Lake Tapps 
Public Water Supply Project

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Cascade Water Alliance (CWA)

Documents Council

There is another (and possibly final for this area) public hearing on the Shoreline Management Act at  
North Lake Tapps Middle School
20029 12th Street East
Thursday, January 29, 2015
5:30 p.m.

The Lake Tapps Community Council (LTCC) has been negotiating diligently with the Pierce County Council in an effort to protect the rights of property owners in the Lake Tapps Community. They have succeeded in making some improvements over the prior proposed response to the Shore Line Management issues impacting our Lake Tapps reservoir .

The fact we have such a wide seasonal shoreline differential and have NO migrating fish [Salmon] in the lake has allowed us to differentiate ourselves from other bodies of water in Pierce County.  Currently we have been recommended to maintain our 50’ Setback [vs. Buffer].  Pierce County’s planning committee has also accepted several other amendments to their initial SMP response addressing some other concerns. 
BUT it would be very beneficial to have as many neighbors as possible attend the upcoming Public Meeting at North Tapps Middle School on Thursday, January 29th at 5:30 to drive home concerns about preserving our property rights.

To see where the proposal is at this point, here is a link to the Pierce County Shoreline Update Webpage. On it are links to

Committee Amendments
Committee Amendments

2014 Shoreline Plan
2014 Proposed Shoreline Plan

Process to Date
to Date

Shoreline Maps

Comment on legislation
Comment on

If you find the time to read it before the coming meeting you may come upon areas of concern to you. This meeting will be your opportunity to let the Pierce County Council know of your concern(s).

Listed below are the main concerns LTCC has been addressing.
1) We want a 50 foot Setback for Lake Tapps – [We think this has been accomplished via the current amendments that have been made.]
2) We oppose the current limitations on the number of ‘Things’ allowed on our property at the shoreline.  In the current SMA, it is limited to three ‘things’  [dock, ramp, stairs, boat lift, watercraft lifts, slides, buoys, …]  Many properties, including the private parks have more than three already.
3) There has been mention of applying NEW RULES to NEW OWNERS in some past drafts of the SMP responses.  This is a very dangerous approach to property owners that could drastically affect the value of our properties.  We would like to make sure existing properties with any existing features that do not pose any demonstrable health or safety issues should be grandfathered in and not subject to NEW regulatory requirements without cause.
4) Owners of existing raw land without any bulkhead should be allowed to protect their shoreline via some type of shoreline preservation mechanism.  There are lots of options to prevent shoreline erosion.
5) General maintenance of vegetation in the setback area should be allowed to continue as currently practiced.

Our lake is healthy. The Department of Ecology has tested the water going in and going out many times. They have found the water going out is cleaner than the water coming in.

Lake Tapps is not home to any migrating species. There is no need to alter shade or hiding spots for creatures that prefer to use our lake for their homes. Our lake is not broken. It is not an ecological threat. It is a safe habitat for many species. There is no need to fix it.

If you can fit it on your schedule, please come to the public hearing on the 29th. Our Lake needs your support!

Link to Pierce County Meeting Notice &
Shoreline Manaagement Act Background

Record amount of water put in trust for fish

Water purveyor for King County cities donates water rights for White River 

It’s the largest trust water donation in Washington state history. Enough water to fill a football field 130 miles deep will stay in the White River for perpetuity. 

The Washington Department of Ecology has signed an agreement with a consortium of five cities and two water and sewer districts in King County for permanent and temporary trust water donations that will protect flows for fish in the river through 2034 and beyond. 

“Big things happen when the state, local governments and tribes come together to form strategic partnerships,” said Ecology Director Maia Bellon. “This historic donation protects water levels for fish, guarantees water supplies for people, and preserves Lake Tapps as a vital community asset for decades to come.”

On Jan. 17, 2015,  Cascade Water Alliance  will make its permanent donation of 684,571 acre feet of water to the state’s Trust Water Rights Program. The donation will preserve instream flows and protect fish habitat in a stretch of the White River that flows through the Muckleshoot Tribal Reservation. Cascade is the water purveyor for five King County cities and two water and sewer districts.

This month’s transaction completes the agreement Cascade made with Ecology in 2010 to donate a portion of the water rights it acquired in the purchase of Lake Tapps in Pierce County to the trust water program. In addition, Cascade will donate another 154,751 acre feet of water to the Temporary Trust water rights program until 2034. 

The trust water donation keeps water in the river for the benefit of fish, wildlife, recreation and the natural environment. Ecology has agreed not to approve or issue new water right permits for 20.7 miles of the White River in what is known as the Reservation Reach between Buckley and Sumner. Several salmon species use this stretch of the river for migration, spawning, rearing and flood refuge.

“For more than 90 years diversions from the White River at Buckley have largely de-watered the stretch of river that flows through our Reservation,” said Muckleshoot Tribal Council Chair Virginia Cross. “The water donations restore and will permanently  preserve river flows through the Reservation that allow recovery of healthy fish runs. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with the Cascade Water Alliance to achieve this historic goal.”

The trust water donation is the culmination of a water rights package that has converted Lake Tapps in Pierce County into a future municipal water supply for 50 years or longer for Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Issaquah, Tukwila and the water and sewer districts serving the Sammamish Plateau and Skyway. 

Ecology approved the transfer of water rights from Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to Cascade and issued new municipal water rights to Cascade in 2010. PSE sold Lake Tapps to Cascade  in 2009 after PSE no longer needed the lake as a reservoir for hydroelectric power operations. 

In its purchase of Lake Tapps as a future drinking water supply for nearly 400,000 residents and 22,000 businesses in eastern King County, Cascade agreed to preserve the lake for the benefit of surrounding homeowners, boaters, swimmers and anglers.

“We are honored to make this donation a reality,” said Cascade Board Chair John Marchione, mayor of Redmond. “It’s the culmination of our regional collaboration with our partners around Lake Tapps – the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, the Lake Tapps homeowners and the four cities surrounding the lake – Auburn, Bonney Lake, Buckley and Sumner. Our work together helped make possible municipal water for the future, instream flows and a summer recreational lake.”

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Bear in Boat



Problems on Lake
Emergency: 911
253 798 4721, Option '1'

Pierce County Sheriff
Boating Hotline:
253 798 3300

Lake Tapps Hotline

253 891 5460


Cascade Water Alliance
877 299 0930


City of Bonney Lake
253 447 4344


Pierce County
Planning and Land Service
253 796 7210

Washington State
Fish and Wildlife

360 902 2200