Solution Options to the Lake Tapps Ticking Time Bomb
All options have been explored by numerous jurisdictions - with the exception of Pierce County


Solution 1:

One solution is for the citizens around Lake Tapps is to continue to sell off their properties and move. The new homeowners will be left to deal with Cascade Water Alliance and the promises of lawsuits from Cascade Water under the Clean Water Act.

If the homeowners cannot repair the failed septic systems, they will be forced to evacuate their homes if sewers are not available.

Pierce County never intends to run sewers to Lake Tapps. 

According to Bonney Lake none of the Waste Water Treatment Plants within a 28 mile radius of Lake Tapps has capacity for the sewers.

Without the ability to remove sewage, a house is uninhabitable. 

Solution 2:

Force Pierce County to allow Bonney Lake to pursue Bonney Lake's best option for sewering Lake Tapps.

Although Lake Tapps is outside the Urban Growth Area, Pierce County still has an out of court settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wherein Pierce County agrees to sewer West Lake Tapps.

This "previous agreement" according to Pierce County allows sewers to be run outside the Urban Growth Area.

The best option Bonney Lake came up with to sewer Lake Tapps is to build a new Waste Water Treatment Plant on the plateau.

It would use the 4" of daily water drawdown Cascade is allowed under the water right to fill Lake Tapps up with 4" of sewage daily.

Solution 3:

Property owners of Lake Tapps is to get involved and work with the City of Auburn, King County and force Pierce County to approve the Cities of Auburn, Bonney Lake and Sumner's plan to incorporate Lake Tapps.

The window on this option is small.

It depends on how much capacity King County's new Brightwater Waste Water Treatment Plant frees up in King County's Renton Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Treatment plants are first come first served.

The citizens would need to act quickly to maximize the possibility of making the solution work.

It benefits from being far less costly than building a new treatment plant, much quicker than building a new plant, and has already been thought of by the cities "long ago."

Except from the Mayor of the City of Auburn, Pete Lewis

"Dan, long ago the three cities of Auburn, Bonney Lake and Sumner got together and looked at how the lake could look in the future. The cities approximated lines with Bonney Lake coming up to Snag Island on the east, Sumner coming up from the south and west to the flume and Auburn on the west side and around to Tapps Island."

"...there are a number of barriers to overcome.

First, Auburn's city council would have to want to accept any petition to annex. In these difficult times with little commercial base that area, because of some higher residential values might get closer to break even but only just.

Second, much of the area is outside the GMA line and would take a vote at Pierce County with approval by the four county Puget Sound Regional Council.

Third, there would need to be a petition by the people of the area, then a popular vote to annex and then an acceptance to annex by Auburn.

Fourth, East Pierce Fire District would then lose the area if annexed and they have told us if their concerns.

Finally do keep in mind a sewer utility is an enterprise fund segregated from the city's General Fund so it is no[t] looked at as a revenue producer.

So, those are the steps and the obstacles.

Pete Lewis
253-931-3041