Big Bear Lake, CA, October 21, 2011, noon – The Big Bear Lake Department of Water wants you to remember when temperatures drop, water freezes, and your pipes just can’t deal with the pressure. That’s when they reach the breaking point. In fact, pipes don’t always burst or break during a winter freeze, instead the water finds a weak point in the system, that could be a valve, a joint, or a faucet, and that’s where the water finds a release. If they do break or a crack, you might not find out until the spring when the system thaws and your house is flooded. Whether it’s a vacation cabin or your full time home, if you’re leaving for more than four days in a row this winter, be water wise and winterize by taking the following precautions against the freeze. Insulate all exposed water pipes including those under sinks, in attics or outside your house. Mark your stop and waste valve now before you can’t find it in the snow. When you leave your home for more than a week or two, use that valve to drain your pipes. Turn off and drain your sprinkler system, it must be shut off from November 1st to April 1st. The old fashioned idea of leaving the heat on or a faucet dripping wastes water, energy and money. Want more information on protecting your home this holiday season? Contact the Conservation Department online at