Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency

Frequently Asked Questions

Our sewage treatment plant capacity is 4.9 million gallons-per-day
On average, we treat 789 million gallons of wastewater annually
Our service area encompasses 79,000 acres serving approximately 25,000 sewer connections

What can and cannot be flushed down the toilet?

We encourage our customers to only flush the three “P’s”: 

Do not flush:

  • Oil
  • Medications
  • Diapers
  • Hair
  • Sanitary Napkins
  • Newspaper
  • Soiled Rags
  • Paper Towels
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Surface Wipes

What does a wastewater treatment plant do?

Treatment plants remove impurities contained in wastewater so that the treated wastewater can be safely returned to the environment. This same purification process occurs in nature to break down wastewater into its most basic components of carbon dioxide and water. Common methods of treatment include physical, biological, and chemical treatment to stabilize the water.

Where does the water go once it's treated?

The reclaimed water is currently pumped to Lucerne Valley for fodder crop irrigation. In the future, the goal is to keep the reclaimed water in Big Bear through the Replenish Big Bear Project. The Replenish Big Bear Project is a multi-agency effort to secure our water future.

What is Replenish Big Bear?

Replenish Big Bear is a multi-agency effort to produce a high-quality water source to meet the Big Bear Valley’s current and future water needs by increasing water levels throughout the Valley and recharging our groundwater basin, which is our sole source of drinking water. The water produced at our facility will be added to Shay Pond and the Stanfield Marsh Wildlife and Waterfowl Preserve, providing a constant and drought-proof water source to restore wetland habitat, sustain our area’s rare and diverse fish and wildlife, and increase lake levels. Higher lake levels help our community thrive by supporting continued recreation and will protect our community’s drinking water supply.

Are wastewater treatment plants necessary?

Yes. They serve to primarily protect the health of the general population by ensuring that water supplies remain clean. They contribute to a safer, cleaner environment by controlling the presence of bacteria and waterborne diseases.

What's the difference between a sewer system and a wastewater treatment plant?

A sewer system is a series of pipes that collect wastewater and transport it to the treatment plant. Each of our member agencies operate and maintain their own wastewater collection systems (sewer) and deliver the wastewater to our interceptor system for transport to our wastewater treatment plant.

Do you still provide water for landscaping or construction?

We no longer provide reclaimed water for these purposes and have no current plans to provide this service.

I just closed escrow on my new house. What are my next steps?

Please contact your sewer agency directly to verify if your new home is connected to a sewer system.

If your new home is located in Baldwin Lake, Lake Williams, or other outlying areas, you may have a septic tank, holding tank, or chemical toilet for sewage disposal. All of these methods may need regular pumping. You must fill out the San Bernardino County DEHS Holding Tank Application and submit the completed application to BBARWA for review.

Contact Info

Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency
121 Palomino Drive
P.O. Box 517
Big Bear City, CA 92314
(909) 584-4018

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