: Diving will continue as planned today, April 20.