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Lake Tapps to be filled to maximum level in preparation for fall drawdown

It is expected that Lake Tapps
It is expected that Lake Tapps' recreational water levels will be maintained through Labor Day and possibly into mid-September, officials said.
— image credit: Reporter file photo

For the Reporter

Cascade Water Alliance, in conjunction with the Lake Tapps Community Council, announced today that Lake Tapps will rise to its maximum allowable level of 543 feet elevation within the next week and that it will stay there for several days.

The lake will reach this full recreational level in anticipation of a maintenance outage which will require the headgates to be closed. No water will be added to the lake during the remainder of the recreational season; however, Cascade will minimize water released through the tailrace.

It is expected that recreational lake levels will be maintained through Labor Day and possibly into mid-September, officials said.

In addition to needed maintenance and repairs, Cascade is planning to replace the last section of timber flume in the flowline between the White River and the lake. This will enable Cascade to maximize diversions from the White River during spring refill (beginning in 2015), offering additional assurance that the lake will achieve recreational levels on schedule.

Cascade also is planning repairs to Dike 3 and a condition assessment of the facilities that drain water from the lake back to the White River. These projects require that the lake level be reduced to approximately elevation 505-515 feet in order to provide appropriate worker safety during facility inspections and repairs. For an image of the lake drawn down to about this level (from 2003) click here.

Drawdown will begin soon after Labor Day, with the lowest lake elevation anticipated to be reached in mid-late November. Since the water depth along the shoreline varies, lake front property owners are urged to carefully watch lake levels and make arrangements to have all boats, personal watercraft, etc. removed from the lake before lake levels in their area cause grounding.

Residents also are reminded that there are no recreational activities permitted on the lake bed during the drawdown. Hiking, biking, use of motorized vehicles or any other access to the dry Lake bed is prohibited. As a reminder, the majority of the lake bed is a mixture of soil and water which allows both vehicles and people to become stuck while accessing the lake bed.

No debris may be placed on the lake bed. The extended drawdown will however provide an opportunity for residents to construct or repair docks, bulkheads, etc. As a reminder, prior to beginning any repair or construction activity, homeowners must have all the necessary permits and a license from Cascade.

It is anticipated that all work will be completed so that spring refill can begin in mid-late March 2015. Depending on White River flow, recreational levels should be achieved by mid-late May, 2015.

Please refer to Cascade's website at www.cascadewater.org for regular updates on lake levels throughout this process.

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