Tapps levels lower after Labor Day for repairs

Even though Lake Tapps was elevated to its maximum height of 543 feet earlier last week, the level will be lowered beginning Labor Day to allow Cascade Water Alliance to perform repairs and replacements.

Cascade has stated in a release that all boats should be removed from the lake before Labor Day, in order to prevent them from being grounded on the lake bed. After the holiday, Cascade plans to lower the lake by a foot each day, until the lake is at 505 feet in November. This is the lowest the lake has been since 2003.

Among other projects, Cascade will be replacing the last section of the timber flume between the White River and the lake. Elaine Kraft, Cascade’s communication director, said that the flume has rotted in some areas and leaks. The flume helps Cascade refill the lake from the White River in the summer. Additionally, some of the dikes, which help retain water in the lake, need some seismic improvements.

Kraft said that because the project to build Lake Tapps as a reservoir started in 1903, that some of the parts are really old and in disrepair. She said that Cascade is looking to do a “complete overhaul between Labor Day and March,” and plans to have the lake back to recreational levels by Memorial Day 2015, if not sooner.

Cascade also stated when the lake is lowered, both people and vehicles are not allowed on the lake bed. On the plus side, docks and bulkheads can be built or repaired while the water is lowered, as long as residents have the correct permits and licenses from Cascade.