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Lake Tapps water level drawdown to start in November

Lake Tapps is seen with a low water level on May 28. The reservoir will be drawn down in late November to protect the dikes from winter winds and stormy conditions.
Lake Tapps is seen with a low water level on May 28. The reservoir will be drawn down in late November to protect the dikes from winter winds and stormy conditions. Staff photographer

Cascade Water Alliance, operator of Lake Tapps, announced Monday that the annual drawdown of the man-made reservoir will begin next month.

The lake sees water levels rise and fall seasonally.

The drawdown will begin the last half of November, according to a Cascade news release. The lake will remain at its current levels until then, at about 542 feet above sea level.

The water level will eventually drop about two to three feet to protect dikes from winter winds, storms and wave activity. It will remain there throughout the fall and winter, the release states.

Cascade Water Alliance anticipates it will begin refilling the lake in early March. It is expected to return to recreational levels by mid-April.

Cascade said anyone who plans to work on docks or other structures while water levels are low must obtain a license from the operator and all required permits from Pierce County, the city of Bonney Lake and the state, if required.

The schedule appears to return to the status quo after an unusually dry summer delayed recreation at Lake Tapps for much of the summer.

Cascade Water Alliance reduced Lake Tapps to historic levels last fall to make significant repairs, maintenance and improvements. It dropped to 505 feet, the lowest since 2003.

Officials initially expected to refill the lake to about 542 feet by the usual Memorial Day opening of recreation season. But the mild winter and historically low snowpack delayed the standard refill. The lake didn’t return to normal until well into the summer.

Kari Plog: 253-597-8682

kari.plog@thenewstribune.com

@KariPlog

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