Lake Tapps Winter Levels Updated; Short Drawdown Scheduled | Cascade Water Alliance

Over the next three weeks, the reservoir will be drawn down approximately six to eight feet.

  • Tuesday, January 17, 2017 10:56am
  • News

Cascade Water Alliance announced last week there will be a short-term drawdown for the Lake Tapps Reservoir this winter in conjunction with Cascade’s installation and testing of repaired, rehabilitated and new valves at the Powerhouse. Over the next three weeks, the reservoir will be drawn down approximately six to eight feet.

The drawdown began last weekend, with Lake Tapps levels dropping slowly (approximately two to four inches) by early this week. The next week will see a rapid reduction in level (by approximately two to two and one-half feet) by the end of the third week in January. The new valve will then undergo acceptance testing, resulting in a further reduction in levels by approximately one to one and one-half feet by the end of January. Cascade anticipates the reservoir will reach its lowest level of approximately elevation 536.5 feet by early February. This level will be maintained, weather dependent, until refill begins in early March.

Cascade is completing its work at the Powerhouse installing and testing a new $2 million energy dissipating valve during this time. The new valve (in conjunction with the repaired/rehabilitated existing valves) will ensure even more reliability and safety in operating the reservoir.

Active fill will begin in early March with the anticipation of reaching full recreational levels of elevation 541.5 to 542.5 feet by mid-April. Cascade will, for a short time during the spring, raise the level up to elevation 543 feet, which is the maximum permissible level for Lake Tapps, to remind residents of the legal high water mark. This is done every year during the spring. Cascade will maintain Lake Tapps at an approximately elevation of 542.5 and 542.8 feet throughout the summer and early fall.

Several residents and some homeowner associations have asked for lower reservoir levels to do important construction projects. If homeowners have been considering any improvements to their property or beginning new projects, they should plan to do so between early February and early March. Cascade reminds residents they must obtain all appropriate permits as well as a Cascade license prior to beginning any construction. The time to apply is now.

For more informationabout Cascade and Lake Tapps visit and for information regarding licenses for project work visit

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