Decades of turning a blind eye to the health hazards at Lake Tapps
A timeline of the expanding septic disaster in and around the lake

"Bonney Lake’s sewer system has a history that is convoluted, contentious and colorful.
It includes tales of political fratricide and financial brinksmanship."
~ City of Bonney Lake


LEARN MORE:

Watch the video timeline of the loss of one particular house on Lake Tapps HERE
Read the timeline on the loss of this particular house on Lake Tapps HERE

 

1911  Lake Tapps is created by raising of four small pre-existing lakes--Church, Kirtley, Tapps and Crawford to create one large storage reservoir to produce hydroelectric power. 

1939-1942  U.S. Geological Survey maps the western third of the Lake Tapps quadrangle. 

1953-1957   U.S. Geological Survey completed Geologic mapping of the Lake Tapps quadrangle. 

1963  The U.S. Geological Survey  Publishes a Geological Survey Professional Paper 388-A entitled "Surficial Geology and Geomorphology of the Lake Tapps Quadrangle Washington.   Finds two geological formations around Lake Tapps that limits its development without sewers.   The two geological formations surrounding Lake Tapps are the Vashon Drift that is:

"Till in the Vashon drift is a very compact unsorted and unstratified concrete like mixture." 

The second is the Osceola mudflow that is characterized as:

"the mudflow are very poorly drained, owing to its fine-grained, nearly impermeable matrix and its nearly flat upper surface; shallow ditches have been excavated in many areas to improve surface drainage." Exhibit 101

October 1968  Pierce County Sewerage Study

"Vashon Till--This material is generally an unsorted mixture of clay, silt, sand, gravel and boulders which is compact and essentially impermeable."

"Mud Flow Deposits---They consist principally of clay, silt, sand, and gravel that is compact and nearly impermeable like the till.  Percolation capacity is very low and groundwater is either perched or found below the mud flow formation."

"It is evident from Plate 6 that many areas of Pierce County have low permeability soils.  Experience has verified that many areas are unsuited for individual waste disposal systems as could be predicted from the soil characteristics of the particular area.  Also, an increase in the number of septic tank drainfields in a local area can overload marginal soil formations where scattered septic tanks have previously functioned adequately." 

"Since septic tank effluent is undisinfected, continued septic tank operation becomes a public health concern when effluent rises to pollute surface waters.  Evidence also indicates that there is also serious concern regarding the fate of effluent that does not rise to the surface.  When domestic water is obtained from groundwater that underlies an area of individual waste disposal system drainfields, there is always the possibility of contamination from waste effluent."  "Recreational waters are also often polluted by adjacent septic drainfields.  Studies have shown that underground travel of contaminated groundwater can be extensive and difficult to predict until evidence after the fact has been obtained." Exhibit 102

February 19, 1970  Surveyors, Ruskin Fisher transmits comments to Washington State Water Pollution Commission

"This is to confirm our discussion of January 9, 1970 concerning the proposed sewerage system at Lake Tapps.  A map (Tapps Island) is enclosed outline the approximate area being considered for a deluxe trailer development.  Temporary treatment and effluent disposal methods being considered are:  1.  Secondary treatment with effluent discharge to the White River.  2.  Secondary treatment with spray irrigation of effluent in the area of the southwest quarter of Section II.  3.  Secondary treatment with drain field disposal of the effluent in the area of southwest quarter of Section II.  4. Tertiary treatment with effluent discharge to Lake Tapps."  Exhibit 103

March 16, 1970 Ecology writes Ruskin Fisher

"Utilization of a spray field or sub-surface drainfield effluent would be acceptable as an interim method only, if at all.  It would have to be shown with reasonable certainty that an interim system would be eliminated in less than five years." Exhibit 104

April 6, 1970 Department of Health comments on Ruskin Fisher proposal for Tapps Island

"We have inspected the area of the proposed Lake Tapps Sewerage System and would consider a satisfactory report that involved secondary treatment to the White River."

"The use of spray irrigation is not, in my present judgment, a satisfactory alternative--however, I would consider a proper community drainfield disposal system as an Interim answer."

"Tertiary treatment is not developed enough, in my judgment, to be considered economic or practical alternative."  Exhibit 105

April 6, 1970  Water Pollution Control Commission on Ruskin Fisher Plan for Tapps Island

"In advance of that plan the only feasible method of development would appear to provide for a normal Sanitary Sewer Collection System on the Island to be carried to an interim disposal system on the mainland with the eventual provision to tie to trunk line located in the North Tapps Highway.   Your number three proposal providing for Secondary Treatment with drainfield disposal of the effluent appears to fall within the present interim program being carried out by Pierce County.  However, at this time the Water Pollution Control Commission has not been prone to approving of such an interim facility unless there is an approved General Plan for the Basin which calls for the installation of a Collecting Sewage System within a five year period of time."  Exhibit 106 

January 1, 1972- August 29, 1973: Tacoma Pierce County Health Department conducts Coliform Sampling of Lake Tapps.  It reports Total Bacteria up to 32,000/100 ml in Lake Tapps.  Exhibit 107

October 1972: Sleavin-Kors Professional Engineers transmits Comprehensive Water Plan for Rural Pierce County to Pierce County Board of County Commissioners:
 
"The Lake Tapps area to the north represents a tremendous growth area to the City of Bonney Lake. The lake and views of the mountains represent an appealing attraction to new residents. Existing problems with sewage disposal now hinder further development of lakefront property."  Exhibit 108

June 1974: Consoer, Townsend And Associates transmit to Pierce County its Engineering Report Puyallup river Basin Water Quality Management Plan:

"As shown in Map No. 3 two things become immediately apparent. First of all, less than 25 percent of the land area is suitable for septic tank development."

 

"The Town of Bonney Lake and the surrounding unincorporated areas are presently served by individual septic tanks and drainfields , Much of the area is unsuitable for septic tank and drainfield installation and there is a possible danger of eutrophication of the surrounding lakes from the septic tank seepage."

 

"Future development of the area will be restricted without adequate wastewater collection and treatment facilities."  Exhibit 109

1974 City of Bonney Lake Completes Washington Future Funding Questionnaire" for Washington's Future Fund Grant of 15%

"Project Benefits Measure The City of Bonney Lake and the surrounding unincorporated areas are presently being served by individual septic tanks. About sixty percent of the area within the Bonney Lake Service Area has severe restrictions for septic tank usage. The City's lakes are a valuable part of their environmental resources. Bonney Lake, Debra Jane Lake, Church Lake and a portion of Lake Tapps is situated in the Bonney Lake Service Area. Because of the unsuitable soil conditions for septic tank and drainfield installations, there is a danger of pollution the surrounding lakes from septic tank seepage. At times during the summer these lakes have had to be closed to swimming because of the danger to public health."

"The Department of Ecology has established water quality standards for bodies of water in Washington. The lakes in the City of Bonney Lake area are classified as lake class. A part of the water quality criteria for this classification is that the total coliform organisms shall not exceed median values of 240 with less than 20% of the samples exceeding 1,000. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has conducted coliform sampling in Lake Tapps. In the southern part of Lake Tapps the total coliform bacteria per 100 ml . ranged from an average value of 681 at the southeast corner of Inlet Isle to 2,455 at Church Lake. In the north end of Lake Tapps the average values ranged from 490 at Tacoma Pt. to 2,275 at the County Park. In a three and a half month monitoring period of Bonney Lake the average coliform count was 5,066. The average coliform count for Debra' Jane Lake was 1,315. Lake Tapps, Church Lake, Debra Jane Lake and Bonney Lake have coliform counts which exceed the Lake Class standards."

"The City of Bonney Lake is supplied water from springs. Also, the City of Sumner is supplied water from springs to the northwest of the City of Bonney Lake. As future growth in the area increases, the danger of contamination of these water supply sources will I also increase." 

"The overall benefits derived from the implementation of a sewer program are twofold. First, it will "clean up" the lakes by alleviating the septic tank seepage into the surrounding lakes. secondly, it will lessen the danger of watershed contamination of the City's water supply."

"Identify Organizational And Citizen Support For This Project.  The City of Bonney Lake has recognized the need for a sewer program.  For the past five years a citizen's Sewer Committee has met periodically with the City's Consulting Engineer. The Mayor of Bonney Lake proposes to utilize the City's Planning Commission as a part of the citizen's involvement in the Bonney Lake Sewer Facilities  Plan. In the past some of the developers in the area nave contributed to sewer studies.  Residents have concurred in a program of interim minimum improvements of City streets until sanitary sewers are installed."

"Describe The Multi-Purpose Potential Of This Project.  This project will eliminate the existing pollution of Bonney Lake, Debra Jane Lake, Church Lake and Lake Tapps. It will restore the recreational potential of these lakes and provide for their development for parks, fishing, boating and other purposes. It will enable the development for housing and commercial uses land now limited for improvement due to improper drainage."  Exhibit 110

December 3, 1975: Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, Recommendations for Lake Tapps

"The soils in the Bonney Lake - Lake Tapps area are characterized by permeable soils generally to a depth of twenty four to forty eight inches underlaid by semi-compact hardpan and are regarded by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department as "marginal" for septic tank sewage disposal."

"In the winter season, the rate of rainfall exceeds the ability of the semi-compact hardpan to absorb the rain, consequently the ground water table rises in some instances, flooding into the ground area where the septic tank drainfield is located."

"It has been been necessary for the Health Department to deny septic tank applications in numerous locations and areas around Lake Tapps and in Bonney Lake because of soil topography and ground water conditions.  These sites will not be buildable until sewers are available."  Exhibit 111

May 5, 1975  Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department to Pierce County Planning Department, Island A Environmental Impact Statement

"We have requested the owners to develop a skeleton backup sewer plan which could connect with the Pierce County - Bonney Lake Sewer, when it is available.  The Pierce County - Bonney Lake plan is now being engineered by Botch and Associates.  This Island A plan, would be coupled with an 'Agreement of Non-Protest to sewers' which would be entered into by each buyer."

"In engineering the individual septic tank installations, the District Sanitarian in the area has encouraged the drain field installations in the front yards where possible.  The front yard area is normally lawn and scientific studies have shown that vegetation 'picks up' up to 85% of the nitrates and phosphates deposited by the septic tank effluent.  These fertilizing compounds are 'villains' when deposited in water (promoting algae growth) but are a real asset in fertilizing laws and other vegetation."  Exhibit 112

February 18, 1975  Pierce County Resolution No. 17799 is signed: 

"Whereas  the Board of Pierce County Commissioners deem; it to be in the interest of the public health safety and welfare of the residents of Pierce County to enter into an agreement with the City of Bonnev Lake and the South Hill Sewer District to cooperate in the preparation of a sewer facility plan for the subject area so that the sewerage disposal needs of the residents therein may be adequately taken care of."  Exhibit 113

May 2, 1975: Washington Department of Social and Health Services sends memorandum to Department of Ecology, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, Pierce County planning Commission

"The project proposes to withdraw ground water by shallow wells to supply potable water.  Since there is a potential of contaminating the ground water by the high density septic tank system within the enclosed perimeter of Island A, a potential heal hazard cannot be discounted."

"Further upgrading of the design standards for the design of the water and sewer system are necessary."  Exhibit 114

May 5, 1975: Ecology Environmental Review Section, Water Quality Comments, Lake Tapps Island A (Tapps Island) EIS

"Establishment of a sewer fund and a water quality monitoring program are good ideas.  There is some question as to whether septic tanks and absorption trenches will operate satisfactorily over an extended time period in the soil types present and whether septic tanks and drainfields are the proper disposal method."

"The sealing  of wells does not prevent ground water pollution."

"Sewage disposal via septic tank and absorption fields may not be the best or even a viable method."

"The percolation data shown indicates that in comparison to current Rules & Regulations of the State Board of Health for On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems Minimum Lot Sizes for Subdivisions I approximately 60% of the soils are classified as poor or worse for on-site disposal.  Minimum lot sizes for these soils is 18,000 square feet.  (Compare to 10,000 square foot lot size proposed.)"

"Surface water was observed running off into the lake from only a few low marshy areas."  What is important is how big of an area drains into these low marshy areas and hence how much drainfield effluent will end up there." 

"Page 119 indicates that no significant sewage pollution problems have resulted from septic tank systems around Lake Tapps area.  In fact there are problem areas that are known and it is suspected that problems may exist where septic tanks and drainfields have been placed near the lake in fast percolation soils."

"Septic tanks and drainfields are recognized as a non permanent solution to sewage disposal. The environmental impact of installing the collection systems that will be required for eventual interception will obviously be much less if the systems are installed during development.  It is, therefore, evident that a permanent sewage disposal system should be installed at this time." 

"Conclusion:

The Department of Ecology is opposed to on site disposal via individual septic tanks and drainfields as proposed. 

Recommendations

1. A permanent sewage disposal system be installed.

2.  If septic tanks and drainfields are to be used for sewage disposal, lot sizes should be in accordance with WAC 248-96-090 METHOD 1.

The retention time (12) days for Lake Tapps is too short to classify it in the Lake Class.  However, the lake has a very patchy distribution of nutrients indicating incomplete circulation.  The flow pattern suggests that the areas both north and south of Island A (Tapps Island) would be areas of decreased circulation, and hence, areas of greater potential primary production. (Due to greater retention time and increasing water clarity).

It is entirely possible that development of Island A could result in increased phytoplankton production in the "bays" to the north and south of the island.  This would be due to increased runoff, fertilization and septic tank effluents reaching the lake."  Exhibit 115 

May 9, 1975:  U.S. Farmers Home Administration

"We agree that the Lake Tapps area is a unique and valuable environmental resource and that it's protection from sewage is a high priority."

"In fact, we have already taken steps to provide this protection.  Recently, the City of Bonney Lake requested our assistance in preparing a sewage facilities plan for the Bonney Lake/Lake Tapps area.  In April we issued a grant to cover 75 percent of the cost of the study."  Exhibit 116

May 9, 1975 Complaint filed with EPA for Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) sponsored housing contaminating Lake Tapps

"Soil Conservation Service reports that soils in the Lake Tapps area have very slow permeability."  Exhibit 117

May 12, 1975: Ecology transmits a letter to Pierce County Planning Department

"Our primary concerns relate to the desirability of septic tank and drain field sewage disposal in this area.  The Puyallup River Basin Water Quality Management Plan indicates the whole Lake Tapps area, including Island A, has soils that have severe limitations for this type of disposal.  The geological information presented indicates that the groundwater on the island is isolated from the lake water and is recharged through precipitation and runoff.  It follows that septic tank effluent may pond in the groundwater causing a buildup of contaminants."

"If would be helpful if the "Alternatives" section considered an alternate sewage disposal system.  The environmental impact of installing collection systems that will be required for eventual interception may be minimized if the systems are installed during development.  Septic tanks and drainfields are not seen as permanent solution to sewage disposal for this area."   

"If septic tanks are chosen as an interim solution, the lot size should be increased.  The percolation data shown indicates approximately 60% of the soils are classified as poor or worse for on-site disposal systems.  Minimum lot size for these soils is 18,000 square feet, rather than the proposed average lot size of 10,000 square feet."  Exhibit 118

August 5, 1975: Pierce County Planning Department on Lake Tapps Island "A" (Tapps Island) Environmental Impact Statement On-Site Sewage System

"This office has given an in-depth review of the on-site septic tank sewage disposal system.  The completion of the proposed project will involve a drastic change in land usage of the approximately 260-acre Island.  The development will have 687 residential homes, with on-site permanent population of nearly 2,000 persons.  Due to other recreational features of the proposed area, it is anticipate that the population projection will nearly double on weekends and legal holidays.  This influx of population on land with marginal soil conditions and, at some locations, having only 22-inches to 24-inches of ground cover over hardpan, will cause septic tank and drainfield failure, thereby creating a potential health problem.  The high amount of effluent disposal on postage-stamp sized lots will lead to failure of the leaching field of the septic-tank disposal systems.  In leaching systems (on the basis of initial infiltration rates higher than the ultimate low rate) this leads to the failure of systems such as designed for this development."

"It has been documented in the report that the subsurface aquifers from which the proposed potable water wells will draw water supply is confined.  Hence the majority of the recharge water win the wells will originate from surface flows which will infiltrate through permeable soils.  The ponding of effluent in the substrata , and/or breakthrough of contaminants to the ground surface, will severely pollute the runoff and eventually the source of water supply."
Exhibit 119

August 18, 1975 City of Bonney Lake relative to the Development of Island "A" (Tapps Island) in Lake Tapps

"We question the adequacy of provision for dispersal of storm and surface water runoff.  Throughout our City are developments where all the land was sold off without provisions for normal, natural drainage.  This is a serious problem for the City and it appears to us that the same problem is inherent in the proposed development of Island A. 

"We feel sure that the ultimate per lot investment by the ultimate owners of Island "A" will be substantial, so much so that to correct the deficiencies noted herein will be proportionately almost trivial.  If it is not done now, upgrading will cause much additional expense and will be the source of community dissent and resultant unhappiness on the part of the residents involved.  (This concern has been realized.  Bonney Lake offered to by the purveyor of the Tapps Island water system recently and quoted the homeowners $60 - $80 thousand dollars per lot to upgrade the Islands "temporary" water system."

"We cannot believe that full development of Island "A" can occur without pollution of Lake Tapps.  There is presently a sewer study being made, co-operatively by the City of Bonney Lake, Pierce County, and South Hill Sewer District.  This project is being funded 90% by Federal and State funds, the remaining 10% to be paid by local funds.  This project, if built will accommodate this development.  To our knowledge, no effort have been put forth by the developers to lend support to this effort.  The potential for pollution in this development is greater than anything presently existant."  Exhibit 120

May 16, 1976 Department of Ecology to Bonney Lake/Pierce County's sewer consultant; Philip M. Botch & Associates.

"Certainly the citizens within the proposed sewerage collection area, upon review of your report, should realize the vast effort put forth by you in obtaining, analyzing, compiling, and presenting all the pertinent information needed in such a study."

"I was quite surprised in noting that the quality of the lakes, streams, and river within the study area had deteriorated to the condition listed.  I think this shows in itself the need for the sanitary facilities which you propose."

"Hopefully the property owners will realize the cost will never get any less and furthermore, they will realize the need for the system from a health and a water quality standpoint."   Exhibit 122

May 19, 1976 Mayor of Bonney Lake sends out a letter to the Citizens of Bonney Lake

"If we are to maintain the special kind of life that we have here, which offers so much in the way of water recreation, it is extremely necessary that we act now to preserve and improve our number one asset--our land."

"The construction of a sewer system to benefit our area can only be good for us.  It is inevitable that sewers will be a necessity in the near future to preserve our lakes, therefore it is to our advantage to begin now, before costs rise, before the federal and state governments will no longer contribute to this type of improvement and especially while we have positive citizen involvement working towards improving our community. "

"The projected costs to the property owners are reasonable now--they may not be 10 or 15 years from now."  Exhibit 124

May 20, 1976: Letter to U.S. EPA from Lake Tapps Resident, Lake Tapps 201 Sewer Facilities Plan

"We definitely recognize the need for installation of sewers at this time. The cost is a consideration, of course, but it is minimized when we realize that upkeep of septic tanks is also very expensive and completely frustrating. we have had first-hand experience living with septic tanks and seeing the disastrous results of pollution, both of air and water quality.  We are willing to participate to the fullest to prevent such conditions in this area."  Exhibit 125

May 20, 1976 Letter to U.S. EPA Lake Tapps 201 Sewer Facilities Plan

"Our lake and our septic systems are in trouble already.  We are late in getting a sewer program initiated."  Exhibit 127

May 20, 1976 Letter to U.S. EPA Lake Tapps 201 Sewer Facilities Plan

"I have been a resident of Lake Tapps for 13 yrs.  For the past 7 yrs. I have been having septic problems.  My neighbors are also experiencing the same difficulty."  Exhibit 128

May 25, 1976 Letter to U.S. EPA Lake Tapps 201 Sewer Facilities Plan

"Neither must we tell you that in major areas around the lake, sewers are badly needed.  You are aware of this need."

 

"The majority of residents who have lived "On the lake more than five years are in favor of sewers being constructed. They are the 'silent majority' who think they need not attend meetings to become convinced.  They already know."    Exhibit 126

May 27, 1976 Pierce County Water Supply & Waste Section to Department of Ecology; "201 Sewer Facilities Plan, Lake Tapps"

"There is an imminent need for proper disposal of wastewater to protect the quality of groundwater which has been extensively used in the project study for water supply."

"The rapid growth in Lake Tapps Island "A", Bonney Lake, and other areas in the vicinity has resulted in a suburban sprawl which presently disposes of all wastewater by the conventional septic tank drainfield method.  On-site sewage disposal system failures have resulted in excessive coliform counts and algae growth in the lakes."  Exhibit 129

May 27, 1976: Ecology Letter 201 Sewer Facilities Plan Lake Tapps Sewerage Project

"The proposed sewer facilities plans outlined In the April 1976 study, as stated above, will serve one of the fastest-growing area; In Pierce County. There Is an Imminent need for proper disposal of wastewater to protect the quality of groundwater which has been extensively used In the project study for water supply."

 

"The rapid growth In Lake Tapps Island "A", Bonney Lake, and other areas In the vicinity has resulted in  a surban sprawl which presently disposes of all wastewater by the conventional septic tank drainfield method.  On-Site sewage disposal system failures have resulted In excessive coliform counts and algae growth In the lakes In the area and algae growth in road side ditches during summer months."

 

"The proposed sewerage facilities plan will definitely enhance the quality of the groundwater which will be  in great demand for the water supply needs as the population expands in this area." 

 

"This office supports the project, and the long term Impact will be beneficial to the health and well-being of the people residing In this northeast part of Pierce County." Exhibit 123

 

June 24, 1976  Philip M. Botch & Associated, Inc. Letter:

 

"The immediate areas of West Tapps and Bonney Lake have needed sewers for some time, both from a water quality and urban sprawl standpoint.  There are growing sings of need.  Pollutional indicators show a problem. Septic tank failures are on the increase and the cost of proliferation of other utilities accommodate urban sprawl are much more costly than a controlled growth situation.  Costs associated with the "No Project" plan can in fact be extremely costly, more costly than sewers themselves."  Exhibit 130

 

June 21, 1976: Pierce County, City of Bonney Lake South Hill Sewer District issue Lake Tapps Sewerage Facility Plan

 

"Almost all of the soils in the study area are classified by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service as having moderate to severe limitations for use as septic tank drainfields. The Lake Tapps area is underlain by semicompacted glacial hardpan with low permeability.  The soils above the hardpan are generally permeable but the existence of the hardpan layer renders the area marginal as far as on site disposal units are concerned. Localized areas are experiencing septic tank failures. This is especially serious after heavy rains. Alternate drainfield sites are being sought in several cases due to failure of the original field. As development increases and vacant lots are occupied, alternate drainfields will become more difficult to obtain; hence on-site disposal problems may become acute and the I likelihood of correction may be more remote."

 

"Septic tanks are acceptable for areas designed for permanent on-site disposal installations, if the population density is low and drainage characteristics of the soil are satisfactory. However, where soils have marginal drainage characteristics, it is only a matter of time before failures begin to appear. The appearance of these problems is increasing for the project area."

 

"The search for areas that meet on-site disposal standards is a major cause for sprawl. Further development in the Lake Tapps area in the pursuit of developable property, must be curtailed in the future due to lack of suitable sites."

 

"Lake Tapps has violated state standards on several occasions. Water use has not been restricted, however, because the enforcing agency, Pierce County Health Department, has been enforcing a less stringent coliform bacteria standard than the controlling state standards enforced by the Department of Ecology."

 

"3) Soils within (he study area have poor drainage characteristics. Many areas are developed as much as 80 percent. The permitted use of septic tanks has possibly contributed to an uncontrolled sprawl in many poorly drained, developed areas. As densities near saturation development, septic tank failure rates will likely increase. The likelihood of locating replacement drainfields will become more critical as development continues to intensify. These problems are showing signs in localized areas."

 

"4) Water quality in Bonney Lake, Lake Tapps, and adjacent lakes has frequently violated the State of Washington water quality standards and criteria developed by the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) of the National Academy of Sciences. Providing sewers in the study area would prevent further deterioration of surface and groundwater pollution and assist in restoring lakes within the project area to satisfactory water quality levels and assuring a high quality groundwater."  Exhibit 131

August 1976:  A Public Opinion Poll, conducted by the City of Bonney Lake with assistance of the University of Washington was sent out

"A threat to water quality in the lakes was recognized by the people in the public information poll.  It is the opinion of City officials that monthly sewer bills will offset costs already paid citizens for maintaining septic tanks and it should not pose no problem.  It appears monthly sewer rates will fall between $7-$10 per month.  This rate is similar to those on many project EPA has participated in.  The only other costs to local residents should be a hookup fee of $50.00 to raise initial operating funds and the cost of a side sewer to the collection system, estimated by the consultant at $200-$500.  Side-sewer costs could be substantially less if homeowner constructed."  Exhibit 132

September 10, 1976  Pierce County letter to Pierce County Board of Pierce County Commissioners CHANGE-IN-SCOPE, BONNEY LAKE/LAKE TAPPS SEWERAGE FACILITIES PLAN 

"The City of Bonney Lake and Pierce County Utilities Department recently concurred that the scope of the subject plan should be increased to include the entire probable service are rather than just the immediate service area."

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Memorandum  "We highly recommend the approval of this planning grant."

"The Bonney Lake-Lake Tapps area is one of the most rapidly growing areas in Pierce County.  There is a large reservoir of unbuilt lots let.  The area has many miles of recreational lake shoreline and a sewage system would definitely aid in protecting the water quality."  Exhibit 282


October 28, 1976 Ecology to EPA, Lake Tapps Sewage System
 
"We have fully supported this sewerage project for the Bonney Lake area and it has a high ranking in the statewide priority listing."  Exhibit 133

October 1976 Pierce County, City of Bonney Lake South Hill Sewer District issue Addendum: Final Report Lake Tapps Sewerage Facility Plan

"Individual soils characteristics were taken from the soil survey of Pierce County updated to 1975. These agricultural soils are the Buckley, Orting, Kapowsin 0-6%, and Puyallup sons. Each of these soil types has been designated Class II or III agricultural soils by the Soil Conservation Service. Occurrence of these soils is along the eastern shore of Lake Tapps continuing south of the City of Bonney Lake in a mile-wide strip continuing into the Puyallup Valley."

 

"General characteristics of the agricultural soils include slow permeability, high water capacity, low to medium erosion potential and 0-6% slopes."
 

"Pollution of the lake will occur in areas where flushing action is low."  Exhibit 134

December 22, 1976  Washington Operations Office (U.S. EPA)  Environmental Impact Appraisal 

"Beneficial Serving South Hill Sewer District will alleviate occasional problems with odor and surfacing leachate at the District's community septic tank drainfield system. Serving the areas east and south of Bonney Lake (Ponderosa Estates & Rhododendron Park) will alleviate Bonney Lake official's concerns that septic tank systems in these areas may contaminate the town's water supply source. Serving the Bonney Lake area will remove septic tank leachate contribution to eutrophic Debra Jane Lake and polluted Bonney Lake and South Lake Tapps. Serving the west and northwest shore of Lake Tapps will alleviate the concerns of many residents and state and local officials that septic tank leachate from current future development will pollute Lake Tapps."

 

"The long term potential for, and concern over, contamination of Debra Jane

Lake, Bonney Lake, Lake Tapps, and the Town of Bonney Lake's water supply by septic tank leachate will be removed. The orderly development of undeveloped lots in the sewered areas can continue without undue disruptions due to difficulties in obtaining septic tank permits."


"The future development pattern of east Lake Tapps cannot be defined in absolute terms in advance. However, it is possible to subjectively evaluate the probability of alternative development patterns. If major deviations from the region's current development pattern are probable because of the existence of sewers, then they can be said to have a significant secondary impact on the area."  

 

"The special analysis of development patterns provided in the plan addendum provides convincing evidence that portions of east and north Lake Tapps will develop in a similar manner to the rest of the region. The maps in the addendum show that a substantial portion of this area has already been platted as residential subdivisions at similar densities to those in the rest of the region.  Comparison with Plat 13B indicates well over half of the east Lake Tapps ultimate service area has been platted. Island "A" has been zoned residential according to Plat 4. The lots in these plats have been sized to utilize septic tanks as the waste disposal method. Therefore, their development should not depend upon the existence of sewers."

 

"From these factors it is clear that portions of the east side of Lake Tapps will probably be developed in the same manner and at the same densities as the rest of the region. The minimal additional capacity provided in the Bonney Lake interceptors is a necessary contingency for the future time when the septic tanks in east Lake Tapps developments begin to fail as they have in west Lake Tapps."

 

"The environmental assessment identified the existence of endangered osprey on the south end of Island B" The sewage system proposed for construction will not extend to the Island B area. To avoid impacts on endangered species from future construction, Island B has been excluded from the ultimate service area and no capacity. has been provided for development on Island B."

 

"The immediate physical disruption of local ecosystems and neighborhoods when sewers are constructed are being offset by long-term prevention/reduction of septic tank drainfield seepage into local lakes. For the areas being served, current and future hassles with the permitting, installation, operation, maintenance, repair and replacement of septic tank drainfield systems will be replaced by a long-term commitment to make regular sewerage service payments for the operation, maintenance, and repair of a public sewerage system. There exists in the area a nagging concern that future septic tank sewage may inevitably pollute and destroy the water resources critical to the local ecosystems and lifestyle. This concern is being removed through the public expenditures necessary to construct a sewage system."

 

"The major agricultural, wildlife, open space, and other areas unsuitable for urban development in the Lake Tapps region excluded from the sewer service area. These are discussed in the plan Addendum."
 

"Within the designated sewer service area future wastewater management options are effectively limited to a sewage system. Areas outside the designated service area are probably committed to on-site disposal systems due to the high expense of constructing small sewage systems, limited capacity in the Bonney Lake/Lake Tapps system, and regulatory limitations on serving these areas." Exhibit 121


January 07, 1977:
  Utilities Department Interlocal Agreement, Pierce County and the City of Bonney Lake, The South Hill Sewer District and Pierce County of the Development of Sewerage Design and Construction
 

"NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT MUTUALLY AGREED AS FOLLOWS: 1. The City District and County agree to participate in the development of a regional sewerage system for the Lake Tapps area in accordance with PL 92500."  Exhibit 135

January 24, 1977 U.S. EPA

"You also stated you don't think the area's problems warrant a sewage system at this time.   Particularly important in EPA's determination of which projects have a justifiable need for our grants is a special priority list which is submitted to us by the Department of Ecology.  Each potential project  is "rated" by the Department of Social and Health Services and given points depending primarily upon public health and water pollution considerations.  The more points assigned to the project, the higher it's standing on the priority funding list.  At the time that it was rated, the Bonney Lake project was well into the upper half of the statewide list of priority needs.  Clearly the state public health and water pollution control officials are very concerned about the current conditions in the area and have an important priority on the need for sewers."  Exhibit 136

February 1, 1977 Addendum To Bonney Lake Environmental Impact Appraisal 

"Probable service area for the Lake Tapps project was identified in an Addendum, Lake Tapps Sewerage Facilities Plan issued September 30, 1977. This study effort, carried out with cooperation of Pierce County Planning Department , identified physical, social, and economic constraints to continued development of the region. It proposed three probable scenarios for future development, depending upon degree of control that might be imposed upon future' growth. Conclusions of the study indicated the area would continue to grow at a high rate irrespective of sewer construction. This growth would be an urban-sprawl nature. Present established land-use density of about 9-11 people per acre, would  prevail. A sewer system was needed to serve existing platted lots and for a limited growth adjacent to the platted areas. And, a Land Use Plan together with a sewer system would provide residents with necessary safe guards to insure the quality of life residents were seeking."


"An inventory of land and soil character was made both in the Facilities Plan and Addendum to the Facilities Plan. Slide areas, flood plains, wetlands, etc., were identified as areas of high physical constraint.  Most of these lie within the County portions of the service area and are distributed in small pockets. Development is prohibited in most of these under provision of the County's General Use zoning which restricts use of hazard areas."


"Statements made showed a concern for water quality in the local lakes and an actual experience with septic tank failure. The north Lake Tapps region appeared to be more in favor of sewers than Bonney Lake. Of the group that favored a sewer program, almost all favored a regional approach so that the total Lake Tapps water quality problem could be addressed immediately."
Exhibit 137

February 1, 1977  U.S. EPA Addendum to Bonney Lake Environmental Impact Appraisal

"The original project for the Bonney Lake area included a major interceptor from Bonney Lake to the southeast corner of Lake Tapps.  The general belief is that areas within the Mt. Rainer mud flow (East Lake Tapps Osceola Mudflow) will remain agricultural.  This land use planning effort will enable the County to implement an administrative and supervisory program for land use." 

"Elimination of the interceptor for East Lake Tapps combined with restriction of the service area eliminated potential impacts on the sensitive wildlife area on Island B and the extensive agricultural areas east of the lake."

"An inventory of land and soil character was made both in the Facilities Plan and Addendum to the Facilities Plan.  Slide areas, flood plains, wetlands, etc., were identified as areas of high physical constraint.  Most of these lie within the County portions of the service area.  Development is prohibited in most of these under provisions of the County's General Use zoning which restricts use of hazard areas."

"The EPA has reviewed the design concept extensively and is convinced following procedures and requirements noted under "Sewer Construction" about should adequately safeguard the lake.  Although some individuals still express concern, most appear to understand the design concepts and the protections they provide the Lake."  Exhibit 138


February 2, 1977
EPA Negative Declaration

 

"The proposed project is intended to serve the Bonney Lake-Lake Tapps-South Hill service area, located in the northeasterly part of Pierce County, Washington, approximately 12 miles east of Tacoma and 5 miles southeast of Auburn. The Bonney Lake-Lake Tapps area consists of hilly, forested upland terrain draining to Lake Tapps, a 2,300 acre reservoir. Steep slopes rise from the west and east edges leading to the White and Puyallup River Valleys. Lake Tapps has a very long shoreline with many narrow inlets and a number of islands. There are several smaller lakes in the study area."

 

"The accelerated growth of the area combined with poor soil conditions for adequate septic tank functioning has led to this project. There is concern over septic tank leachate contamination of groundwater and of the lakes in the area. Surfacing septic tank effluent also poses a health problem."

 

"The elimination of this part of the project; however. does not preclude service to this area sometime In the future when the existing development and septic tank problems reflect a need. At that time any project proposed for east Lake Tapps will have to undergo a separate and independent environmental review In accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act."

 

"At these meetings, some participants expressed a concern for water quality in the local lakes. and identified septic tank problems in the area."  Exhibit 139

 
February 20, 1977: Lake Tapps Sewerage Facility Plan is submitted and approved by the U.S. EPA and Ecology
 

"Almost all of the soils in the study area are classified by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service as having moderate to severe limitations for use as septic tank drainfields.  The Lake Tapps area is underlain by semicompacted glacial hardpan with low permeability.  The hardpan layer renders the area marginal as far as on site disposal unites are concerned.  Localized areas are experiencing septic tank failures.  This is especially serious after heavy rains.  Alternate drainfield sites are being sought in several cases due to failure of the original drainfield.  As development increases and vacant lots occupied, alternate drainfields will become more difficult to obtain; hence on-site disposal problems may become acute and the likelihood of correction may be more remote." 

"Septic tanks are acceptable for areas designed for permanent on-site disposal installations, if the population density is low and drainage characteristics of the soil are satisfactory.  However, where soils have marginal drainage characteristics, it is only a matter of time before failures begin to appear.  The appearance of these problems is increasing for the project area."

"Further development in the Lake Tapps area in the pursuit of developable property, must be curtailed in the future due to lack of suitable sites."

"Lake Tapps has violated state standards on several occasions.  Water use has not been restricted, however, because the enforcing agency, Pierce County Health Department, has been enforcing a less stringent coliform bacteria standard than the controlling state standards enforced by the Department of Ecology."

"Soils within the study area have poor drainage characteristics."

"Water quality in Bonney Lake, Lake Tapps, and adjacent lakes has frequently violated the State of Washington water quality standards and criteria developed by the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) of the National Academy of Sciences.  Providing sewers to in the study area would prevent further deterioration of surface and groundwater pollution and assist in restoring lakes within the project area to satisfactory water quality levels and ensuring a high quality groundwater." 

"Sprawl associated with the pursuit of developable property will continue under the "No Action" plan.  The "No Action" plan is in itself an action due to the expenditure of capital for septic tank systems to the year 2000.   The development of an area to meet future criteria for on-site sewage disposal is an an expense that can exceed that of common sewer service.  Areas that meet septic tank requirements are identified and developed, leaving areas with marginal soils vacant.  The committal of land resources to vacant status for an alternate drainfield in case of failure or because of unsuitable drainage for septic tanks added to the cost of septic tanks and the cost of providing other services to larger and larger tracts of land proves to be the most expensive alternative." 

"The conclusion of Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Technical Review Committee with regard to alternate household treatment units is: "Composting, aeration and transpiration units have no advantage over conventional tank/drainfield systems.  These systems only accommodate fecal and urinary wastes with no collection and treatment of household grey water (bathing water, sink and wash water).  They are more susceptible to shock loading, and they are subject to frequent maintenance and monitoring."

"The system will be constructed to eventually make sewerage service available to East Lake Tapps."

"In recognition of the need for sewers, a committee comprised of six citizen members was formed in 1966 to study pollution problems in the City of Bonney Lake and report their finding to the City Council."

"The need for a comprehensive plan for sewerage system for the proposed service area became apparent due to the following existing and imminent problems:

2.  Excessive coliform counts and algae growth in the various lakes
3.  Presence of algae growth in roadside ditches
4.  Septic tank failures
5.  Subdivision of marginal areas into larger and larger tracts, thereby avoiding sanitary restrictions
6.  Septic Tank denials"

"Due to continual growth, the need for a sewer program has become more acute during the past year."

"The drain filed itself can be expected to last about ten years.  In the study area there are a number of problems associated with septic tanks.  First, there are only limited areas in the basin that are suitable for septic tank drain fields.  In some areas the soils have low percolation rates, and in others the water table is near the ground surface.  A second problem is that most people do not realize that the drain field will eventually fail and provisions must be made for the installation of a second field.  In many instances, lots are not large enough to support a second field."

"Problems arise from poorly operating septic tanks are ponding of the effluent on the surface, contamination of the groundwater, which is very important where domestic wells are in the area, and degradation of surface water quality.  The public health hazard from these is very serious since pathogenic organisms in the sewage are not destroyed in a septic tank."

"It is generally agreed that septic tank systems are best suited for use on properties where the population density does not exceed one family per acre."

"In areas where it cannot be determined beforehand if a septic tank drain field will operate properly, the county denies septic tank permits for permanent residences.  However, conditional use permits are granted for mobilehomes, with the understanding that if the drain field does not work, the mobilehome will be removed from the lot."

"In several areas along 195th Avenue near South Tapps Drive, topsoil was removed for highway fill.  The remaining hardpan is too impermeable to allow the use of septic tanks."

"There are many locations in the Lake Tapps area where septic tanks cannot be used at all."

"The existence of the impermeable hardpan layer makes downward percolation of septic tank leachate impossible."

"Leachate can introduce pathogens to the water that are capable of causing disease." 

"Development of the Lake Tapps area is growing rapidly, increasing the number of septic tanks accordingly.  Accompanying the increase of septic tanks is the threat of surface and groundwater contamination." 

"The Rainer State School for the retarded in Buckley releases secondary effluent into the White River upstream from the diversion dam."

"The Washington State Department of Ecology classifies the flume as a Class AA stream.  However, the flume does not meet the water quality standards for a Class AA stream due to high coliform counts."

"Water chemical data taken by the U.S. Department of the Interior at two locations in Lake Tapps show values for nitrate-nitrogen and phosphate phosphorus to be as much as 20 times higher than values recommended by NTAC for impoundments."

"According to the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) standards, Lake Tapps has violated total coliform standards.  Water use has not been restricted, however, because the enforcing agency, Pierce County Health Department, has adopted coliform limits that are higher (less restricting) than those of DOE."

"Island "A" (Tapps Island) located in the northeast corner of Lake Tapps was recently subdivided with the foresight of being developed by 1980.  Individual septic tanks will be utilized on lots that meet standards enforced by Pierce County Health.  Those lots that fail to meet septic tank requirements of Pierce County Health will be required to route septic tank effluent to a suitable disposal site."

"A sewer fund has been established for Island "A" to help finance the local share of an eventual sewer system.  Similar funds have also been in existence for quite some time for developments to the west of Lake Tapps."   Exhibit 140

February 24, 1977  City of Bonney Lake, City Engineer, Septic Tank Drainfield Problems, City of Bonney Lake

"The Pierce County sanitarium for the Lake Tapps region and I re­cently (1/26/77) inspected septic tank problems along the western shore of Lake Tapps. Our inspection included a look at Driftwood Point, Lakeridge Ranchettes and Church Lake. Areas of interest in­cluded lots denied building permits for violating County percolation requirements and outright failure of existing drainfields. Permit denials are due to either high groundwater conditions or impermeable soil conditions. Lots with drainfield failures were similarly caused by high groundwater, impermeable soil and also clogging of soil pores in the immediate vicinity of the drainfield."

"Those lots where building permits were denied are indicated with the symbols on Map 1. Each subdivision has a number of denials. Due to more stringent County regulations for on-site disposal units, denials will presumably become more widespread as permits are re­quested. The requirement for 24 inches of permeable top soil cover is either not obtained or just meeting the minimum cover in the ma­jority of cases. The soils along the Lake comprise the Alderwood series, underlain by an impermeable or semi-impermeable glacial till, or hardpan.  Typically, as septic  tank leachate passed through the thin topsoil and reaches the compacted glacial till, the waste water flows laterally toward roadside ditches and the Lake."

"The newness of the development along the west side of the Lake is the major reason the area has not experienced chronic septic tank failure problems.  The useful life of a septic tank/drainfield is typically from 5-10 years. 10,000- 20,000 square feet lots do not offer sufficient space for drainfield replacements.  If a field should clog and require replacement, many residents will be faced with a critical disposal problem. The majority of the developed property along the Lake can only obtain a permit for a select loca­tion on the property to meet the minimum requirements for on-site disposal."        

"Several residents, owning multiple parcels, have uti‑lized their vacant lots for replacement of drainfields. Lots where drainfields have been replaced are shown with an "R" on Map 1.The majority of homes built in the Lake area require French drain systems to bypass storm water runoff. The saturation of drainfields resulting from rooftops, pavement and other impervious surfaces, requires runoff bypass structures to reduce the likeli­hood of drainfield failure and prolong the life of the tank in the Lake area. Mr. Sharley pointed to several lots where runoff was not diverted resulting in surface breakthrough of drainfield lea­chate.  The ultimate replacement of these drainfields will be just a matter of time."

"The sanitarian further pointed the potential for lateral flow of drainfield leachate to adjacent properties. The undulating ter­rain of the Lake area lends itself to subsurface flow of septic tank leachate to homes at low elevations."

"If additional information is needed concerning the area outside the city limits Mr. Sharley or Mr. Manke of the Pierce County Health Department should be consulted. Mr. Sharley inspects all the septic tank installations in this area, Mr. Manke has made the coliform counts on a regular basis for this area."

"There are many areas of the city where septic tank drain fields are not approved for installation by the Pierce County Health Department. These are areas of high ground water and areas of poor percolation due to the partially cemented glacial Till which is the subsoil of most of the city."

"The following areas in the City of Bonney Lake have experienced septic tank drainfield problems, to my knowledge, in the years of 1975 and 1976."

"7019 Myers Road, poor percolation drained to a depression in a pasture.

7417 &7419 Old Vandermark, Springs and high ground water carry sewerage to roadside ditch.

5610 560 St. High ground water carries effluent to Lake Tapps. 6712 193rd Ave, High ground water carries effluent to roadside  ditch and on to stream draining Debra Jane Lake.

6812 193rd Ave, High ground water carries effluent to roadside ditch creating an odor problem.

6816 193rd Ave, High ground water carries effluent to roadside ditch and to creek causing an odor problem.

7001 West Tapps Highway, Apartment House complex drainfield effluent drains to Lake Tapps and through stream in city park. discharge near swimming and boat launch area.

5412&19411 68th St. Loop, High ground water carries effluent to roadside ditch and to intermittent stream, standing scummy water.

18211 74th Street, High ground water in filled land on Bonney Lake.

18310 74th Street, Thin soil, poor percolation, effluent runs into Bonney Lake.

4726 197th Ave., Poor percolation, steep slope, effluent runs into Lake Tapps.

18703 82nd St. House in depression, flooded occasionally when it rains hard.

4915 to 4921 N. Vista Drive, High ground water carries effluent to roadside ditch, very noisome condition.

4727 N. Island Drive, poor percolation, water stands in depression over drainfield.

6360 S. Island Dr. High ground water carries effluent to Lake Tapps.

5426 South Vista Dr. High Ground water, roadside ditch odor.

4932 N. Island Dr. High Ground water, Effluent carried to Lake Tapps.

9518 204th Ave. Drainfield covered by flood water, sewer backs up into house.

20608 97th St, High ground water next to creek, high algae growth and odor indicate leaking drainfields,

20304 69th St. Springs flood drainfield carrying effluent into Lake Tapps

20405 70th Street, Springs carry effluent to roadside ditch.

9503 208th Ave. High ground water causes effluent to go to roadside ditch, and on to intermittent creek.

20807 92nd St. High ground water in depression causes malfunction of drainfield.

9510 206th Ave. High water in creek causes effluent to back up under house

4933 N. Vista Drive, Poor percolation causes effluent to flood neighbors yard."

"In the following locations seepage from septic tank drainfields cause odor, high algae growth, and high coliform counts.

Pond, 18249 Old Buckley, Odor and Algae

Pond, Fir Retreat, Odor and Algae

Bonney Lake, Algae, High Coliform count, oil slick

Debra Jane Lake, High Coliform counts, Algae Bloom.

Lake Tapps, Church Lake Park, High Coliform counts near swimming beach and boat launch area.

Lake Tapps at Causeway Road, soap suds floating on water.

Creek through Cederview between 206 & 208th Ave has bad odor problem when it drys up in the summer."

"Septic Tank Drainfield problems in the Lake Tapps area outside of the City Limits have not come to my attention as much as the ones inside of the city limits. The places I know of are:

18807 590 St E. Spring in septic tank drainfield area.

Rod and Gun club, Driftwood Point area, bad smell in road side ditches.

R.E. Knull residence, Drainfield will not take normal residential use. It has to be pumped regularly."

Exhibit 141

February 28, 1977 EPA to Bonney Lake Approving Facility Plan

"The Facilities Plan for the Bonney Lake, South Hill Sewer District, and West Lake Tapps areas has been certified by the Department of Ecology as meeting applicable requirements set forth in 40 CFR 35.917-7. The Plan has been reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency and, in accordance with provisions of 40 CFR 35.917-8, is hereby approved, subject to the following condition."  Exhibit 142

April 18, 1977  Sewer consultant, Philip M. Botch & Associates to Pierce County Utilities Director the anticipated costs for residents of West Lake Tapps to hook up to a conventional sewer design

"Average estimates for assessable parcels in the Lake Tapps Sewer Service Area, based on Pierce County's procedures, are as follows:

 

1. Area Charge..........................................................$   0.013/square foot

2. Frontage Charge................................................... $ 17.50/front foot

3. Equivalent Capacity Charge.................................$213.23 per connection

4. Connection Charge ..............................................$325.00 per connection"  Exhibit 143

 
July 22, 1977 Pierce County Public Works to Board of Pierce County Commissioners
 

"Pierce County and the property owners within the Lake Tapps Sewerage Facility Plan boundaries  have a great deal at stake in the subject Land Use Permit Approval request."

 

"Pierce County, the Town of Bonney Lake and the South Hill Sewer District are involved in a joint effort to establish a suitable construction site for a Regional Sewage Treatment Plant. Following the 1974 County and. State approved Puyallup River Basin Water Quality Management Plan, Bonney Lake as the lead agency along with Pierce County and South Hill Sewer District have completed a required Sewerage Facility Plan. This Plan studied a multiplicity  of alternate plans and proved that the least costly plan for the resulting Treatment Plant location was in accordance with the site under consideration in the subject Hearing. This Treatment Plant site is in complete accordance with the foregoing Plan which as indicated was previously approved by the Pierce County Planning Commission and the Board of Pierce County Commissioners in 1974. The. Town of Bonney Lake, in it's application, is in every instance only following the guidelines previously approved and established by the Pierce County Government."

 

"The service area for this entire project which includes Lake Tapps, Bonney Lake and South Hill Sewer District was analyzed by the Pierce County Planning Staff and their findings were approved by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency.  These findings have excluded many areas that are agriculturally oriented or are otherwise unsuitable for development and consequently only the areas shown shaded in the attached map are eligible for sewer service being provided by this proposed system."

 

"This project as it stands now is an approximate $`4.7 million investment to provide for a Regional Treatment Plant and Trunk Line System as well as a collection sewer system for the Town of Bonney Lake."

 

"The Board of Pierce County Commissioners should be aware of the fact that through the proposed interlocal agency agreement and the consideration made previously in this matter, Pierce County has indicated their agreement to participate in this project to benefit this area of nearly 8,000 property owners."

 

"The Pierce County Public Works Department and it's Utilities Department recommends to the Board of County Commissioners that they overturn the recent decision of the Pierce County Commission and authorize the issuance of the necessary Land Use Permit and thereby approve of the construction of the necessary Treatment Plant and Trunkline Facilities to serve the areas of Lake Tapps, the Town of Bonney Lake and the South Hill Sewer District and Pierce County areas adjacent thereto."  Exhibit 144

 

July 26, 1977  Pierce County Resolution No.  19903 passes
 

"undermines (7) years of work and approvals by denying Bonney Lake an Unclassified Use Permit to build the agreed sewage treatment plant." 

"The Board having duly considered said application and appeal and all evidence present both for and against the proposed amendment, FINDS that the granting of an Unclassified Use Permit for a sewage treatment facility in a "G"  General Use zoned district on the aforesaid property in the Bonney Lake area is NOT reasonably necessary and requisite in the interest of public health, safety, morals and the general welfare and that said Unclassified Use Permit will NOT permit the advantageous and economic development of the community and the county without unduly injuring adjacent and surrounding property, and the proposed amendment should be denied."  Exhibit 145

October 1977 Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney, Pierce County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, South Hill Sewer District, The City of Bonney Lake; Stipulation of Facts:

"Because of special and serious problems of sewage disposal and pollution which represent a recognized health hazard, the Sub-area was listed near the top of the State of Washington priority rating list after the facts developed in the Basin Plan."

"Population has grown from 1,423 in 1960 to 7,429 persons in 1975 and is expected to rise to 27,694 persons in the year 2000. Septic tanks and drainfields are exclusively used throughout the Subarea, yet almost all of the soils are classified as having moderate to severe limitations for drainfields."

"Septic system failures have become too common and are expected to increase."

"In addition, the lakes in the Subarea have violated State water quality standards for  coliform bacteria. For example, total coliform count for Debra Jane Lake is in gross excess of State standards. The Puyallup River is designated Class A in the Subarea due to continual violation of standards relating to coliform bacteria and turbidity."

"Said Plan reviewed and analyzed eight alternative methods of reacting to the recognized need for the treatment of sewage in the Subarea in order to solve the serious pollution hazards."

"EXHIBIT B

The Town of Bonney Lake is considering the development of a sanitary sewer collection and waste water treatment system. The development of the area combined with the soils in the area which are generally unsuitable for septic tank and drainfield installation have made many of the residents aware of the need for municipal treatment facilities."   Exhibit 244


November 29, 1977 Judge Stanley W. Worswick rules City of Bonney Lake does not need an unclassified use permit nor a shoreline substantial use permit:
 

"I conclude that neither an unclassified use permit nor a shoreline substantial use permit nor a shoreline substantial use permit is necessary under the facts of this case and the law applicable thereto.  Plaintiffs'' motion for summary judgment will be granted in the form of a declaratory judgment to this effect."  Exhibit 146

December 2, 1977: Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney to Board of Commissioners 

"The Honorable Superior Court Judge Stanley W. Worswick, held that South Hill Sewer District and the City of Bonney Lake are not required to obtain an Unclassified Use Permit nor a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit from Pierce County in order to construct the sewage treatment plant near Alderton. Written findings of fact and judgment will be entered in this case in the near future."

 

"We would appreciate your advising us whether you would like to appeal this decision."  Exhibit 147

June 21, 1978  Washington State Court of Appeals, South Hill Sewer District & City of Bonney Lake v. Pierce County:

"Mr. Gubenik sent me a copy of the essential documents which were before Judge Worswick when he entered Summary Judgment on January 26, 1978."

 

"I have reviewed those documents; and, together with some minimal personal research effort, I conclude that it is most unlikely appellate panel of this court would disturb Judge Worswick's ruling. Accordingly, I must advise you of my personal opinion that further pursuit of this appeal by the responsible officials of Pierce County will undoubtedly result in a waste of the time and talents of the county's lawyers and --- in view of the financing arrangements of the project and the likelihood of a continued inflationary spiral of construction costs -- a substantial increase in the cost of the project to the taxpayers of Pierce County."  Exhibit 148

July 6, 1978  Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney to Board of Pierce County Commissioners

"We agree that it is questionable whether the County will be successful in this appeal. The legal reasoning presented by Judge Petrie is. as he says. probably the way the full panel of judges will decide the case. "

 

"In view of Judge Petrie's letter. we would recommend that this appeal be dismissed."   Exhibit 149


July 28, 1978
  Department of Ecology; Pierce County Commissioners  West Lake Tapps Interceptor

 

"The Department of Ecology asks that Pierce County request to have the subject project removed from the 1978 grants priority list in view of the decision made by the Pierce County Commissioners on July 25, 1978  regarding the continuance of the appeal of the land use permit requested by Bonney Lake."  Exhibit 150

 

July 28, 1978  EPA to Mayor Stephen Flaherty; Clarifications of Comments Made at Pierce County Commission Meeting of July 25, 1978

 

"Our Agency will participate in construction of the most cost-effective alternative. Based upon the cost-effective analysis submitted to us by you, this would be Alderton (Koperski) alternative. However, if shown to be environmentally sound, we can participate in the land treatment alternative because its cost is within 15 percent of that of the most cost-effective solution."

 

"The Pierce County Commissioners' decision on Tuesday, July 25, 1978, to continue their appeal regarding the Alderton sewage treatment plant site, will result in our initiating the Environmental Impact Statement (CIS) process for the land treatment alternative shortly after August 15, 1978 unless action is taken by the County Commission." Exhibit 151

 

August 7, 1978  Pierce County Public Works Director Sewage Treatment Plant--Pierce County Bonney Lake
 

"In light of the determination by the Environmental Protection Agency that the alternate site is most cost effective, and further, in light of the fact that the Department of Ecology and the Environmental Protection Agency has said that if the Board continues its appeal of the Alderton Unclassified Use Permit decision, the funds will be removed from the priority array for construction for 1978, and, in light of potential legal problems that might exist should existing contracts between Pierce County, the City of Bonney Lake, and the South Hill Sewer District, cannot be implemented; this office strongly recommends that the Board hold another hearing on August 14, 1978 to reconsider your decision to appeal the Superior court decision on the rejection of the Unclassified Use Permit for the Alderton site and to consider whether to allow the implementation of the Alderton site as the the most cost effective site for a treatment plant in order that matching funds be made available to the county, the City of Bonney Lake, and the South Hill Sewer District for construction of the Plant to proceed at this time."  Exhibit 152

September 12, 1978: EPA to City of Bonney; Bonney Lake-Lake Tapps Sewer District 

"The purpose of this letter is to request that the Board of County Commissioners give to the Environmental Protection Agency, in writing their reasons for not proceeding with the Bonney Lake sewer project at the original Kopenski (Alderton) site. If possible we would like this information by September 15. 1978."  Exhibit 153

September 14, 1978: Pierce County responds to EPA for its decision to renege on its prior agreements. County Commissioners testimony who voted against keeping prior agreements:

"So I have consistently this last year, said they're no feathers, there's no doubt, there's a need for sewers,--we must move in that direction as quickly as we possibly can."  Exhibit 154

December 1978 Pierce County, City of Bonney Lake, South Hill Sewer District Addendum III Lake Tapps Sewerage Facility Plan is published by support from Grant No. C530653-01 from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Ecology, Washington Futures Program and local participation."

"This chapter reviews the reasons why the Bonney Lake/Lake Tapps area is in need of sewerage service.  A detailed explanation can be found in the Lake Tapps Sewerage Facility Plan (June 1976)"

"The study area is underlain by semicompacted, glacial hardpan with low permeability that lies at a depth of 24 to 48 inches.  The existence of this hardpan, the hilly topography, and a shallow groundwater table makes most sites in this area unsuitable for septic tanks."

"Inoperable drainfields and unbuildable parcels due to drainage limitations of the soil comprise a significant portion of the service area."

"Inadequately treated leachate has been instrumental in causing eutrophication of Lake Tapps.  This is caused by excessive nutrient loadings."

"A definite health hazard exists.  Improperly operating on-site systems are contributing to high bacteria levels encountered in service area lakes.  At times, beaches of service area lakes have been closed to water sports because of coliform contamination of lake waters.  Groundwater, used as the drinking water supply for the area, is also being contaminated by septic tank leachate."

"The Pierce County Health Department has denied on-site disposal permits due to impermeable soils, high groundwater conditions, and topography limitations."  Exhibit 155

June 21, 1978 Washington State Court of Appeals judge  Harold J. Petrie reviews City of Bonney Lake vs. Pierce County trial court ruling. 

Judge Petrie writes:

"I conclude it is most unlikely an appellate panel of this court would disturb Judge Worswick's ruling.  Accordingly, I must advise you of my personal opinion that further pursuit of this appeal by the responsible officials of Pierce County will undoubtedly result in a waste of time and talents of the county's lawyers and --in view of the financing arrangements of the project and the likelihood of a continued inflationary spiral of construction costs---a substantial increase in the cost of the project to the taxpayers of Pierce County." Exhibit 156

August 12, 1978 Prosecuting Attorney writes letter to three Pierce County Commissioners outlining the reasons the Council should not appeal the lower court's ruling:

" On January 26, 1978, Superior Court Judge Stanley Worswick on a motion for summary judgment decreed that the plaintiffs were not legally obligated to obtain an unclassified use permit regardless of zoning laws and that plaintiffs could proceed with the sewage treatment plant at the designated site."

 

"On February 6, 1978, Pierce County filed notice of appeal. On June 21, 1978, following a pretrial conference, Appellate Judge Harold Petrie issued a letter (copy attached as Exhibit "A") in which he stated that he was convinced that Judge Worswick's decision would be affirmed. He indicated as follows:"

 

"....further pursuit of this appeal by the responsible officials of Pierce County will undoubtedly result in a waste of time and talents of the County's lawyers and -- in view of the financing arrangements of the project and the likelihood of a continued inflationary spiral of construction costs -- a substantial increase in the cost of the project to the taxpayers of Pierce County."

 

"On July 28, 1978 the Department of Ecology, State of Washington wrote a letter (copy attached as Exhibit "B") to the County indicating that the County should ask for removal from the 1978 grants priority list by August 15, 1978 or that the Department of Ecology would take action to release the funds to other state agencies. The letter reasoned that the County was continuing its appeal of land use case, and therefore, this action was necessary."

 

"On July 28. 1978 the United States Environmental Protection Agency wrote a letter (copy attached as Exhibit "C ") to the City and the County stating that the Alderton site was, most cost effective--$9,850,242 but that because the County was continuing its appeal of the land use case, an environmental impact statement process would commence for land treatment shortly after August 15. 1978. Land treatment cost was estimated in the letter as being $1,300,000 higher than Alderton and substantially higher than any other alternative but was required by cost effective guidelines. "

 

"Officials have stated that land treatment would be the only method (alternative) considered unless it was proven environmentally unsound.  If land treatment ultimately (approximately one year) was found environmentally unsound, officials of the EPA have stated that the various alternatives, including Alderton, would again be examined for cost effectiveness.

This would mean that on cost effectiveness the Alderton site could again be selected."

 

"In considering the question of whether or not to dismiss the appeal of the Alderton land use case, your attention is directed to the following:"

 

"(a) Judge Petrie's letter which states the decision of Judge Worswick will be affirmed and the County should dismiss its appeal.

(b) The letters of EPA and DOE which indicate that a continuation of the appeal will cause a loss of allocated sums of monies set aside for an approved project, and further, that the priority for treating these wage will change to land treatment, which alternative (or possibly some other alternative if land treatment is environmentally unsound) may be funded if it appears the project will commence in 1979.

(c) The possibility of lawsuit s for monetary damages against the County alleging breaches of the interlocal cooperation agreements.

 

"In view of the above considerations the Prosecutor's office recommends a dismissal of the appeal."  Exhibit 157

August 22, 1978 Ecology letter to Pierce County Commissioners; Westlake Tapps Interceptor Adjustment to FY 78 Project List:

"The above referenced project is not proceeding in a timely manner (it is not expected to be awarded a grant before the end of this fiscal year and therefore being removed from the FY 78 fundable portion of the project list."  Exhibit 158

February 1979:  Pierce County, City of Bonney Lake, South Hill Sewer District; Addendum III Lake Tapps Sewerage Facility Plan

"The study area is underlain by semicompacted, glacial hard-pan with low permeability that lies at a depth of 24 to 48 inches. The existence of this hardpan, the hilly topography, and a shallow groundwater table makes most sites in this area unsuitable for septic tanks."

 

"Inoperable drainfields and unbuildable parcels due to drainage limitations of the soil comprise a significant portion of the service area. Ponding leachate from drainfields has been observed at several locations throughout the City of Bonney lake."

 

"This leachate has surfaced without adequate treatment in roadside ditches and as ponding above and near the drainfield. Inadequately treated leachate has been instrumental in causing eutrophication of Lake Tapps. This is caused by excessive nutrient loadings."

 

"A definite health hazard exists. Improperly operating onsite systems are contributing to high bacteria levels encountered in service area lakes. At times, beaches of service area lakes have been closed to water sports because of coliform contamination of lake waters. Groundwater, used as the drinking water supply, for the area, is also being contaminated by septic tank leachate."

 

"The Pierce County Health Department has denied on-site disposal permits due to impermeable soils, high groundwater conditions, and topography limitations. This latter condition is due to terrain drains and pockets that flood in the winter."  Exhibit 159

February 27, 1979 Washington State Court of Appeals affirms The judgment of the trial Court."  It writes:

"In essence, it was agreed that since early 1970, Pierce County has been concerned with water-quality management in the Puyallup River Basin.  By its action, the County commissioners repudiated their actions.  Bluntly put, they reneged, and although we do not base our decision on this action, it is clear that in so doing, they jeopardized seven years of planning, study and design, during which, large sums of taxpayers' money had been spent under the supervision of Bonney Lake as the agreed-upon lead agency."

[Pierce County abandon's running sewers to Lake Tapps, citing the reduction in grant monies as the sole reason.]  Exhibit 160

 March 9, 1979 City of Bonney Lake passes Ordinance Number 454

"Whereas, the City Council of the City of Bonney Lake, Washington, deems that the public interest, welfare and convenience and the health of the inhabitants of the City require, and it is advisable, that an adequate system of sewerage be constructed and acquired."

"Whereas, the City has heretofore entered into an Interlocal Agreement with South Hill Sewer District and Pierce County whereby the parties agreed to participate in the development of a regional sewerage system serving the Lake Tapps area with the City being the "responsible authority" for such project, which agreement was executed by the City on February 23, 1977."  Exhibit 161

March 26, 1979 Interlocal Agreement for Construction and Management of Waste Water Treatment Facility. City of Bonney Lake, Pierce County, South Hill Sewer District, City of Sumner

"Whereas, the Protection Agency of the United State and the Department of Ecology of the State of Washington nave prioritized funding for a treatment facility at the aforementioned Sumner location."  Exhibit 162

January 18, 1980 Board of Pierce County Commissioners Signs final Intergovernmental Contract for Wastewater Facilities Management

"Bonney Lake, as the lead agency; has through the adoption of the approved facility plan provided for the Count;, the division of these costs and the time frame in which the County must participate in order to continue a timely program of development. Following application of 75% Federal Grant Share und 15% State Grant Share, Pierce County's proportion of participation in the remainder of the cost has been established as follows"

"In accordance with the County's commitment to participate in this program in anticipation future sewerage needs in the County areas surrounding Lake Tapps, Bonney Lake and South Hill Sewer District, it is suggested that the Board consider at this time the advisability of authorizing the 1980 sale of General Obligation Bonds in an amount of approximately 1170,000 to finance the immediate obligation shown above for the y ears of 1979 and 1980, as detailed This leaves a remainder of approximately $475,000 to be raised by the same General Obligation Bond authorization method in late 1980 or early 1981 to complete this project."  Exhibit 163

March 17, 1980 Sewer Consultant Botch to Director of Pierce County Public Works Department "an updated estimate for West Lake Tapps sewer connection costs...":

"Connection Charge....................................................  $465.50"  Exhibit 164


February 6, 1981 
Tacoma Pierce County Health letter to Pierce County Public Works, On-Site Sewage Disposal Status in the "Lake Tapps" Area:

 

"The purpose of this letter is to assess the status of on-site sewage disposal, in the Lake Tapps area from the West Tapps Hwy North to the King-Pierce County boundary,"

 

"The soils in this area consist mainly of Alderwood Gravelly Sandy Loam. The soil conservation manual states, "in areas of moderate to high population, on-site sewage disposal systems often fail or do not function properly during periods of high rainfall..... " The reason for the premature failures are the restrictive layers of weakly cemented and and compacted referred to as glacial till or in the extreme, hardpan. The water table perches above this layer during periods of heavy rainfall causing failures or potential ground water pollution, The Lake Tapps area universally, is underlaid by this compacted strata often in the upper four feet of the soil. These marginal soil conditions have limited the area for development using on-site sewage disposal. careful and often costly engineering is being utilized at this time to improve the wastewater treatment, but it is not a panacea for all the problems."

 

"Throughout this area, in particular; the Lakeridge Subdivisions, Deer Island, Driftwood Point, and Tacoma Point, the los were platted a number of years ago. Lot sizes are inadequate in instances. Often, after the homes are built and the initial system is put in, no room is available for replacement in the event of failures. In many cases, sewage effluent is surfacing or running into roadside ditches creating a nuisance and potential health hazard."

 

"A special area of concern is the water quality in lake Tapps itself. Dense development along the shoreline has caused us to focus our attention on effluent traveling along compacted layers and into the lake without adequate treatment. Data on the quality of lake Tapps is limited, but tray be an area which should be studied. The value of this lake front or view property has escalated considerably.  The trend of those purchasing lots is to built larger dwellings which decrease usable absorption area and generally increase the waste water flows, thus, magnifying the problems."

 

"The close proximity of King County  makes the potential for future growth significant. We feel, municipal sewers would well serve this area, freeing a large amount of previously unsuitable property for development and thus, returning it to the tax rolls."

 

"It is our opinion that careful study of this area should be made in light of the potential growth of the area and the marginal soils."  Exhibit 165


March 9, 1981  West Lake Tapps Sewer District, News Update

 

"The FHA has said it will not insure loans for the sale of property on Driftwood Point as of September 1980. Most of the property is sold FHA."

"Construction has been curtailed for the lack of perk tests - only winter tests are being, done. Eight have been tried this winter and all have failed."  Exhibit 166


March 31, 1981
West Lake Tapps Sewer--Public Meeting

 

"In the absence of a representative from the Health Department Mr. Hagestad read from 2 letters sent to the Department of Utilities; 1) regarding the septic tank disposal systems now being used by the nearly 2.000 homes With nearly 7.000 people living in the area and 2) from the City of Puyallup regarding effects of septic tank effluent into Lake Tapps and its resulting degradation of their main source of water supply."  Exhibit 167

March 31, 1981, West Lake Tapps-Public Meeting:

"Read Health Dept. letter and City of Puyallup letter regarding effects of septic tank effluent into Lake Tapps and its resulting degradation of their main source of water supply." Exhibit 168

 

April 1, 1981 City of Bonney Lake, City Attorney, to Pierce County Utilities Director

 

"I enjoyed your presentation to the citizens of West Lake Tapps at the Lake 'Tapps elementary school on the evening of March 31, 1981. It was gratifying to see that the County is taking at least some steps to complete the Lake Tapps Sewer Project."

"I would appreciate being kept informed regarding your progress, if any, with the West Lake Tapps ULID. Inasmuch as the sewer project has as its objective the betterment of the water quality of Lake Tapps, we are always hopeful that our neighbors in the County will take steps through their elected representative to solve their sewage problems."  Exhibit 169


April 7, 1981 Pierce County  Public Works Director, letter to City of Bonney Lake

 

"I appreciated your letter regarding my presentation to the citizens of West Lake Tapps. You may be sure that Pierce County has always had concerns about the need for a sewer project in that area."  Exhibit 170

April 8, 1981 Citizens around lake Tapps form West Lake Tapps Steering Committee

"After confirming that there is enough interest shown from the open meeting of March 31, 1981 at the school to justify further exploration. we discussed feedback from the community. Mr. Hagestad is willing to assist us in any way he can to secure help from State/Federal or local agencies, but we must have a representative organization who represent the various improvement clubs or maintenance corporations with whom he can work."  Exhibit 171

 

 April 27, 1981  Department of Housing and Urban Development, Inquiry Concerning HUD/FHA Policies in Marginal Septic Tank Areas

 

"In all cases where septic tanks are used, HUD/FHA policy is to request a review by the local health department. They will provide information as to current condition and any history of failures in the immediate area. In instances where the system has failed and evidence exists that sewage effluence is surfacing, the property will be ineligible for FHA mortgage insurance. In marginal septic tank areas such as Lake Tapps, the possibility of failure increases as the population density increases."  Exhibit 178


April 29, 1981  Steering Committee Sewer Project Minutes
 

"A letter from Jane Hedges, Environmental Health Specialist, from the Pierce County Health Dep't. was submitted for our records. This letter recounts the poor soil conditions, the small lots, building of increasingly larger homes which decrease usable absorption area, the potential future growth of the area. General discussion around the room recounted various problems known to us. It was suggested we prepare and send out a questionnaire to be returned listing certain conditions."


"Sandy Anderson reported on her talk with Chief Appraiser, Max Rice, who confirmed the claim that FHA was not approving some loans in the Lake Tapps area, particularly Driftwood Point and a few in Lakeridge. The application is automatically turned down on an individual basis, but the applicant can renegotiate if health department officials inspect and assures the septic tank functions properly. Sandy will submit this statement for documentation. Some lots arc too small to permit room for an adequate drainfield so are permitted to use the greenbelt."


"Whereas, he preservation of Lake Tapps as a recreation facility in Pierce County requires that every action be taken to preserve the water quality by eliminating pollution of Lake Tapps."

 

Whereas, the increase of 63-1/2% in the population during the past ten years in the area which is totally dependent upon on-site sewage disposal for wastewater has resulted in the increased instances of failures.  Marginal soil conditions contribute to contaminated runoff from drainfields."

 

"Whereas, an increase in coliform and bacteria counts in the lake water and evidence of sedimentation increase from algae on the bottom when the water is down is significant.  When the flumes are closed, preventing normal flow of water in and out of the lake, this may contribute to fungus infections in swimmers."

 

"Whereas, the lack of adequate soil drainage for successful perk tests has severely restricted the ability to develop properties which are otherwise suitable for building sites.  HUD/FHA has requested a review of all septic tank systems where loans are requested.  In instances where the system has failed and evidence exists that sewage effluence is surfacing, the property will be ineligible for FHA mortgage insurance. (Letter to Public Works Department April 27, 1981).

 

"Whereas, pollution of drinking water in the City of Puyallup is possible due to increased coliform counts in 80% of their source, Salmon Springs, which flows from aquifers under the Lake Tapps area.  (Letter of June 13, 1980)."

 

"Whereas, because of restrictions placed upon residents living on marginal property and without means of replacing drainfields, our market values are not keeping pace with surrounding values." 
 

Attached Letter from Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.  "The failure of a septic tank disposal system to operate is ordinarily due to insufficient length of drain tile, or improper installations, such as placing drain tile directly in an impervious soil, driving over drainfields or locating drainfields in "pockets" with no surface drainage."

 

"The Lake Tapps area is classified as "restrictive soil" for septic tanks because of the underlying hardpan."

 

"Important:  One of the most frequent causes of drainfield failures is excessive "peak loading" by washing machine use.  Where more than one washing a day is necessary, the sue should be spread through the day, especially during the rainy season."   Exhibit 179

 
June 1, 1981  Lake Tapps Improvement Association, To All Residence of the North and West Lake Tapps Unincorporated Area  Association sends out questionnaire approved by the Pierce County Public Works Department regarding septic systems

 

"We know that the longer we wait, the more pollution is apt to enter the lake and the more it will cost to correct the problem. We have more and more septic tank failures all the time. The above funding is available for our use. If we fail to take advantage it, the monies will go to other areas."   Exhibit 172

June 12, 1981 ramsPierce County sends letter to West Lake Tapps Property Owners; Lake Tapps Sewer System Information. "

"This system could be available for service in 1982, about 11/2 years away:"

 

"Pierce County through a State and Federal grant combination is only paying 10% of the cost of the interceptor and the treatment plant expansion portion to serve Lake Tapps. This means that a sewage collection system could be constructed through the means of a Utility Local Improvement District to utilize the system being built by 90% Federal/State grant funds. The County is paying approximately $650,000 for this trunk and treatment plant system, which would mean that for the approximate 2,000 property owners in Lake Tapps, that portion of their sewage system costs would be less than $500 each. The cost for a sewage collection system would be paid in addition through the formation of a ULID with property owners allowed 20 years to pay the $500 plus the collection costs."

"The sewer system is proposed as the only permanent solution to the wastewater disposal problem increasing because of the population expansion on the west side of Lake Tapps."

"Pierce County's Health Department indicated that building sites are seldom approved for new septic tank installations."

"FHA has expressed concern about guaranteeing loans in the future in this area without an acceptable sewage disposal system.  Many existing systems are showing increased failure rates." Exhibit 173

June 16, 1981 City of Bonney Lake Mayor, John Pedroso, Speech

"This action causes grave concern to the City as it seriously jeopardizes the completion of the Lake Tapps Sewerage System. Bonney Lake desperately needs an operating sewer system to correct the septic tank pollution problems affecting the health of the populace and the water quality of local lakes.   The City's water system is experiencing a growth rate of 12 percent a year and significant industrial growth is proposed This growth is contributing to the already severe pollution problem. The Lake Tapps project is necessary to prevent further water quality degradation in local lakes and to safeguard human health."

"Completion of our sewer project is of the utmost importance." Exhibit 174

June 30, 1981  Sewer Questionnaire for Lake Tapps Results:

"All areas except Island 21 and Deer Island indicated problems such as improper absorption of effluent in the drainfield, water standing during wet weather, noticeable runoff into the lake, odor of sewage in roadside ditches and restrictions in use of sanitary facilities."

 

"56.4% of those returning survey questionnaires expressed the opinion that the sewage disposal problems of the area justify installation of a sewage disposal system to preserve the environment and the property values of the community."

 

"The results of the survey, information from the Pierce County Planning Department concerning population growth, and from the Health Department concerning marginal soil conditions, plus the chance that bacterial invasion into drinking water sources of nearby communities indicate a definite need to pursue the matter further."

 

"The Steering Committee is therefore preparing a Resolution to present to the County Council outlining the problems and requesting a study of alternatives and costs of a sanitary sewer system. This study will enable the property owners of the area to make an informed decision as to whether or not they desire the formation of a Utility Local Improvement District."

 

"A public meeting of the concerned residents of the community will be set sometime in September to report progress and to hear your comments. In the meantime, questions or input should be directed to members of the Steering Committee listed below, or to the officers of your local improvement clubs." Exhibit 175

July 20, 1981, Washington State Governor, John Spellmen, writes to the Mayor of Bonney Lake, John Pedroso.  "In checking with the Washington State Department of Ecology (WDOE), I found that the Bonney Lake project has a very high commitment for funding;  I understand that you are the fifth highest priority project in the entire state."   Exhibit 176

July 20, 1981, Washington State Governor, John Spellmen, writes to the Mayor of Bonney Lake, John Pedroso

"In checking with the Washington State Department of Ecology (WDOE), I found that the Bonney Lake project has a very high commitment for funding;  I understand that you are the fifth highest priority project in the entire state."   Exhibit 176

August 1981: Lake Tapps Improvement Association  Proposed Resolution To Go To the County Council

"Be it resolved the the membership of the Lake Tapps Improvement Association along with the Tacoma Point Improvement Club, the Driftwood Point Maintenance Company and the West Tapps Maintenance Company, as well as Bankers Island, Deer Island, and Island 21, do hereby request that the Pierce County Council implement the undertaking of a study required to determine the costs and feasibility of installing a sanitary sewer system in the West Lake Tapps area of the County."

 

"The reasons for seeking this study include the following:  Whereas, the preservation of Lake Tapps as a recreation facility in Pierce County requires that every action be taken to preserve the water quality by eliminating pollution of Lake Tapps." 

 

"Whereas, the increase of 63-1/2% in the population during the past 10 years in the area which is totally dependent upon on-site sewage disposal tor wastewater has resulted in the increased instances of failures. Marginal soil conditions contribute to contaminated runoff from drainfields. Projected population growth for the year 2000 is 350% increased over 1970, 190% increased over 1980. (Documented by figures from the Pierce County Planning Department)"

 

"Whereas, an increase in coliform and bacteria counts in the lake water and evidence of sedimentation increase from algae on the bottom when the Water is down is significant. When the flumes are closed, preventing normal flow of water in and out of the lake, this may contribute to fungus infections in swimmers."

 

"Whereas, the lack of adequate soil drainage for successful perk tests has severely restricted the ability to develop properties which are otherwise suitable for building sites. HUD/FHA has requested a review of all septic tank systems where loans are requested. In instances where the system has failed and evidence exists that sewage effluence is surfacing, the property will be ineligible for FHA mortgage insurance. (Letter to Public Works Dep't. April 27, 1981.)"
 

"Whereas, pollution of drinking water in the City of Puyallup is possible due to increased coliform counts in 80% of their source, Salmon Springs, which flows from aquifers under the Lake Tapps area. (Letter of June 13, 1980. )"

 

"Whereas, because of restrictions placed upon residents living on marginal property and without means of replacing drainfields, our market values are not keeping pace with surrounding values."

 

"Therefore, it is requested that the Pierce County Council take immediate action to implement a study of alternatives and costs of a sanitary sewer system in the West Lake Tapps area in order to provide suitable cost information for property owners to consider formation of a Utility Local Improvement District to install a sewer system."  Exhibit 177

February 2, 1982, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

"The accelerated growth of the Bonney Lake area combined with poor soil conditions for adequate septic tank functioning has lead to this project.  There is concern over septic tank leakage contamination of groundwater and of the lakes in the area.  Surfacing septic tank effluent also poses a health problem, therefore, the Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE) rated this project high on its priority list." Exhibit 180

May 20, 1982: Department of Ecology review of grant money options to Bonney Lake. 

"The State is prepared to offer a 75 percent grant to Bonney Lake to continue the project.   Pierce County has informed Bonney Lake that they are unable to share in the local costs of a 75 percent grant as opposed to a 90 percent funding situation."  Exhibit 181

October 18, 1982: Ecology to Mayor of Bonney Lake advising it of Ecology's Referendum 39 grant offer for "your sewage treatment plant" for 75% of the cost a sewage treatment plant

"Federal 201 - Signed contract when Federal funds available.  Funding arrangements 90 percent of the TEC." Exhibit 182

December 1, 1983  Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) writes Bonney Lake's mayor, Whisler.  It advises the Mayor that the

"City's grant of $11 million will be canceled if the City of Bonney Lake has not contractually obligated itself to complete the scope of work described in the grant by March 1, 1984.  We are concurrently notifying our enforcement office that there is a high likelihood this project will not proceed to completion and they should take whatever steps necessary to prevent degradation of the surface and ground water quality in Bonney Lake."  Exhibit 183

April 20, 1983, Puyallup River Basin, Letter to Pierce County Council

"The Review Committee resolved that the Lake Tapps area should be sewered and supports the Bonney Lake Wastewater Treatment Facility as a means of doing so."  Exhibit 184

April 20, 1983, U.S. EPA writes to the Mayor for the City of Bonney Lake, John Pedroso

"It has come to our attention that the City of Bonney Lake may be considering not completing its sewer project."

"As you know, the sewer project was originally conceived to correct failing septic tanks contributing to pollution of Lake Tapps.  At this time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has contributed $3.8 million to assist correct this problem and the Washington Department of Ecology has contributed $760,000.  An additional $5-million has been contributed by the Economic Development Administration (EDA)."

"Failure to carry this project to completion would have serious environmental as well as economic consequences.  Problems with Lake Tapps and failing septic tanks would not be corrected and could actually get worse."  Exhibit 185

June 13, 1983 EPA writes Mayor John Anderson of Bonney Lake

"We continue to receive information that indicates the City of Bonney Lake may be considering not completing its sewer project.  I have written concerning this matter previously, but am writing again to make EPA's position clear for you and the people of Boney Lake who will be affected by this decision."

"As you know, the sewer project was originally conceived to correct failing septic tanks, some of which were contributing to pollution of Lake Tapps, and others creating localized health problems.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has contributed $3.8 million to assist in correcting this problem and the Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE) has contributed $760,000.  An additional $5-million has been contributed by Economic Development Administration (EDA)."

"We understand that the City's estimate for completing the project, using the State's criteria, is $5.5 million.  This would provide a new sewage treatment plant for the city.  Cost to the City would be a total of $4,260,000 and the environmental problem would still be there."  Exhibit 186

August 10, 1983  Environmental Protection Agency writes Bonney Lake Mayor Carle Whisler and demands:

"repayment of $3,458,118 in grant monies.  Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE) have encouraged the City to complete the project, which so far has cost more than $9 million.  Completion of the project would assure that this capital investment was not wasted and that the outstanding water quality and public health needs for the project would be resolved."  Exhibit 187

August 31 1983:  U.S. EPA writes to Pierce County Councilmember Moore on the need for sewers to Lake Tapps:

"A review of the rating list for this project indicates that the rating was based on excessive coliform bacteria, algae, slime, bacterial growth, aesthetics and for potential human contact with sewage due to failure of septic tanks."  Exhibit 188

October 5 1983 Economic Development Administration (EDA) sends letter to the City of Bonney Lake:

"Please advise me concerning the City's plan to complete the portion of the sewer project funded by EDA as well as its plans for completing the entire system."

"I wish to point out that the award of the EDA grant for this project was based on the request by duly elected officials and was predicated upon the anticipation of completion of the entire systems.  Your failure to complete the project would result in the waste of Federal tax dollars.  Accordingly, if the City persists in its refusal to complete the project, I will order an immediate and thorough audit of the project  EDA will also take whatever actions it deems appropriate to limited to recovery of all or part of the $3,732,235.25 previously disbursed on this project." Exhibit 189

June 14, 1984  Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney to Environmental Protection Agency: 

"Pierce County intends to resist the motion of Bonney Lake for the inclusion of Pierce County as third party defendant in the Appellate proceedings before the Environmental Protection Agency." Exhibit 190

June 14, 1984  Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney to Environmental Protection Agency: 

"This will advise of the decision of Pierce County to withdraw its request to participate in the instant grant appeal pending before the Board of Assistance Appeals."  Exhibit 191

June 29, 1984  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to its Board of Appeals supporting the EPA's position to have Pierce County joined as a third party defendant for repayment of grant monies

"EPA views the interlocal agreement between Bonney Lake/Pierce County to run sewers to Lake Tapps as a joint venture.  "A joint venture such as that created here by the interlocal agreements is in the nature of a partnership."   EPA adds, "Pierce County simply cannot assume it can thumb its nose at this proceeding and then be able to have these issues reheard." Exhibit 192

July 3, 1984  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency responds to Grant Appeal of Bonney Lake to Bonney Lake and Pierce County

"As I have informed you both on several occasions, the Region's position is that completion of the Lake Tapps Sewer Project is necessary to avoid serious environmental problems which could affect the health and welfare of the residents of the area. Completion of the sewer project would help ensure that the water quality of Lake Tapps and public health are protected. Project completion would also avoid waste of the sizable capital investment already made. Region 10 has made every effort possible to cooperate with Bonney Lake and Pierce County in reaching a solution which will require completion of the Lake Tapps Sewer Project. We sincerely hope that those efforts have not been made in vain."  Exhibit 193

"The  U.S. EPA maintains it is willing to "enter into a preliminary agreement to agree which must be signed by all parties to the renewed Lake Tapps Sewer Project no later than July 16, 1984 to avoid the repayment of grant monies given to the City of Bonney Lake and Pierce County to run sewers to Lake Tapps.  1.  Statement of commitment from all parties to the renewed sewer project which express the parties intent to complete construction of and operate the sewer project."  Exhibit 194

July 11, 1984  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency enters an Order joining Pierce County to an additional party to the EPA's attempt to recover $3,458,118 in grant monies issued to Bonney Lake/Pierce County to run sewers to Lake Tapps

"EPA looks at Bonney Lake's alleges the Lake Tapps Sewage Treatment project failed because of Pierce County's breach of certain interlocal agreements, the Board would have the authority to modify the Regional Administrator's final decision and require Pierce County and not Bonney Lake to return the grant funds."   Exhibit 195

July 17, 1984 Pierce County Council approved Resolution R84-159; Resolution of the Pierce County Council, Declaring Pierce County's Intent to Complete Construction of the Lake Tapps Sewer System, Conditioned Upon Participation By Other Governmental Units:

"WHEREAS, Pierce County based its refusal to proceed with the sewer project on a decrease in funding from ninety percent (90%) of the eligible costs, under combined grant funding by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA) and the State of Washington, department of Ecology (DOE) to funding of seventy-five percent (75%) of eligible costs, under Washington Referendum 39; and"

 

"WHEREAS, the EPA administratively annulled the design and construction grants in August, 1983, for the project, requiring Bonney Lake to return $3,500,000.00 in grants previously awarded to and spent by the City, as lead agency; and"

 

"BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of Pierce County:

 

Section 1. Pierce County hereby pledges a good ,faith effort to complete the Lake Tapps Sewage Treatment facilities on a regional basis, including an expanded sewage treatment plant located at Sumner, Washington."  Exhibit 196

 
July 17, 1984 Pierce County Appeal of EPA's decision to join Pierce County in repayment of grants, Witness Statements:
 

"I . HAROLD HAGESTAD Mr. Hagestad was the Utilities Director for Pierce County from the formation of the utility in 1967 and, therefore, was responsible for all sewer utility matters until Mr. Roy Peterson was hired in 1978. Mr. Hagestad remained with the sewer utility until his retirement in 1983."


"He would be expected to testify, if called, on the following matters:


( a) He would testify on the history of the project from the point of view of the Pierce County utilities Department, which is responsible for planning, designing, operating and maintaining all sanitary sewer facilities owned by Pierce County under RCW 36.94."

 

"(b) He would testify on the need for sanitary sewers in the unincorporated areas of Pierce County adjacent to the City of Bonney Lake and in the vicinity of Lake Tapps."

 

"(g) He would testify that, through his familiarity with the project, he had a good faith doubt as to Bonney Lake's financial capability and political ability from a voter-approval standpoint to complete this sewer project as the lead agency."

 

"II. ROY H. PETERSON, Jr. Mr. Peterson was the Assistant Director of Public Works for Utilities with Pierce County from 1978 until 1983. In that position he was responsible for managing the sewer utility of Pierce County. Mr. Hagestad worked directly under Mr. Peterson during those years."

 

"(e) He will testify that, through his familiarity with the project, he had a good faith doubt that the City of Bonney Lake could have completed this project at any time given the financial restrictions and the political realities in the City of Bonney Lake."

 

"(g) He will conclude that the reason for the County's withdrawal from the project was solely related to the unanticipated cancellation of 90% grants and the reduction of out-standing funding to 75%."

 

"III. BEVERLY TWEDDLE Mrs. Tweddle is currently an assistant to Booth Gardner, the Pierce County Executive. Prior to being named to that position in 1983, she was an Administrative Assistant for the Utilities Department for approximately 7 years."

 

"( b) Based upon her familiarity with the project through discussions with Messrs. Peterson and Hagestad, she will testify as to her opinion that the City of Bonney Lake had neither the financial capability nor the political acceptance of the people of Bonney Lake for this sewer project at any time."

 

"IV. BOOTH GARDNER Booth Gardner is the elected County Executive for Pierce County and has served in that capacity since May 1, 1981. As County Executive, he became familiar with the Bonney Lake sewer project after taking office."

 

"He will testify, if called by Pierce County, as follows: (a) He will testify that Pierce County withdrew from the project primarily because of the termination of 90% federal and state funded water pollution control grants.  He believed Pierce County should fulfill its good faith commitment to complete the project."

 

"(c) During the time of his familiarity with the project, he had a good faith doubt as to the financial capability of Bonney Lake to complete the project as lead agency."  Exhibit 197

 
July 18, 1984 Bonney Lake letter to EPA, Letter of Intent to Execute Preliminary Agreement:
 

"This letter is intended to advise both of you that the Pierce County Council has now passed a resolution, which has been approved by the Pierce County Executive, authorizing the County sewer utility to continue to completion the Bonney Lake area sewer project. Pierce County proposes that the project be completed with Bonney Lake as the lead agency by constructing interceptors to the City of Sumner treatment plant, which would be expanded as a part of the project." Exhibit 198

July 20th, 1984  Pierce County and Bonney Lake sign an out of court settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

"The parties shall enter into a Preliminary Agreement no later than September 3, 1984. The Preliminary Agreement shall include, at a minimum, the following: (1) Statements of commitment from all project participants, including the City, County and City of Sumner, that the participants intend to complete construction of and operate the Lake Tapps Sewer Project. The statements shall be subject to approval by the Region." Exhibit 200


September 4, 1984
Pierce County passes

 

"a resolution of the City of Bonney Lake and Pierce County pledging themselves to complete the project." Exhibit 201

January 11, 1985 Ecology sends a letter to Pierce County Health Department notifying them

"Ecology investigated a call about a failing drainfield at Lake Tapps.  I investigated and noted a twelve-inch concrete pipe that was causing a white growth on the bottom of the lake.  I used a field kit for MBAS on the discharge.  The test was positive.  This pipe was placed by the county some time ago to direct storm water from the highway.  It also appears to collect drainfield water from the immediate area.  During major storm events, the pipe appears to carry a lot of drainfield water."  Exhibit 202

September 21, 1990; Ecology transmits a letter to the Pierce County Executive, Joe Stortini.  Ecology notifies Stortini that:

"approximately $20 Million in Federal Wastewater Construction Grant Funds must be obligated in grant awards to local governments by September 30, 1990 or it will be lost to the state for use as grant funds.  A project for an interceptor to provide sewer service for West Lake Tapps was rated and ranked on the Federal Wastewater Construction Grant Program's FY 90 Final Project Priority List that was published on September 15, 1989."

"Based on our most current information, the project is not ready to proceed with construction." 

"The Federal Wastewater Construction Grants Program is now being phased out with limited remaining funds.  All federal grant funds must be obligated by September 30, 1991." 

"As you may know, the Centennial Clean Water Fund (CCWF) Program is also administered by Ecology and can provide grants for 50 percent of eligible wastewater project costs."  Exhibit 203

February 15, 1991  City of Auburn relating to Lake Tapps Estates (Tapps Island) to Pierce County Planning Department

"As you are aware the City of Auburn has expressed concerns about the proposed project and the potential irreversible adverse impacts it could have on groundwater and thus, a major source of our City's drinking water supply."

"The increasing trend of nitrate concentrations in Auburn's Coal Creek Springs is statistically significant."

"Our understanding that the proposed project is planning to use conventional soil infiltration systems which does not constitute "....all known, available, and reasonable methods of prevention, control, and treatment prior to entry."

"As we have stated on other occasions, the protection of our water supply is crucial; contamination is irreversible."    Exhibit 204

February 28, 1991 Ecology reviews the independent consultants report to develop Tapps Island, Analysis of Potential Septic System Impacts to Groundwater on the Lake Tapps Upland.  Ecology gives County (4) options because:

"mitigation measures should be seriously considered for the development of rural communities in areas vulnerable to ground water contamination, especially in Wellhead protection Areas.   The four options include

1. Construct or link up to a regional sewer system. 
2. Require all new subdivision development to install small package wastewater treatment plants (with full time operator).
3. Require on-site disposal to be limited to either non-discharging systems , or systems which will treat the discharge to meet the Ground Water Quality Standard (i.e., composting toilets with discharging grey water.)
4.  Determine a septic density specifically for each area based on site specific characteristics."   
Exhibit 205


March 8, 1991
EPA requested by the Washington Department of Health, Environmental Health Program to review the methodology and conclusions of Analysis of Potential Septic System Impacts to Groundwater on the Lake Tapps Upland.   The report was prepared by an independent consultant, Robinson and Noble at the request of a Tapps Island developer.
 

"Pierce County has chosen a non-conservative minimum lot-size requirement for septic tanks, and will thus need to thoroughly evaluate many requests for on-site sewage systems in order to protect water quality." 

"High-quality hydrogeologic reports may be expensive and time consuming to produce.  Consultant's reports should be critically evaluated by qualified professionals who work for the responsible regulatory agency."  Exhibit 206

March 18, 1991 Pierce County Planning Department requests help from Department of Ecology for Tapps Island Development

"Following our conversation on March 13, 1991, I understand that the Department of Ecology does not wish to make this determination.  Pierce County Planning must make a decision on whether the on-site septic systems proposed for this subdivision are likely to cause a significant adverse environmental impact.  Therefore, we would appreciate it if the Department of Ecology could assist us in making this determination."   Exhibit 207

March 19, 1991  Ecology internal memo concerning the City of Auburn's concern that the development of Lake Tapps Estates (Tapps Island) will contaminate Auburn's wells

"Coal Creek Springs is a major source of the City of Auburn's water supply.  Therefore, the City of Auburn is greatly concerned about possible ground water degradation and impacts to their water supply." 

"Ecology conducted a joint site investigation with Bill Creveling and Brad Horp of TPCH." 
Exhibit 208

March 19, 1991 Ecology transmits its comments on the Analysis of Potential Septic System Impacts to Ground Water on the Lake Tapps Upland.

"On January 17, 1991, Ecology and TPCH staff conducted a field investigation in the north-central portion of the proposed Lake Tapps development.  Area consists of heavy vegetation, trees and wetlands in the low area of development between Lots 29 through 77.  We examined eight test holes between Lots 29-33.  We were not able to inspect Lots 72-77 because they were under water."

"Five of the eight test holes contained water.  The three dry holes were located 25-30 feet from standing surface water.  In some areas, ground water in the test pits were within 6 inches of the ground surface."

"The Robinson and Noble Report did not address this section of the development which we found to be unsuitable for on-site sewage systems." 

"The proposed Lake Tapps Upland development is in a hydraulically-sensitive area being located upland from Coal Creek Springs which is a major water supply source for a neighboring city."

"Recommendations

1. Require the developer to install community septic systems with ground water monitoring plans.

2. Place restrictions on lot sizes for on-site systems.

3. In the county is going to allow the area to be developed, consider installing sewer lines to the area and pipe effluent to the nearest sewage treatment plant.

4. Have the area identified as a Special Protection Area."    Exhibit 209

June 12, 1991 City of Auburn request the Pierce County Hearing Examiner "to reconsider your decision on the Preliminary Plat of "Lake Tapps Estates." 

"The City of Auburn has since May 21, 1990 expressed concerns to Pierce County with regard to this project."

"It is historically apparent that the City is extremely interested in this project, primarily with the concerns of impact to water quality.  Yet, the City of Auburn was not given a formal notice of the public hearing on the preliminary plat.  It would seem from our interest that the City should have been properly notified of the hearing."

"The City did not become aware of the hearing until 4:23 p.m. May 13, 1991.  At that time, David Swindale, Pierce County Planning, left a phone message.  Since the hearing was at 10:31 a.m. May 15, 1991 there was not time for all parties to prepare."    Exhibit 210 

July 6, 1992 Ecology transmits a letter to Pierce County Hearing Examiner, Stephen Causseaux requesting he reverse "the mitigated determination of nonsignificance until a detailed hydrogeologic investigation of the proposed site has been adequately performed."  The Hearing Examiner approved the 103 lot development on Tapps Island.

"The applicant has not substantiated their claims.  If the burden is on the applicant to establish that there will be no ground water degradation, then that demonstration has not been made.  The prudent approach would be to require an investigation to adequately determine the potential impacts or require more substantial mitigative measures.  The mitigative requirement to use pre-drain sand filters with each system will not reduce the contaminant loading to the aquifer with respect to chemical contaminants, only biological contaminants.  It is equally important to protect the ground water from chemical contamination." 

It is true that the Department of Ecology does not have jurisdiction over residential on-site sewage systems, however, Ecology does have the responsibility to protect ground water quality statewide.  Therefore, these comments are relevant and should be given further consideration." 

"It is more cost effective to prevent ground water contamination from occurring rather than to remediate ground water after contamination has already occurred.  A proactive approach is necessary to protect ground water since discharges from residences are not easily redirected, reduced or eliminated once ground water contamination has occurred."     Exhibit 211

June 16, 1995  Pierce County Planning Land Services Department Memorandum East Lake Tapps Sewer Amendment

"In addition, sewers can no longer be extended into the rural areas of Pierce County. Both the Pierce County County-Wide Planning Policies and the Pierce County Comprehensive Plan set forth this requirement."

 

"The provision of urban services and accompanying population growth to this area would

have a number of potentially adverse environmental impacts. The existing  transportation system is inadequate to accommodate the growth which the East Lake Basin amendment would spawn."

 

"Some prime agricultural lands would be converted to other uses, in conflict with Comprehensive Plan policies which require preservation of important agricultural lands."

 

"The development of the area could have significant impacts on surface and groundwater quality. Important fish and wildlife habitat could also be threatened, including the White River elk herd. The Muckleshoot tribe has expressed great concerns over urban development in this area because of the potential impacts to fish and wildlife habitat and water quality."

 

"In summary, to consider providing sewer service within this basin area will allow for increased densities that will, in turn, create increased demand for other urban facilities and services which will result in significant changes to the environment."  Exhibit 212

April 7, 1998  Pierce County Public Works and Utilities, Memorandum: Lake Tapps Facilities Plan: Federal Grant Responsibilities

"As requested, attached is a chronological outline of the history surrounding the Lake Tapps Facilities Plan, Amendments, and subsequent Inter-local Agreements. The outline contains no conclusions, only factual information. The outline was originally created in an attempt to answer the question, "In accepting federal funds in the development of the Lake Tapps Facilities Plans and related construction projects (EPA Construction Grants) is Pierce County mandated to provide sewer service to those areas within the 1984 Inter-local Agreement Area?"

"The outline was compiled from existing Pierce County Sewer Utility correspondence files and project files. The "official" files which were maintained by the Department's legal counsel, were destroyed as part of a routine record purge. I was able to obtain additional copies of documents through Gray & Osborne, one of the engineering firms working on the project at the time."

"Transmitted with this document are the attachments noted within the outline. A separate file named "Lake Tapps: EPA Grants" contains additional documentation used to create the outline."  Exhibit 213

April 1990 

"The future of Lake Tapps was threatened when Puget Sound Energy (PSE) suggested it would have to close down hydroelectric operations due to financial handcuffs proposed during re-licensing of the White River.  Without a new source of revenue, the utility said it would have to abandon its permit to operate its hydroelectric plant that uses diverted White River water, a move that eventually could drain much of the popular lake."  Exhibit 214

May 1999

"PSE needs a subsidy of $3 million annually to keep the project going.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Washington subsidize the project until a solution is found."  Exhibit 215

May 05, 2000: Department of Ecology/Senator Pam Roach e-mail, House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Lake Tapps.  Exhibit 216

June 20, 2000, Department of Ecology, Lake Tapps Water Supply Proposal:

"Were the Project to be retired, the reservoir would no longer be filled, and the waters of "Lake Tapps" would recede to their natural state.  This would result in an approximately 40-foot reduction of the lake level."

"If the project were to be retired, the Corps would need to immediately invest upwards of $30 million to provide an alternative method of fish passage for Mud Mountain Dam."

"The Pierce County Assessor's Office has estimated that retirement of the Project, and the corresponding loss of the reservoir, would result in a diminished value of properties around the reservoir in amounts of somewhere between $130 million to $180 million.  This substantial loss of tax revenue would negatively affect local and regional public services."

"Operation of the project maintains water quality in the reservoir.  Were the Project to be retired, many of the residential communities surrounding Lake Tapps would need to modify septic systems, or in some cases, construct sewers.  Costs associated with construction sewers to serve these residents are unknown but could be in the tens of millions of dollars."

"The reservoir also provides substantial aquifer recharge for nearby communities that rely upon the aquifer for domestic water purposes."  Exhibit 217

July 25, 2000 Pierce County to Governor Gary Lock letter, Lake Tapps/White River and Puget Sound Energy's Potable Water Right Application.

"We formed the Lake Tapps Task Force in April 1999 in response to the possibility of losing Lake Tapps, a valuable regional resource.  Under conditions placed on the White River/Lake Tapps hydroelectric project by a proposed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license, Puget Sound Energy would lose between $35 million and $80 million over the first 20 years of operation.  It is difficult to see how PSE could justify maintaining Lake Tapps to operate with these revenue losses."  Exhibit  218

August 16, 2000:  31st District Representative Christopher Hurst and Mike Stensen; letter to Governor Gary Locke: 

"In late February 1999, the citizens of the Lake Tapps community began to work to find a solution to a real threat to their homes and businesses - the draining of the Lake Tapps reservoir." 

"At the heart is a request is an amendment to agency rule (WRIA 10) which addresses the Puyallup river basin; and a new water right.  These changes allow this proposal to move forward for further consideration.  Without these changes we will be unable to pursue this option, inhibiting the opportunity to place more water in the rivers, preserve a now established ecosystem with Lake Tapps, and potentially decimate the value to he property and industry which surrounds the Lake.  Elimination of the lake would also dramatically impact local schools and fire districts within the community which rely on current levy levels for construction and maintenance of their systems."    
Exhibit 219

August 23, 2000,  31st District Representative Christopher Hurst and Mike Stensen send letters to the Director of Ecology, Office of the Governor, Pierce County Council, Pierce County Executive and others to:

"confirm a meeting for interested parties to meet to discuss an application to the Washington State Department of Ecology for a water right.  This meeting will take place on August 29, at 2:30 PM."  Exhibit 220

August 28, 2000 Ecology Puget Sound Energy Water Right Application Briefing Paper

"Ecology informed Puget the agency does not currently have the staff to support all these activities.  Puget proposed that the company provide financial support under a cost recovery agreement.  Unfunded litigation stemming from water rights processing has remained an unresolved issue.  Even if funding were available, Ecology staff has many concerns about committing resources to this project, including:"  Exhibit 221

August 29, 2000 Director of Ecology talking points for Puget Sound Energy Water Rights Application, Key Messages

"Given the current workload and budget of the agency, we need to get our costs covered for:  Analyzing and processing Puget's application as well as those that precede it; Attorney's costs; and Rule amendment.  We need a request from the company to investigate this option further.  This is a new process for Ecology, and we are still developing protocols.  (We believe this will be costly)."  Exhibit 222

September 14, 2000: Puget Sound Energy files a petition, PETITION FOR ADOPTION, AMENDMENT, OR REPEAL OF A STATE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE RULE (RCW 34.05.330)   

"PSE requests WAC 173-510 which closed the White River system to be opened for PSE and water rights."  Exhibit 223

September 29, 2000:  Muckleshoot Tribal Administration letter to Governor Gary Locke and Joe Dear: 

"The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe has learned that you intend to speak at a public meeting Monday, October 1, 2000, and publicly support the Puget Sound Energy ("PSE") water right applications recently submitted to the Department of Ecology ("Ecology") for processing."

"Although we understand you may support the PSE proposal, we believe it is unnecessary -- and inappropriate -- for you to give any assurances prior to Ecology's proper processing of PSE's water right applications under the legal requirements of the Water Code.  We understand your empathy for the Lake Tapps residents and desires to support efforts to save the lake.  However, your public support and assurance of issuance of water rights is going too far.  We urge that you follow the correct legal process for processing water right applications and not intervene in that process or imply that the process can be avoided or truncated."

"Premature public support for PSE's proposal may have Endangered Species Act implications and consequences."  Exhibit 224

October 02, 2000: Department of Ecology, Director Thomas Fitzsimmons, Ecology internal e-mail

"Char Naylor, the water manager for the Puyallup Tribe, called about the Puget Sound Energy's soon-to-be pending application for increased water use of the Puyallup River.  The completed application is now sitting in Ecology's Office and the 30 day clock will be running soon.  The Puyallup Tribe has huge concerns about the surface water quality, water flows and the fisheries of the Puyallup river flowing through the reservation.  The Puyallups will be holding an emergency meeting on Monday and they will be faxing a letter over about noon on Monday.  Needless to say, the Puyallups are going to the wall to fight an new appropriations of water."  Exhibit 225

October 2, 2000 Puyallup Tribe letter to Governor Gary Locke; Puget Sound Energy, White River/Lake Tapps Diversion, Surface Water Permit Application No. S2-29921.

"Tom, Laurie & Sue got copies - it may come in as executive correspondence."

"Our Tribe has learned that you intend to commit the State (including the Department of Ecology) to support of the referenced water right application at a public meeting in Sumner on October 2, 2000."

"Instead, we are moving toward confrontation.  Although we have a strong governmental interest in addressing PSE's proposal and have offered intergovernmental cooperation as an alternative to litigation, we are concerned that you are about to close the door on us.  Please also understand that the Tribe considers the State, not the applicant, to be the appropriate contact for addressing intergovernmental concerns.  We wish to work with Ecology in a process that is not tainted by premature decision making or political expediency."

"The Puyallup downstream of the White is also over-appropriated and water-quality-impaired."

"We urge you to take that opportunity, not foreclose it by committing the State before either government has received enough information to take the next step."  Exhibit 226

October 3, 2000

"Governor Gary Locke announced Monday night that his office will push a single solution to save Lake Tapps without assessing property owners millions of dollars.  Locke said the state will initiate a preliminary permit process that eventually could give Puget Sound Energy, the lake's owner, the right to withdraw and sell Lake Tapps water for drinking."  Exhibit 227

October 9, 2000

"Governor Gary Locke said Monday that he had to exercise some restraint last week when he publically supported a solution to save Lake Tapps." Exhibit 228

October 10, 2000

"The Puyallup and Muckleshoot Indian Tribes are questioning why the Governor has intervened in a permitting process that the State Department of Ecology normally handles under the state water laws."  Exhibit 229

November 17, 2000:  Department of Ecology to Puget Sound Energy, Rulemaking Petition:

"This letter is in response to the Puget Sound Energy (PSE) petition for rulemaking, which was received by the Department of Ecology (Ecology) on September 19, 2000.  The petition proposes that Ecology amend Chapter 173-510 WAC to create a limited exception to WAC 173-510-040(3), which closed the White River to further consumptive appropriations."

"After carefully considering this petition, its objectives, and other alternatives for addressing those objectives, I have decided to deny the petition at this time, as provided for in RCW 34.05.330(1)(a).  This decision is based upon: 1) the unanticipated administrative costs associated with rulemaking and the need to divert staff from already prioritized activities, and 2) that we believe there is a more appropriate approach for addressing the proposal."  Exhibit  230

November 22, 2000 Department of Health Secretary to Governor Locke's Chief of Staff; "Lake Tapps Water Quality Pierce  County" Department of Health standards have long required that when a drinking water purveyor develops a new source of supply, the:

"purveyor shall obtain drinking water from the highest quality source feasible." (WAC 246-290-130).  Under the 1996 revisions to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, congress expanded this concept by including in the federal act the requirement that each state develop source water assessment & protection programs aimed at assuring that sources of drinking water are protected into the future.  The federal Environmental Protection Agency is currently developing a national strategy for source water contamination prevention that will continue to heighten focus in this area.  These regulatory expectations mirror the larger water supply industry perspective that we must constantly strive to maximize the protection of drinking water at its source." 

"The quality of water found in Lake Tapps Reservoir is affected by the residential development around the lakeshore and the recreational uses in the lake itself.  Storm water run-off from roads, roofs and yards and residential and commercial (golf course) use of herbicides and pesticides contribute chemicals and pollutants.  Failing septic systems can contribute fecal Coliform, and on-going recreational use of the lake with motor craft can contribute volatile organic compounds. As the recreational use of the reservoir grows and development continues, the water quality of Lakes Tapps will be further degraded over time.  All of these pose a significant challenge in meeting public health standards for any potential use of this water as a drinking water supply."

"Operational and Technical Challenges

If a decision is made to use Lake Tapps as a drinking water supply, it is clear that a large, state-of-the-art water treatment plant will be needed.  While technologies exist that are capable of providing treatment to just about any quality of water and make it drinkable, those technologies are costly and require a high degree of operational expertise and oversight.  We believe it is critical to consider the technical, financial, and future operational constraints as this project develops."  Exhibit 283

December 1, 2000 Department of Ecology to Muckleshoot Indian Tribe; Stay of Reserve Allocations for BOD5 and Ammonia

"One of the main purposes of the May 17, 2000, meeting was to discuss implementation of a monitoring program for dissolved oxygen to in the MOU.  Data from this monitoring would establish a baseline water quality information essential for implementing provisions of the MOU."

"Ecology and the Puyallup Tribe deployed Hydrolab continuous monitors at two sites in the Lower Puyallup River four times during August and September 2000.  Resulting date from September indicated that water quality standards for dissolved oxygen were violated on several days."
Exhibit 231

December 5, 2000 Puyallup Tribe of Indians to Governor Gary Locke; Puget Sound Energy - White River/Lake Tapps Diversion.

"On October 2, I wrote you and suggest that you not commit the State to the Puget proposal until our Tribe has had a chance to work with the Department of Ecology.  Since that letter PSE's Notice to Appropriate Public Waters was developed by the state and subsequently published by PSE in the Tacoma News Tribune on October 5 and 12, 2000."  Exhibit 232

December 15, 2000 Puget Appeals Ecology's decision not to amend Chapter 173-510 WAC to Governor Locke; Appeal of Denial of Rule Making Petition Filed by Puget Sound Energy.

"Ecology has stated that there may be an opportunity for PSE to request Ecology to process the application under the standard of 'overriding considerations of public interest.'  Based upon decisions by the Pollution Control Hearing Board and our interpretation of this legislative policy, we believe that it is not a reasonable alternative means.  See attached Pollution Control Hearings Board decision, Attachment C.  There are no established standards for applying overriding considerations of public interest, which is very narrowly applied under specific facts of each individual case.  Without further assurance that this is a viable option for PSE, it cannot be considered 'a reasonable alternative.'"  Exhibit 233

December 19, 2000 Perkins Coie/Puget Sound Energy; Puget Sound Energy, Inc.'s Petition for Rule Making and Appeal Thereof

"As you know, Puget Sound Energy, Inc., ("PSE") has appealed to the Governor the Washington State Department of Ecology ("Ecology") denial of PSE's petition for a rule making with respect to water rights in the Puyallup River Basin.  In order to resolve this appeal and allow for possible further discussion between PSE and Ecology about this matter, we have in coordination with Brian Faller, Assistant Attorney General, developed the following settlement agreement. Please mail and fax the Governor's Office and me a copy of the countersigned original if you choose to execute this letter agreement."  Exhibit 234

December 21, 2000
Washington Attorney General, Governor Locke, Department of Ecology internal email. 
 
"By now, Tom should have a fax from Perkins Coie that describes an agreement whereby Puget Sound Energy's appeal of our denial of their rulemaking petition will be dismissed.  The original should go to the Gov's Office to Everett Billingslea, and a copy back to Perkins Coie.  I will need a copy; and so will Brian Faller.  And I need to know when Tom signs it so I can communicate to others."  Exhibit 235

December 21, 2000  Perkins Coie/Puget Sound Energy; Withdrawal of Settlement Offer Regarding Appeal to Governor

"The settlement offer made by Puget Sound Energy, Inc. ("PSE"), in my letter dated December 19, 2000, faxed to you that same date is hereby withdrawn.  PSE has chosen to proceed with its appeal to the Governor.  This decision was based on the Department of Ecology's decision not to issue the preliminary permit for the Lake Tapps water rights."  Exhibit 236

January 10, 2001 Muckleshoot Indian Tribe letter to Ecology, Additional Concerns with Puget Sound Energy's Water Right and Storage Applications:  #S2-299920, #S2-29934, and #R2-29935

"Water Quality Impacts.  The Tribe is concerned that the withdrawal of water from the White River will adversely affect water quality and ecosystem functioning of the lower White and Puyallup rivers.  Specifically, we have concerns regarding the affect reduced flow will have on the diurnal pH cycle, nutrient loads (total phosphorus, soluble reactive phosphorus, total nitrogen, ammonia, and nitrates), dissolved oxygen levels, 5-day BOD, water temperatures, and residual chorine.  Flow reduction impacts would also affect the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) stay of reserve allocation for 5-day BOD and ammonia in the lower Puyallup River.  The stay is a result of violations of the state standard for dissolved oxygen that were found in the lower Puyallup River on several days in September of last year (please refer to Attachment D).  In addition, the water withdrawal from the White River could adversely affect pH levels downstream of the Lake Tapps return by providing less dilution of instream nutrient levels and possibly less volume of water for scour of algae.  As acknowledged in the White River pH TMDL, currently under development by Ecology, violations of the pH standard upstream are due to excessive algal growth. "   Exhibit 237

January 17, 2001 Department of Ecology Email Speaker Chopp Urgent Request--Lake Tapps

"Speaker Chopp phoned me this afternoon & has asked me to get back to him tomorrow a.m. regarding a plan to save Lake Tapps, which is Rep. Hurst's district.  The Speaker said that the Governor made some type of commitment on the issue to a room of 500-600 people, which Frank heard, and that the Governor needs to follow through.  It has something to do with an Ecology preliminary permit.  Frank says a bureaucratic response by the department will not be acceptable in light of the Governor's commitment.  He wants to know what the Governor will do to keep his promise?"

"Governor did promise that Ecology would issue a preliminary permit, and begin to process Puget's application.  However, they ran into a snag, with the Puyallups, who have a special situation involving Lake Tapps, and Ecology does not want to override without working through the Puyallups."

"Tribe brought in WQ (water quality) info that may make a difference."

"Further review suggest there probably is on some days a WQ problem."  Exhibit 238

January 18, 2001 Department of Ecology Emails; FW: Lake Tapps - Follow Up with Chris Hurst/Chopp

"Puget has agreed to withdraw the appeal on the denial of the rule change by Ecology & save the Governor some political embarrassment on that issue."

"I do not think we should tell Ecology to do anything based on a legislator's threats until we've talked directly to Tom Fitzsimmons and gotten his side of the story.  In my opinion (for whatever it's worth) I don't believe the Governor should order Cabinet officials to do something contrary to what they have been doing until they've been given a chance to explain why they've been doing whatever it is.  And this is especially the reason is 'extortion' to avoid embarrassment threatened by a group of stakeholders or a legislator."  Exhibit 293

January 29, 2001  Perkins Coie/Puget Sound Energy, letter to Governor Gary Lock; Appeal of Denial of Rulemaking Petition Filed by Puget Sound Energy to Amend WAC 173-510

"Puget Sound Energy ("PSE") hereby withdraws its appeal in the above referenced matter.  PSE appreciates your continued support of its water supply project and looks forward to working with the Department of Ecology."  Exhibit 239

January 29, 2001 Ecology internal e-mails Lake Tapps

"Tom's weekly alert did say that Ecology is organizing a meeting with Puget, and Puyallups and Ecology - to get things back on track.  But as far as I know, Puget's appeal to Governor is still in our court.

"Sit down and reassure Puget we are still supporting this proposal moving forward for them to hear it at the highest level would be something useful."  Exhibit 240

May 10, 2001  Ecology to Federal Regulatory Commission; White River Project, FERC No. 2494: Support for Extension of Stay

"I am writing to convey the support of the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) for an extension of the current stay of the Commission's White River Project license order.  Puget Sound Energy and the Lake Tapps Task Force have requested a two-year extension through June 2003."

"We also seek to understand and ensure operation of the project in a manner that protects and restores downstream water quality in the Puyallup River."  Exhibit 241

September 18-19th, 2001  Ecology Internal E-Mails: Lake Tapps Reservoir Water Right - Anticipated

"Right off the bat, I can tell you this does not meet my expectations.  I count no less than 30 products and for each of these they are requesting one week turn around reviews.  That amounts to a workload nightmare.  My preference is for far less products and longer review times, but I am beginning to feel like a broken record which no one is listening to....., is listening to....."

"This is simple too much to expect us to review.  It is way beyond the level of hand holding we provide to other applicants, and will take too much of our time, and once again it smells of "buy off".  Exhibit 294

October 29, 2001:  Ecology E-Mail; Thursday's Lake Tapps mtg

"it sounds like a good portion of our meeting on Thursday will be devoted to Lake Tapps water quality issues"

"In addition to the issues that we have raised about the water quality of the lake, a bunch of questions have come from the lake front property owners related to additional requirements that may be imposed if the lake is used as a water supply (ie. sewers and boating restrictions)."

"I wanted to give you fair warning that this conversation will be complicated."  Exhibit 295

November 2, 2001: Ecology E-Mail; Theoretical Sewering in Lake Tapps.

"I spoke with Marsha Huebner of Pierce County Wastewater Utility, and with Steve Mareck of Tacoma Pierce County Health Department regarding what would trigger sewering in Lake Tapps.  I explained there is a possibility that in the future, the lake (reservoir) level would be higher for a longer period, that less water might be flowing through the system, and that water quality might deteriorate."

"Marsha explained that under Pierce County's unified sewer plan, the county is not planning to sewer the east or west sides of the lake, because they are designated as "rural" rather than "urban."  If we see water quality problems in the future which are aggravated by on-site septic systems in densely developed areas, the local health department or Ecology could ask the county to sewer the area."

"Steve said the lakeshore is a 'marginal soil area' and 'failures would be expected over time." Exhibit 296

November 1-5th, 2001 Ecology's E-Mails; Water Works meeting minutes 10/25

"FYI....these are notes from the Public Works subcommittee of the LTTF (Lake Tapps Task Force) where we talked about the property owner's three questions to the task force (what is the effect of proposed water supply on lake level, future recreational restrictions, and possible need for sewers or other land owner investments."

"I will need to get back to the subcommittee with more information on when and how water quality problems lead to sewer hookup requirements, who makes those decisions, and current water quality issues related to the lake." 

"It was also noted that Lake Tapps will have some changes to it, regardless of the water right change.  The FERC agreement will most likely reduce the water flow to the lake and the lake is anticipated to be full for longer periods of the year.  This will allow a warmer lake and more concentration of pollutants to accumulate and grow."

"These restrictions would not be required until the quality of the lake water impacted and caused problems to swimming, tec.  At this point, regulatory requirements would most likely cause improvements to the lake with sewers and other restrictions imposed.  More important and timely would be to understand the lake's current levels of pollutants and sources (failed septics, fertilizers, incoming water source, etc.) and for the community to to implement changes to improve the water quality.  This could improve the quality of the water for swimming and general recreation, plus increase the time that sewers were required."

"The requirement for sewers around the lake may be required due to natural growth in the area, not from specifics of the drinking water use."  Either growth boundary adjustments and increases in effluent concentrations in the lake could drive the requirement for sewers."  Exhibit 297

November 8, 2001: Bonney Lake purchases the remaining capacity Pierce County has at the Sumner WWTP for $1,030,000 and Bonney Lake will provide service (sewer) to County's existing customers in the Bonney Lake area and to provide service to properties within County's UGA (Urban Growth Area) that qualify for sewer service.  Lake Tapps is not, nor will it ever be within the County's Urban Growth Area (UGA).  It is illegal for Bonney Lake to plan for or to run sewers to Lake Tapps because it is not in a UGA.  Exhibit 242

November 16, 2001  Pierce County Council Member Shawn Bunney emails Department of Ecology for Theoretical sewering in Lake Tapps

"Thanks for the Electronic Version.  In Chapter 90.48 the only place where DOE has teeth.  Can your attorney give me a few more cites (WACs, Cases, Federal Law, TMDL's)?  which could be used by the State to protect the Water of the State?  It's not just the sewer question.  Its the issue of whether citizens should be addressing the problem proactively to avoid a regulatory nightmare.  Sinc. Shawn." Exhibit 243

November 2001
: Pierce County Unified Sewer Plan Issues Paper


West Lake Tapps Area (Rural Reserve).
In 1983, the County was ordered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to:

 

"help construct an expansion of the Sumner WWTP sufficient to provide treatment capacity for the West Lake Tapps area and continue plans to provide sanitary sewer service to this area."

"In the mid-1970’s the EPA water quality planning documents identified West Lake Tapps as part of the Lake Tapps service area needing sanitary sewers. This was due to the large number of urban density lots next to the west shore of Lake Tapps and the prevalence of surfacing sewage from failed on-site sewer systems in the area."

 

"The rural service area contains 2,279 parcels; only two parcels have been connected to sewers."

 

"There are no binding sewer agreements. In this area,  71% (1,610 parcels) of the 2,279 parcels designated rural are less than ½ acre in size and are located closest to the lake."

"If the County withdraws its West Lake Tapps sewer service area, the County could face legal challenges based on contractual obligations to the EPA."  Exhibit 244

 

January 14, 2002 Ecology Directors notes:

 

"Preserving Local Government's Interests.  The Lake Tapps residential and commercial area has been developed over the last 100 years as a result of the existance and desirability of the White River Hydroelectric Project's Lake Tapps Reservoir.  This region has become an important tax base for the local governments as growth and land values have increased, and the Lake Tapps Reservoir significantly enhances local property values and therefore the local tax base."  Exhibit 245

 

March 29, 2002 City of Bellevue Cascade Water/Lake Tapps Issues Grant/Tapps

 

"This is all getting very interesting and leading to a few showdowns.  I'm not sure our friends in Seattle play by the same rules as we do....."

 

"Can PSE "broker" the Tapps water right to Seattle? Tacoma? To Pierce County?  Are there any agreements in place that preclude these possibilities Yes, if our current arrangements with Puget lapsed, then Puget could broker the deal to others in the same manner as they have worked with Cascade.  The better question might be who would want it and for purposes.  Seattle might be interested in it to make sure it doesn't happen.  Smaller jurisdictions in Pierce County would be interested, but aren't big or sophisticated enough to pull it off.  Pierce County could potentially."

 

"The issue with Seattle is not selling them source, but rather using their transmission system.  The alternative we have explored is to build an independent transmission system.  The concept would be to extend the Tacoma north branch line north from Lake Youngs up to Issaquah." 

 

"Are we/you aware of any discussions on-going between Seattle and Tacoma?  Seattle and Pierce County?  Between PSE and anyone other than Cascade regarding the water right or Cascades role?  There are discussions between Seattle and Tacoma with regards to water quality.  We met the Tacoma folks yesterday.  Tacoma is ticked off.  Seattle is holding the project hostage until they get a change in water quality provisions.  We suggested that they may have to think about a political strategy and we layed out several courses of action.  Frankly, they haven't been in this kind of a pickle before, and I don't think they know how to proceed.  We did suggest that they should give Seattle an ultimatum...sign the agreement or they will look to others to pick up their share of the deal.  If we dropped Lake Tapps, then Pierce County and others may have problems.........As far as I know Seattle is not strategizing this issue with anyone else (no one else trusts them) and I am unaware of any discussions between PSE and others.....Frankly, other than Seattle (who Puget dislikes) there is no other market than Cascade."

 

"I understand that PSE is studying the "value" of the Tapps water right.  Is Cascade doing the same evaluation? Would Tacoma, Pierce County and/or Seattle "value" the water right in the same or similar manner?  Yes, Puget has some folks looking at what they might value the right and the project at.  Even though they want more money than less, they know they have a huge political liability that won't go away without commitments to keep the lake.  There needs to be a market to sell the water.  Seattle doesn't need it (because they are focusing on existing supplies and conservation), and others don't need as big an increment of supply.  So, I don't see any other market than Cascade."

 

"Regarding the "value" of the water right, is there any statutory guidelines for determining "value"?  The issue with Tapps is that PSE wants its money now and will not put off development of the project indefinitely if it means they don't get $$$.  I have indicated this dilemma.  If we are successful in getting a block from Seattle and the Tapps water right comes through, our strategy is to put of the development as long as possible until we actually need new sources to avoid costs."  Exhibit 246

 

May 07, 2002  Internal Washington Department of Ecology Emails. TMs 

 

"Your call just now, Carl, reminded me of a significant concern I have regarding PSE's TM submissions.  It recently dawned on me that PSE may have failed to do the work described..."

 

"it seems like this work may have been completely ignored."

 

"FYI--Everything we put in writing becomes part of the public record....."  Exhibit 291

 

June 14, 2002  City of Seattle letter to Tacoma Public Utilities Proposed Second Supply Project Agreement

 

"This brings me to the topic of Lake Tapps as a potential water supply project.  The proposal, as it stands, would have water from an unprotected source with recreational and septage activities (Lake Tapps) introduced into Seattle's Lake Youngs.  The proposed Second Supply Project with Tacoma and other partners would allow this water transfer to occur without Seattle's concurrence.  This water would be then be "sold" to eastside communities (Cascade Water Alliance).  In reality, because of the design of Seattle's regional transmission system, this water could be consumed by the citizens of Seattle and wholesale customers other than the Cascade Water Alliance.  The CWA, which proposes purchasing the water, would in actuality continue to use water from our Tolt watershed (a protected source).  In the last five years Seattle and its wholesale customers have invested nearly $250 million in source protection measures (Tolt filtration, Cedar Ultraviolet Treatment and Ozonation and the Cedar River Habitat Conservation Plan).  In light of these investments and in light of the efforts to maintain and enhance a protected source for 1.3 million customers, I cannot, in good conscience, assign future decisions over water quality to other jurisdictions."

 

"In all of the negotiations regarding the Second Supply Project, all the proposed project partners felt confident, based upon extensive independent analysis, that they could accept water from the Green River into their own water supply systems.  I feel the same approach should be applied to any future proposed supplies - that is, that all project partners receiving "additional water" into their systems need to agree on the suitability of proposed additional water sources.  As the proposed agreement stands now, some project partners would be able to vote to introduce water into a supply system other than their own without necessarily taking that water themselves.  It is unacceptable to the City of Seattle to delegate the decisions regarding the quality of water in its regional water supply system to others --either today or in the future."   Exhibit 247

 

June 14, 2002  City of Seattle letter to Tacoma Public Utilities Proposed Second Supply Project Agreement.

 

"This brings me to the topic of Lake Tapps as a potential water supply project.  The proposal, as it stands, would have water from an unprotected source with recreational and septage activities (Lake Tapps) introduced into Seattle's Lake Youngs.  The proposed Second Supply Project with Tacoma and other partners would allow this water transfer to occur without Seattle's concurrence.  This water would be then be "sold" to eastside communities (Cascade Water Alliance).  In reality, because of the design of Seattle's regional transmission system, this water could be consumed by the citizens of Seattle and wholesale customers other than the Cascade Water Alliance.  The CWA, which proposes purchasing the water, would in actuality continue to use water from our Tolt watershed (a protected source).  In the last five years Seattle and its wholesale customers have invested nearly $250 million in source protection measures (Tolt filtration, Cedar Ultraviolet Treatment and Ozonation and the Cedar River Habitat Conservation Plan).  In light of these investments and in light of the efforts to maintain and enhance a protected source for 1.3 million customers, I cannot, in good conscience, assign future decisions over water quality to other jurisdictions."

                                                                                                             

"In all of the negotiations regarding the Second Supply Project, all the proposed project partners felt confident, based upon extensive independent analysis, that they could accept water from the Green River into their own water supply systems.  I feel the same approach should be applied to any future proposed supplies - that is, that all project partners receiving "additional water" into their systems need to agree on the suitability of proposed additional water sources.  As the proposed agreement stands now, some project partners would be able to vote to introduce water into a supply system other than their own without necessarily taking that water themselves.  It is unacceptable to the City of Seattle to delegate the decisions regarding the quality of water in its regional water supply system to others --either today or in the future."   Exhibit 247

 

 

June 20, 2002 Key Messages: NMFS Declares Lake Tapps Reservoir Extinct

 

"Who Cares About the Future of Lake Tapps Reservoir.  Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, Representatives Jennifer Dunn, Norm Dicks and Adam Smith, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FERC, Governor Gary Locke, Public Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland, State Senator Pam Roach, State Representative Chris Hurst, State Representative Dan Roach, Pierce County Executive John Laddenburg, Pierce County Councilwoman Jan Shabro, The Cities of Sumner, Bonney Lake and Buckley, Cascade Water Alliance, several school district and fire districts, Puget Sound Energy"  Exhibit 292

 

November 14, 2002  Department of Ecology's Working Copy of its Lake Tapps,Task Force Issues Revisions to Recommendations 4 and 11

 

"The White River downstream of Mud Mountain Dam exceeds DOE standards for fecal coliform pollution, temperature, and pH.  Barreca and Erickson (2002) concluded that the high pH (greater than 9.0) that is sometimes observed in the bypass reach is caused by photosynthetic activity of the high levels of algae fostered by nutrient input from the previously mentioned point and nonpoint sources."

"While the Task Force is concerned about water quality in the White River, the problems giving rise to pH problems (i.e., polluting point and nonpoint source discharges) are not caused by the proposed action." 

"Taking additional water from the Project would only serve to dilute pollution, and adopting this "solution" may serve to encourage polluters to continue to foul the waters rather than taking responsibility for their own actions.  More troublesome, as discussed below, there is a serious scientific question as to whether the proposed dilution even solves the problem.  Finally, there is a significant economic impact associated with this RPA."

"The PDBO contains a discussion of the science underlying NMFS's concern with pH.  According to the PDBO, the best available science indicates that:

"[i]nputs of phosphorus and nitrate from the sewage treatment plants and other sources when combined with reduced stream flows associated with low flows, stimulate algal growth, resulting in high levels of photosynthesis on sunny days when the water is clear.  The photosyntheic activity depletes the water of inorganic carbon (mostly CO2) which results in an increase in pH.  The daily pH fluctuations in this reach also exceeded the WDOE standard of 0.5 pH units per day."

"This economic consequence will exacerbate the economics of the Project.  It is troublesome to burden the Project with this additional cost when, as noted above:  (i) the pollution is being caused by third parties and (ii) there is uncertainty that the proposed dilution is an effective solution in this case."

"The Task Force concludes that the stated concerns with respect to pH are best addressed in proceedings involving the identified point source and nonpoint source polluters and their compliance with state and federal clean water laws."

"Policy

The Lake Tapps Task Force was formed to achieve a specific goal.  That goal, which has been adopted by the Task Force as its reason for being, is stated as follows:"

"The purpose of the Lake Tapps Task Force is to reach a lasting solution that preserves the Lake and takes into account the interest of all task force members."

"It was observed, during the course of technical review, that agency recommendations with respect to water temperature cannot necessarily be directed to achieve the goal of the Task Force.  Agencies have legal requirements that they must respect in connection with the actions that they take.  The Task Force understands and respects these legal requirements, and understands that there may be times when agencies must step back from the Task Force's stated goal to avoid a real or perceived conflict or inconsistency with these legal requirements.

Nevertheless, the Task Force believes that its stated goal should be a primary policy consideration in developing a recommendation with respect to the water temperature issue."

"Secondly, the Task Force believes that NMFS should consider the "economic feasibility, of its recommendations, not only from the standpoint of impacts upon the hydropower project, but also impacts upon the community.  In this regard, the loss of Lake Tapps will result in the following significant economic consequences:

A loss of property values and a way of life for thousands of owners that live on the lake.  This is much more than an economic issue, and that homeowners hope that the intangible value of this tremendous regional resource is considered by NMFS in all respects.  However, in terms of economics, it has been estimated by the Pierce County Auditor's office that the tangible economical loss of property values associated with a loss of Lake Tapps is estimated to be somewhere between $130,000,000 and $180,000,000.  Apart from the impact on individuals, this loss of property value impacts tax base.  This tax revenue supports local and regional public services, such as schools, police and fire protection services.  In short, the economic consequences of loss of the Lake would be devastating to the locality and to the region as a whole."  Exhibit 285


January 21, 2003 "House Bill 1338, Introduced by Rep. Kelli Linville, (D-Bellingham)(D) on January 21, 2003.  This bill was a special request of Governor Locke."   Bill deals with Water Rights (Water Rights that benefit Puget Sound Energy) Exhibit 248

 

March 19, 2003  King County Department of Natural Resources to Washington Department of Ecology, Some Conservation Cost Numbers:
 

"The Outlook contains 4 conservation scenarios: 9% reduction in projected 2020 summer season demand, 13% reduction, 18% reduction, and 22% reduction. The estimated total annual costs for these scenarios are $7 million, $10M, $32M, and $69M, respectively.

I've calculated the average monthly cost per housing unit for these different scenarios. I used the 2000, 2010, and 2020 single-family and multi-family housing projections for the region (King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties). Housing units were considered for surveyed utilities only.

Cost per regional housing unit per month ($)

 

2000 2010 2020
$7M 0.51 0.42 0.38
$10M 0.72 0.60 0.54
$32M 2.32 1.93 1.72
$69M 4.99 4.17 3.71

      

 

 

So, the region could save 111 million gallons per day right now at an additional cost of less than $5 per month per household. This is enough water to supply all of Seattle's retail customers, plus Bellevue, plus Redmond, plus Issaquah."  Exhibit 284

 

March 24, 2003  Puyallup River Watershed Council to Ecology Director, PRWC LTRSWP Comments Ltr 2. Doc

 

"The source location and quality of water bring up questions for its use by municipalities. Lake Tapps and the surrounding watershed are unprotected when compared to Tacoma’s Green River watershed or Seattle’s Cedar River and South Fork Tolt River watersheds. Lake Tapps and the surrounding area are comprised of mixed residential use, agriculture, and light industry that generate a wide variety of storm water and processed water discharges. The absence of a community sewer utility necessitates dependency on septic system sewage treatment. Opportunities exist for contributions of nutrients, pathogens and other contaminants to the lake. Recreational activities provide additional opportunities for other pollutants and contaminants including hydrocarbons to enter the lake."

 

"From a scientific point of view, the effects of exporting 72,400 acre-feet of water annually from the watershed are unknown." 

"What is known, is that the Puyallup River has demonstrated declining average annual flows for the past two decades, currently fails to meet minimum flows 41 days per year, contains several stocks of threatened salmon and, receives permitted and un-permitted discharges."

 

"The ability of the Puyallup River to assimilate loading depends upon instream flow for dilution of harmful substances. Additionally, mixing zones established for NPDES permitted discharges are developed based on anticipated low flow conditions and the dilution capacity afforded then. If less water is available for dilution then the converse situation dictates that pollutant concentrations will exceed threshold levels and therefore present a risk to water quality and its attendant uses. Low dissolved oxygen; high pH and high temperature are just some of the water quality parameters exhibiting excursions of state water quality standards in the White and Puyallup Rivers."

 

"Temperature and dissolved oxygen problems arise in Lake Tapps as a result of thermal stratification of reservoir water."

 

"In the interest of all citizens within the watershed, the PRWC would like to know what other alternatives exist or were considered by the Department of Ecology? The best public interest is not served when an all or nothing proposal, water supply project or no Lake Tapps, is presented."  Exhibit 285

March 31, 2003 Tom Culhane (Department of Ecology) letter to Thomas Fitzsimmons (Director of Department of Ecology)  PSE Lake Tapps Water Right Decisions

From:                   Culhane, Tom
To:                  Fitzsimmons, Thomas
Subject:               
PSE Lake Tapps Water Right decisions
Date:                    
Monday, March 31, 2003 10:37:18 AM

Hello,

My name is Tom Culhane and I am one of the Ecology employees who has spent the greatest amount of time working on the PSE/Lake Tapps supply project. I do not presume that my writing will influence the outcome of Ecology’s decision much, as I know there are much greater forces at play. However, since I have spent so much of my past three years working on this, I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some of my thoughts. I was scheduled to join in on the SMT discussion tomorrow morning, but I am writing instead because I am certain that I would not be too eloquent and I really did not want state the following to most others in the room.

Approval of these applications is not the best alternative to save Lake Tapps. I am confident that Joe Stohr and others will apprise you of the project’s many pitfalls. Among the concerns are the fact that there is little demand for the water, the environmental benefits are minimal, and issuing the water rights would circumvent the Central Puget Sound Initiative process. In short, the use of over-riding considerations of public interest would set a terrible precedent that would handicap Water Resources for a long time into the future. Many folks involved in this project believe that a much better alternative would be for some entity (like Auburn) to pay PSE to pass more water down the White River as mitigation for a ground water right. Additionally, the land owners around the lake could be asked to make up for some of PSE’s lost revenue.

So how did we get where we are? Firstly, Ecology’s involvement in the Lake Tapps Task Force resulted in a loss of our objectivity. It definitely seemed early on that approval of these applications was a forgone conclusion and our task was to try and justify this. Secondly, the cost recovery process allowed PSE/CWA unprecedented access to direct the water right application evaluation process. Because they paid for both Ecology's and Hart Crowser's (our consultant) time, among other things, we allowed them to edit our work tremendously and provided them seemingly endless opportunities to modify their proposal based on access to our every deliberation. As a result, piece by painstaking piece, we allowed PSE/CWA to cobble together a series a tenuous arguments to put forth the proposition to save Lake Tapps through what clearly is not a compelling alternative.

I am confident that most folks that I have worked with on this project would tell you that I have labored hard in order to try and make this work. Additionally, I would characterize myself as a team player, so I do not take lightly sending you an email to provide my counter-prevailing-thought perspectives on the project. Still, despite my best efforts I am not very proud about this project and I am saddened by the thought that the result will likely be implementation of something that should never have been. Thank you in advance for letting me share my thoughts with you on this and I wish you well in making your decision.

Tom Culhane
Hydrogeologist 4
Water Resources Program  Exhibit 283

April 2, 2003 Ecology internal email; FW: Just out of curiosity

Question:  "One thing that came up at this morning's SMT meeting was a question as to how Tacoma’s supply figure factored into our demand analysis. Just to satisfy my own curiosity how did we deal with the Pipeline 5 issue in our analysis?"

Answer:  "Generally TPU does not have actual contracts with CWA, in the few cases where they do we included those supply figures - like Covington's contract. In the ROE we discuss the P-5 supply as being a viable alternative for this region, but we treat it similar to SPU in that CWA has demonstrated demand for some of this water based on needing Lake Tapps water, to the extent that they contract with other suppliers less Lake Tapps water will need to be developed."

"Since this came up yesterday, I thought that all of you would be interested in the answer. Tom Culhane"  Exhibit 286


June 20, 2003
"HB 1338 Signed by Gov. Gary Locke.  HB 1338 becomes known as the 'Municipal Water Law.'"  Exhibit 249

 

June 20, 2003

 

"The Ecology Department granted three new interrelated water rights to Puget Sound Energy (PSE) that allow the utility to continue diverting water from the White River and store it in the Lake Tapps reservoir.  The water rights gave PSE new authority to maintain the lake as a public water-supply reservoir, and withdraw a portion of the water-up to 64.5 million gallons a day-from Lake Tapps as long as it is intended from public supply use."  Exhibit 250

 

June 23, 2003: Ecology to Washington State Governor Locke, Governor's Alert for Week of June 23, 2003

 

From Governor Locke's, Chief of Staff: 
 

"Sue, is there going to be press on this, and should it come from you all, without us?  Also if there's going to be blowback, do I need to alert Kiga fyi?"

 

Ecology's response: "Bob, Ecology will be doing a press release...My advice is not to involve the Governor in any quotes, etc.  I know that he has offered support for this project when asked, but there will be some amount of "blowback" that the Governor might want to avoid."  Exhibit 288

 

August 12, 2004Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board, Puyallup Tribe of Indians Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, City of Auburn, City of Buckley and Robert Cook vs City of Algona, City of Pacific, Washington Department of Ecology, Puget Sound Energy, Cascade Water Alliance, Lake Tapps Community Council, King County:

 

"Cessation of hydropower operations and uncertainty about future flow regimes also raises concerns over water quality in Lake Tapps and the lower White and Puyallup Rivers. Undisputed evidence demonstrates certain water quality issues commonly occur in Lake Tapps during the summer months including thermal stratification. (Declaration of Char Naylor, pp. 6-8). Any water quality deficits in the Lake are passed on to the White and Puyallup Rivers by discharges from the Lake. The ROEs do not contain any analysis of the water quality implications of the hydropower closure."  Exhibit 251

August 2005:  Discovery Institute Report; Ample Water Potential, But A Leadership Drought 

"A treatment system is one crucial component of the Lake Tapps project, as the lake is surrounded by expensive homes with septic fields. The Alliance had hoped to utilize the City of Seattle’s Cedar River transmission pipeline running north toward the Alliance’s service area, according to Gagliardo. Instead, however, the Alliance is likely to have to build its own pipeline to get the water north to its customer base. Expressing concerns about post-treatment water quality problems with Lake Tapps water, Seattle is currently declining to make its pipeline available for the project." Exhibit 298

August 2, 2005 Memorandum of Understanding on Management of Lake Tapps for Public Water Supply and Recreation Between the Cascade Water Alliance and Pierce County:

"The County will: A. Protect and enhance water quality in Lake Tapps and the White River Basin and minimize discharges into Lake Tapps and from Lake Tapps back into the White River through regulation of storm water, on-site wastewater systems and other point and non-point sources."

"In the event that Cascade in unable to develop a public water supply project at Lake Tapps for any reason, the County and Cascade will work cooperatively to preserve the lake.  Negotiations will be carried out with a view to transferring ownership of the lake to an appropriate entity for operation as a recreational lake for the benefit of the public, and to establish a method of compensating Cascade commensurate with the price it paid for Lake Tapps and other related properties and assets." Exhibit 252

November 1, 2006: City of Kent comments on the Cascade Water Alliance idea which is to turn Lake Tapps into drinking water

"The City of Kent has concerns about the potential of any water from Lake Tapps being moved through the City water facilities due to the presence of contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors from a sewer treatment plant and other contaminant sources upstream of Lake Tapps.  The City of Kent is concerned about potential impacts of contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors on water quality and the potential health impacts to Kent' customers."  Exhibit 253

November 22, 2006: City of Auburn comments to Director of Ecology regarding the Cascade Water Alliance idea of making Lake Tapps a source of municipal potable water

"Ecology essentially has abdicated its regulatory role in ensuring responsible development of regional water supply sources and allowed Cascade Water Alliance ("Cascade") to dictate unilaterally."

"Review in an artificial vacuum--Ecology concludes that "overriding considerations of public interest" justify allowing Cascade to tap water from a closed river system and export it out of its basin of origin.  Shorn of its window dressing, the ROE simply acquiesces in a political decision by this consortium of east-side cities to break their ties with established water suppliers with the capability to serve far into the future, such as the City of Seattle, so that Cascade member can build their own empire."

"The water quality data in the ROE is not complete.  It does not address chemical, petroleum and biological contamination of the Lake itself. "  Exhibit 254

August 23, 2007, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department Approves an on-site septic system installation on Lake Tapps despite the Health inspectors comments that the approved design was for a three bedroom house, "not the 4 bedrooms advertised."  In addition the Health Department approved the reserve drainfield location which is in the 100 foot neighbors private well setback.  The house was marketed and sold as a 5 bedroom, 5 bathroom, 7,853 square foot house on 12/24/2008 for $1,975,000. 

"Insure as build indicates 3 bedrooms only."

"Well horizontal separation note:  The reserve OSS is located 80 feet from an existing well."

"Final Inspection; Designed for 3 bedrooms, not the 4 advertised."

Inspector pulls Real Estate brochure and notes "Bedrooms 4+ --Septic Design for 3 bedrooms only.  8/23/2007 called Robbin Clifford (realtor) and disclosed size and capacity of septic system."   Exhibit 255

June 11, 2008

"King County Superior Court Jim Rogers struck three sections of the Municipal Water Law.  One section concerns water rights, and the others provide definitions of the terms "municipal water supplier" and "municipal water supply purposes."  Exhibit 256

July 16, 2008  Puyallup and Muckleshoot Tribes paid $16.8 million to stop fighting the Cascade Water Alliance and agree to:
 

"settle all the issues between Cascade and the Muckleshoot and Puyallup Tribes."

"The agreement also stated Cascade will pay the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe a $6.8 million mitigation fund for, “fishery mitigation purposes and activities benefiting the White River watershed, including but not limited to the hatchery capital expenses...”

"Cascade will pay the Puyallup Tribe of Indians $8.5 million, with $1.5 million paid as a reimbursement for past cost and the balance as an “operations payment.'”  Exhibit 263

February 2009  City of Bonney Lake; City of Bonney Lake Comprehensive Sewer System Plan

"A final array of activities that influences Bonney Lake’s need to assess its sewer system planning revolve around the conversion of Puget Sound Energy’s White River Project from a power generation project to a potable water supply. This long-term project spearheaded by the Cascade Water Alliance (CWA) could affect the amount, manner and timing of diversions from the White River into Lake Tapps (the primary water body adjacent to Bonney Lake). These potentialities raise questions related both to water quality (potential substandard septic systems along Lake Tapps) and water quantity (supplemental flows to maintain lake levels)."

 

"Also in 2000, RH2 Engineering, Inc. prepared another report that considered the feasibility of wastewater reuse via the construction of a new treatment plant on the plateau. This effort was spurred in part by Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) announcement that it would likely abandon its power generation plant that is supplied by Lake Tapps. Since then, PSE has finalized its decision to abandon the White River Project (as it is formally named) opening a new chapter regarding water resource issues in the basin. This includes the possibility of purchase of the project (and its associated water rights) by the Cascade Water Alliance as a source of drinking water for its members. This development is one of many that also drive the need for development of a new sewer plan for the City of Bonney Lake."

 

"A final array of activities that influences Bonney Lake’s need to assess its sewer system planning revolve around the conversion of Puget Sound Energy’s White River Project from a power generation project to a potable water supply. This long-term project spearheaded by the Cascade Water Alliance could affect the amount, manner and timing of diversions from the White River into Lake Tapps (the primary water body adjacent to Bonney Lake). These potentialities raise questions related both to water quality (potential substandard septic systems along Lake Tapps) and water quantity (supplemental flows to maintain historic lake levels in during periods of peak water demand)."

 

"Bonney Lake’s sewer system has a history that is convoluted, contentious and colorful. It includes tales of political fratricide and financial brinksmanship."

 

"It is also the planned destination for projected future flows for at least the next ten to fifteen years (see Chapter 5). There are seven other wastewater treatment plants within 20 miles of Bonney Lake.  Their general locations are shown on Figure 2-3. None of these other seven plants currently represents a reasonable alternative for treatment of wastewater from Bonney Lake’s sewer service area.  Bonney Lake’s unincorporated sewer service area that lies outside the Urban Growth Boundary (the “North Service Area, see Chapter 5) is largely developed with suburban single-family homes along and near the west shores of Lake Tapps. This service area is a legacy service area transferred by the county to the City in 2002. Service to this area is required as a consequence of contracts and agreements entered into between Pierce County and state and federal agencies in the 1980’s. (See the Pierce County Unified Sewer Plan for a more extensive discussion of this topic.)"

 

"Bonney Lake also acquired its North Sewer Service Area with the execution of the transfer agreement with Pierce County (Appendix A). In contrast to the South Sewer Service Area, the North Sewer Service Area lies primarily outside the Urban Growth Boundary. Sewer service to the North Sewer Service Area is mandated by a 1983 U.S. EPA Order (Appendix D). This Order from the EPA to Pierce County was part of a directive to Pierce County to assist with the expansion of the Sumner Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Order required that sufficient capacity in the expanded Sumner Treatment Plant be provided to service what was then called the 'West Lake Tapps Area.'"

 

"In the mid-1970s, the EPA water quality planning process identified the West Lake Tapps area (Bonney Lake’s current North Service Area) as part of the Lake Tapps service area requiring sanitary sewer service. This was due to the large number of urban density lots next to the west shore of Lake Tapps and the prevalence of surfacing sewage from failed on-site sewer systems in the area. This service area contains 2,401 parcels; only two of which are currently connected to sewers. The majority of these parcels are less than ½ acre in size and are located close to the lake. Figure 5-2 shows the limits of Bonney Lake’s North, Core and South Sewer Service Areas."

 

"Augmentation of Lake Tapps
 

At the present time the future of Lake Tapps is somewhat clouded by Puget Sound Energy’s decision to abandon the White River Power Project. Lake Tapps was created by PSE as the source of water for the White River Project. PSE has entered into an agreement with the Cascade Water Alliance (CWA) to sell a portion of its water rights for the White River Power Project to the CWA for the purpose of creating a new drinking water source for the region. However, the quantity of water that the CWA has acquired is only a small fraction of the water used for the power project, raising the possibility that diversions to Lake Tapps might be curtailed and the lake level drop."

 

"One possible response to this potentiality is to treat and discharge wastewater to Lake Tapps to augment the volume of water in the lake and maintain lake levels. RH2 conducted an analysis of this option in 2000. From this analysis, it appears that the quantities of wastewater that could be generated for this purpose would be insufficient to make any measurable difference in the level of Lake Tapps. For context, potential wastewater flows would be only a small fraction of the amount of water known to be lost from Lake Tapps due to bed leakage and evaporation. Further pursuit of this option may be warranted if the CWA was interested in participating. However, at this time pursuit of augmentation of Lake Tapps is not recommended."

 

C. Augmenting Lake Tapps

Properly treated wastewater could be discharged into Lake Tapps. However, the Cascade Water Alliance (CWA) may develop Lake Tapps as a drinking water reservoir, though that is not likely to happen in the next several years. If, or when, this does happen, discharge of wastewater effluent to the Lake would not be easily accepted by the public. An extensive public relations and public education effort would be necessary for this application."

 

"Unknowns

It is unknown what effect the development of Lake Tapps into a drinking water reservoir will have on individual septic systems near the lake. It is possible that CWA would have some authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act to reduce or eliminate the drainfields in areas that affect the water quality of Lake Tapps. With this option, there would be multiple sites of individual drainfields (both existing and proposed), and it is likely that some of them would fall into areas affecting Lake Tapps’ water quality. However, as stated previously, if Lake Tapps becomes a drinking water reservoir, it would not be for several more years."

 

"North Sewer Service Area

The City of Bonney Lake’s North Sewer Service Area includes the area that was delineated for sewer service in the 1984 agreement, which was a condition of Federal Funding for the construction of the WWTP located in Sumner. Roughly, this area is located along the western and northern shores of Lake Tapps and is delineated in Figure 5-2."

 

"Service options for the future North Sewer Service Area parallel the first two options for the South Sewer Service Area. That is, there are fundamentally two options: 1) transmit the flows to an existing treatment plant or site; and 2) construct a new WWTP to serve the North Service Area."

 

"In March 2005, a preliminary report was prepared to begin addressing the issues associated with providing sewer service to the North Sewer Service Area. This report is included at the end of this document and ranks the alternatives by the various criteria. As more information is obtained, and if permitting and environmental regulations change, the variables and the rank of each alternative should be reevaluated.


Three options for serving the North Sewer Service Area are discussed in this section.

   ü Metro/King County Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)

   ü Bonney Lake/Sumner WWTP

   ü New Bonney Lake WWTP

 

Metro/King County is currently planning a new treatment plant to serve south Snohomish County and north King County. The new Brightwater Treatment Plant is necessary to expand Metro/King County’s treatment capacity and will be located northeast of Woodinville. Regardless of the treatment option selected, the proposed Brightwater plant will not likely be treating flows from the Bonney Lake area. However, the addition of the plant will free capacity in Metro/King County’s Renton plant, potentially benefiting residents within the Bonney Lake sewer area. Due to the existing capacity restrictions, if the new plant is not built by 2010, a system-wide building moratorium may be imposed to Metro/King County’s service area."

"New Bonney Lake WWTP

This option involves the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant to serve the Bonney Lake area. The Bonney Lake Wastewater Reclamation Preliminary Feasibility Report from 2000 discusses this option in further detail by evaluating potential participants, wastewater discharge or use alternatives, potential treatment plant locations and project costs and timing. For this analysis, the proposed treatment plant will serve only the North Sewer Service Area and will be located on the west side of Lake Tapps, as shown in Figure 5-6d."

"Advantages.  Building a new treatment plant to serve the Bonney Lake service area would allow the City of Bonney Lake to control costs and timing of future expansions. This option would also give the City full control over how quickly growth can occur within its service area. Other benefits include retaining the water on the plateau rather than transferring it to another basin, maintaining a high level of control over water quality and being able to use the reclaimed water."

"Recommended Option.  This plan recommends pursuit of the Bonney Lake WWTP option for the North Service Area. The initial step in this option should be completion of a conceptual fatal flaw analysis as to whether there are regulatory, environmental or other similar factors that would prevent implementation of this option."  Exhibit 257

February 2, 2009 Washington Department of Health, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department agree to meet the owner at his Snag Island House for an inspection, an inspection of a new 100 acre development in a wetland and finally to review the installation of a new septic system installed within 34 feet of Lake Tapps on what Pierce County Planning and the Assessor's office called a "no perk" lot on Island 21 on Lake Tapps.  The lot is 88 feet deep, bordered on both sides by Lake Tapps and dissected by a road. The useable portion of the lot is 8,806.16 square feet--survey in Health's file.

Washington Department of Health:

"I'm glad we had the opportunity to meet and talk earlier this month.  I attached a copy of the State Board of Health's on-site sewage rules and regulations (WAC 246-272A).   Section -0210(4) (page 39) provides the local health officer authority to reduce the horizontal setback to surface water from 100 feet to 75 feet.

Section 0420 (page 60) additionally gives the local health officer authority to grant waivers from specific requirements of the rule.  Consequently, the local health officer may grant a reduction to the minimum 75 feet distance through the waiver process.

The information that I obtained from Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) regarding the property of Island 21 indicates the lot size is 13,290 square feet. The file contains a water availability letter from the City of Bonney Lake Water Company.  During my site visit to the property on February 2nd, the distance that I measured from the installed drainfield to surface water (measured from closest point of the bulkhead) was greater than 50 feet.  (Bulkhead is not the property line) As you are aware, TPCHD has not provided a final approval of the on-site sewage system installation on this lot."  Exhibit 258

February 5, 2009 Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Onsite Review Report On Island 21 No Perk lot:

"No as-built construction drawings has been submitted for this site.  Due to additional information noted on this site, it may be necessary to submit additional justification for the primary drainfield installed and/or reserve drainfield area prior to final approval for use.

The Pierce County Building Department has been requested to hold issue of the building permit until the as-built construction drawing has been accepted and the system has been approved for use by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department."

Health obtained a copy of the Assessor's property information on 02/02/2007 that the lot is "RES NO PERK VAC LND REQ DOC."  Health approved On-Site System Design Application on 5-8-2007.  Health put a hold on development on 12/11/2008 because of "calls." 

The property is now listed in foreclosure on the Pierce County Assessor's website.  Exhibit 259

May 8, 2009 E-Mail to United States Geological Survey Requesting Information on Testing Lake Tapps Water Quality  

"Are there any Water Quality Tests Fecal Coliform, Nitrates, Pharmaceuticals, Endocrine Disruptors the USGS has performed on Lake Tapps."

"If the water has not been tested; cannot find any tests by Pierce County Health, Department of Ecology while it is not tested that "undisputed evidence demonstrates certain water quality issues commonly occur in Lake Tapps"  Washington Pollution Control Board."

How can I get the USGS to test Lake Tapps?" Exhibit 260

May 20, 2009  U.S. Geological Survey e-mail Testing Lake Tapps

"Thanks for your email. Although I did not find any water-quality data collected by the USGS from Lake Tapps, I did find a Washington State Department of Ecology report on the topic at  http://www.ecy.wa.gov/biblio/0603006.html .

The USGS can study the quality of water in a waterbody in cooperation with another governmental entity, such as a city, county or state. If you would like more information about establishing a USGS cooperative water-quality study, please contact Gary Turney, associate director, at 253-552-1626,
glturney@usgs.gov
."  Exhibit 261

June 4, 2009 Request to Department of Ecology Director, Jay Manning, to sponsor U.S. Geological Survey Study on Lake Tapps 

"I really enjoyed watching your interview with PBS in its special "Poisoned Waters."  One particular question and answer rung a bell for me:"

"So you are able to step in and take the lead in investigating and then pushing the cleanup on this site because you've got the power and the money to do it? That's right: We have the statutory authority to do it. And because the account that supports this program is very healthy right now, we have the resources. We can actually pay contractors to go out and do this work for us, not for them. …"

"Does DOE have the statutory authority, money and resources to  investigate and cleanup sites?  If so I have been researching the history of Lake Tapps and find it most disturbing.  Specifically the history of failed septic systems around the lake.  The last test I could find for fecal coliform was completed in the 1970's when only 30% of the lake was developed.  The results had fecal coliform counts as high as 18,000 fecal coliform/100ml of water.  Now the lake, including the East side which was never to be developed, is approaching 100% development density. Tapps Island water supply consistently fails water quality tests.  The water on the island comes out of the taps green.  The water closets, bathtubs and sinks in these homes are actually tinted green.   At times so much chlorine is added to "treat" the water it turns peoples hair green."

"The City of Bonney Lake has given Tapps Island several options to provide the Island with potable water.  The first is to provide water to the Island as a wholesaler at a cost of ~$8,000 per lot.  Bonney Lake cautioned Tapps Island that even if it were to supply water the condition of the existing temporary infrastructure would contaminate the water before it entered the houses.  It is a temporary systems designed to temporarily supply water to temporary trailers.  The trailers were temporary because the buyers agreement contained a provision that the trailers would have to be removed when their septic systems failed.  The second option is to be the purveyor of the water system.   This requires an entirely new infrastructure designed and installed to meet current codes.  According to Bonney Lake, Tapps Island is choosing to install a "band aid to get passed DOE for the next few years." 

"Besides your interview, the segment on Endocrine Disruptors and Pharmaceuticals in drinking water was equally well done and most freighting.  Thinking about the 1,500 people on Tapps Island drinking lake water contaminated by, according to Pierce County, EPA, and DOE over 2,000 failed septic systems shocks the conscience.  Indeed the number of failed septic systems overshadows the concern the City of Kent expressed about the WWTP discharging sewage into the intake for Lake Tapps.  Kent cited Endocrine Disruptors and Pharmaceuticals as the reason it will not allow Cascade Water Alliance to send water to Kent."

"Finally the program featured the equipment USGS is using to test water for Endocrine Disruptors and Pharmaceuticals.  I have been in contact with Region 10 USGS office and they will "study the quality of water in a water body in cooperation with another governmental entity, such as a city, county or state."

"Because DOE has "the statutory authority to do it. And because the account that supports this program is very healthy right now, we have the resources."  Will you agree to cooperate with USGS to study Lake Tapps for water quality: fecal coliform, nitrates, phosphates, Endocrine Disruptors and Pharmaceuticals?"  Exhibit 262

January 10, 2010  Court papers of Kenneth M. Dull

"In or around 1979, I built a home on Deer Island, which is on the west side of Lake Tapps in Pierce County.  I lived in that home until early 1990s."

"In the early 1980s, I was a member of the Steering Committee for the Lake Tapps Improvement Association.  At that time, the Steering Committee was in involved in an effort to get sewers installed to service the homes around Lake Tapps.  A letter that was prepared by the sewer committee in 1981 and sent to the area property owners regarding our effort to get sewers built.  The survey that our Association had taken revealed many problems related to the increasing development of the area and the use of septic systems along Lake Tapps.  These problems included improper absorption of the effluent in drainfields, standing water during wet weather, noticeable runoff into the lake, odor of sewage in roadside ditches, and the restrictions in the use of public sanitary facilities.  (Deer Island is at a higher elevation than much of the rest of the area around Lake Tapps, which is likely why there were no problems reported by survey respondents from that island."

"At the time, there were federal funds available to help finance a sewer system, and given this available funding and the increasing problems problems with septic systems on Lake Tapps, we hoped that immediate action would be taken by Pierce County to install sewers."   Exhibit 264

January 12, 2010  "The Washington State Supreme Court heard oral argument in Lummi Indian Nation et al. v. State of Washington, et al, Supreme Court Cause No. 81809-6 a facial constitutional challenge to the 2003 Municipal Water Law (MWL)."  Exhibit 265

June 25, 2009 E-Mail to Ecology Director Jay Manning requesting Ecology Sponsor U.S. Geological Survey study on Lake Tapps:

"Congratulations on the Department of Ecology announcement that it received stimulus-funded clean water projects totaling, when combined with state funds, more than $140 million."

"Now you have more money than you did when you were interviewed for Poisoned Waters, will DOE agree to co-sponsor a study with U.S.G.S. to test Lake Tapps for water quality?"  Exhibit 266

October 15, 2009  E-Mail to Washington Department of Ecology Water Quality Division Manager Requested Ecology Sponsor U.S. Geological Survey Study of Lake Tapps:

"I'm studying potential water quality problems in Lake Tapps.  I note my vast 18 bankers boxes of documents spanning four decades I find few current reported studies of the Lake Tapps Water Quality.  Neither Pierce County or the City of Buckley test the water at their public beaches or the lake.   Missing are recent studies for your standard run of the mill problems such as fecal coliform to the more worrisome pharmaceuticals, POP's, endocrine disruptors, etc.  The USGS will study, for free, the pharmaceuticals in Lake Tapps and in the Tapps Island Water supply, they just need a public sponsor.  So if your records are sparse relating to Lake Tapps, or if you tell me the data simply doesn't exist, I would appreciate DOE sponsoring a current study."

"Will the Department of Ecology sponsor a study by the USGS testing Lake Tapps and the Tapps Island water supply for pharmaceuticals?"  Exhibit 267

January 12, 2010  Court papers of Richard Kern, Engineer for Philip M. Botch who's name appears in most of the communication for the sewer project to Lake Tapps:

"As detailed in the text and maps in the Facilities Plan, it was well known by the mid 1970s that the soils around Lake Tapps are not suitable for widespread use of septic tanks, and that the consequences of allowing continued use of on-site septic systems in that area could be devastating. For example, our report noted:"

a. Localized areas are experiencing septic tank failures.  This is especially serious after heavy rains. (p. 1-2)

b. Further development in the Lake Tapps area in pursuit of developable property must be curtailed in the future due to lack of suitable sites. (p. 1-3)

c. In some areas the soils have low percolation rates, and in others the water table is near ground surface.  A second problem is that most people do not realize that the drain field will eventually fail and provision must be made for the installation of a second drain field.  In many instances, lots are not large enough to support a second filed. (p. 3-5)

d. Problems that arise from poorly operating septic tanks are ponding effluent to the surface, contamination of the groundwater, which is very important where domestic wells are in the area, and
degradation of surface water quality.  The public health hazard from these is very serious since pathogenic organisms in the sewage are not destroyed in a septic tank system (p. 3-5).

e. Lake Tapps has violated state standards on several occasions.  Water use has not been restricted, however, because the enforcing agency, Pierce County Health Department, has been enforcing a less stringent coliform bacteria standard than the controlling state standards enforced by Department of Ecology (p. 1-3)."

"All of this information was common knowledge among Pierce County's government agencies.  For example, in December 1975, R. Clifton Smith, director of the Environmental Health Division at Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, wrote me a letter (see copy attached hereto as Exhibit B) confirming that his department regarded  the soils in the Bonney Lake - Lake Tapps area as "'marginal' for septic tank sewage disposal."   He noted problems with rising groundwater table flooding septic drainfields in the winter, and the department's denial of septic tank applications in numerous locations, and he confirmed that these sites "will not be buildable until sewers are available."  Exhibit 268

February 4, 2010, Cascade Water Alliance Executive Director, Chuck Clarke in an interview with Auburn Reporter on Lake Tapps:

"Clarke added that the parties give up their right to sue again as long as the DOE issues the water right consistent with the agreement. 'We think Ecology would be insane not to. We created a very difficult box around Ecology. At the end of the day, they were getting the crap beat out of them for years by the homeowners and by the four cities. And now, they don’t even get any calls any more,'” Clarke said. Exhibit 269

February 5, 2010  Cities of Auburn, Bonney Lake, Buckley and Sumner sign an agreement with Cascade Water Alliance.  Exhibit 270

March 3, 2010  In an email Auburn's Mayor, Pete Lewis, clarifies the Cities will not obtain any water from Lake Tapps.  The agreement requires water to the Cities be supplied out of the City of Tacoma's water pipeline that obtains water from the Green River:

"The four cities got:

  • Use of in-stream water to mitigate for future water rights
  • Right to buy unused blocks of water from Cascade out of Tacoma Water pipeline
  • Replacement water at no cost if Auburn wells are affected by any decisions made by Cascade
  • On seat for the four cities on an advisory board for the lake management"  Exhibit 271

March 4, 2010 City of Auburn's Mayor Pete Lewis comments on the Cities of Auburn, Bonney Lake and Sumner plans to annex Lake Tapps into their cities for running sewers to Lake Tapps

"...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. This is for long term planning and could be another generation before implemented,"  Exhibit 272

March 5, 2010 City of Auburn's Mayor outlines what would be required for the City of Auburn to annex Lake Tapps so it could run sewers to Lake Tapps to protect the Cities wells from contamination from Lake Tapps:

"I really do not want to dampen your spirits but 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 (Growth Management Area) 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 looked at as a revenue producer."

"So, those are the steps and the obstacles. Pete" 
Exhibit 273

March 9, 2010  Email to Washington State Department of Ecology Director Requesting Ecology Sponsor U.S. Geological Survey Study on Lake Tapps.  Exhibit 274

March 9, 2010 E-mail to Washington State Department of Ecology Director, Department Heads:

"Executive Director of Cascade Water Alliance, Chuck Clark, on Department of Ecology issuing the water rights for Lake Tapps:

“'We think Ecology would be insane not to. We created a very difficult box around Ecology. At the end of the day, they were getting the crap beat out of them for years by the homeowners and by the four cities. And now, they don’t even get any calls any more,' Clarke said."

Chuck Clarke On Ecology Being "Insane not to" Issue Cascade Lake Tapps Water Rights

"Since when does business dictate what Ecology does?  Especially when Ecology has been against turning the contaminated Lake Tapps into drinking water?  Ecology has noted its files stating it opposes turning Lake Tapps into drinking water.  The only reason for working with Cascade was a result of the then Governor Locke opening his mouth at a press conference claiming Ecology would issue the water rights necessary to save the lake.  In addition to the formal letter of direction I have a flurry of emails from Ecology staff after the news conference seeking direction; Locke's position opposed Ecology."

"As far as "getting the crap beat out of them for years" Ecology and Cascade have no idea what getting beat up is really like.  Soon all will have a very good idea what "getting the crap beat out of them" for years is all about.  Soon everyone will know that it was "insane" to believe you could turn a cesspool into drinking water."

"I plan to file an Intent to Sue the U.S. EPA, Washington State Department of Ecology, Pierce County and Tacoma Pierce County Health Department under the Clean Water Act.  For Ecology's part in the mess:

1.  Ecology ranked running sewers to Lake Tapps as the 5th highest priority project in the State of Washington. Sewers were never run.  The City of Bonney Lake considers the problem now as "unmanageable."

2.  In the 1970's and early 1980's Ecology granted Bonney Lake/Pierce County 15% of taxpayer funds to run sewers to West Lake Tapps.  Sewers were never run.

3.  Knowing the contamination of Lake Tapps from failed septic systems Ecology again in 1990 offered Pierce County Grant money to run sewers to West Lake Tapps.  Sewers were never run.

4.  In 1983 the U.S. EPA Ordered Pierce County to run sewers to Lake Tapps.  Sewers were never run.

5.  In 1984 Ecology brokered an Out of Court Settlement where Pierce Consented to run sewers to West Lake Tapps.  Sewers were never run.

6.  Ecology failed to enforce the Consent Agreement.  Pierce continued the unfettered development of Lake Tapps with homes built on lots that were not suitable for on-site septic systems.

7.  Ecology made dozens of trips to Lake Tapps at the request of the EPA, Pierce County, Tacoma Pierce County Health and the State of Washington's Department of Health to review proposed developments.  Each time Ecology stated the proposed developments around Lake Tapps could not be developed without sanitary sewers.  To get to the next proposed development Ecology had to drive through (twice) the just completed development that Ecology stated could not be developed without sewers.

8.  Ecology had known for decades the soils around Lake Tapps were not suitable for on-site septic systems yet it did not issue a building moratorium until sewers were run.  Ecology was driving past development after development it said could not be developed without sanitary sewers.  Now there are over 2,000 houses on Lake Tapps with failed septic systems, (U.S. EPA, U.S.G.S., DOH, Pierce County, Tacoma Pierce County Health and dozens of engineers stated on-site septic systems would fail)  that drain raw sewage into the lake daily.

9.  The former Director of Ecology, Mr. Manning, refused over six requests I made for Ecology to Sponsor a U.S.G.S. test of the water quality of Lake Tapps.  U.S.G.S. would conduct the tests which included testing for emerging contaminates for free, they just needed a government sponsor.

10.  Ecology has failed to enforce the Clean Drinking Water Act on Tapps Island.  Over 1,000 people drink contaminated water daily.

11.  Ecology has failed to enforce the Endangered Species Act.  Water that flows out of Lake Tapps poisons not only the wells of the Cities of Auburn, Sumner and Bonney Lake, it also poisons the Salmon and Bull Trout.  The contaminated water and fish also contaminate the protected Bald Eagle. The Tribes were paid more than $15,000,000 to shut up and sign the agreement with Cascade.

12.  Ecology in its recent estimate if Lake Tapps were drained included a $40,000,000 line item to build a Waste Water Treatment Plant and run sewers to the houses that were on Lake Tapps.   Ecology stated the sewers were necessary because while the lake dilutes the sewage somewhat it would be dangerous to have people, pets and animals walk in raw sewage from the failed septic systems.  From that Ecology believes it's acceptable for people to swim in, play in, bath in, shower from and drink from a contaminated lake! 

13.  If Ecology believes it is unacceptable for people, pets and animals to walk in raw sewage it should take a trip to Tapps Islands outer Island.  This is one of those developments Ecology said could never be built without sewers.  In Ecology's report it found a dozen of the proposed lots were under water, test pits that were full of water, test pits within 30' of the lake and hardpan soils at the surface.  Well there are multi-million dollar homes on properties that were under water that are served by an on-site septic system in a community septic system area.  In this area, on Tapps Islands outer Island, there are over 50 failed drainfields.  You can see the sewage, smell the sewage, watch it drain into the lake and watch dogs running in it and drinking from it.  The Homeowners Association has built berms around the sewage in an attempt to slow the sewages drainage into Lake Tapps.  You can walk the Tapps Island golf course and see, smell, touch and walk through raw sewage from failed drainfield after failed drainfield."

"For my edification, WHERE IS ECOLOGY?  Is Ecology truly beholding to Cascade and the politicians?  Or does Ecology truly understand its charter?  I understand that making things safe is costly but sometimes you don't have a choice.  Attached is a press release that went out today.  If Ecology does not have the file where it noted it is against turning Lake Tapps into drinking water, please let me know, I will make copies.  If Ecology still cannot find the EPA Order or Consent Agreement, let me know, I finally obtained them."  Exhibit 275

March 11, 2010  Cascade Water Alliance to Hold public meeting on milfoil in Lake Tapps 

"Cascade Water Alliance is holding a public meeting 6-8 p.m. March 31 to discuss milfoil in Lake Tapps, answer questions from the community and take public comment. The meeting will be held at North Tapps Middle School, 20029 12th St. E, Lake Tapps."

"Cascade has hired an environmental consultant, Tetra Tech, to research the current milfoil condition in the lake and to recommend strategies for milfoil eradication. At the meeting, the Tetra Tech will share its findings, talk about the pros and cons of treatment options, and answer the public’s questions. Public comment also will be received."

"Milfoil poses environmental and maintenance challenges for a healthy lake. According to the Washington State Department of Ecology, milfoil starts spring growth earlier than native aquatic plants and can out shade these beneficial plants. Because it is widely distributed and difficult to control, DOE says milfoil is considered the most problematic plant in Washington State."  Exhibit 276

March 25, 2010 Washington Department of Ecology Water Quality Division responds to the owner's October 15, 2009 e-mail requested Ecology Sponsor a U.S. Geological Survey study of Lake Tapps

"I work in the Environment Assessment Program of the Dept of Ecology.  Our program is responsible for statewide water quality monitoring programs.  We have done some sampling on Lake Tapps in the past, though not for pharmaceuticals.  I am writing to ask for additional information about the publicly-sponsored USGS study you mention below.  Can you refer me to someone at the USGS that I can follow up with?"  Exhibit 277

March 29, 2010  Washington Department of Ecology e-mail regarding U.S. Geological Survey Study of Lake Tapps:

"...here is some additional information that I tracked down after our telephone conversation last Thursday:"

"Regarding the USGS study, they are looking into doing some work in Lake Tapps later this year, but that study will not include pharmaceuticals or waste-water indicator compounds.  As far as Ecology sponsorship of a free study, they could do additional work in Lake Tapps if Ecology provided at least 50% of the funding, but they would not do additional work for free.  (I also found out that Gary Turney has retired since you spoke with him.)"

"Regarding our 2008 water quality assessment, Lake Tapps is listed twice, once as a water-of-concern for fecal coliform bacteria in the diversion, and also as a water-impaired-by-a nonpollutant (milfoil).  This latter listing is in Category 4c of the assessment, which means that Ecology would not do a TMDL study to address this listing (TMDLs are done for Category 5 listings only)."

"Regarding testing of lakes for bacteria, Ecology does not have a statewide program to monitor freshwater swimming beaches for public health (bacteria)."  Exhibit 278 

March 29, 2010  E-Mail to Washington Department of Ecology Again Requesting Ecology Sponsor a U.S. Geological Survey test of Lake Tapps for Water Quality:

"1.  Why is the USGS looking at studying Lake Tapps?  If they are not testing for pharmaceuticals or waste-water indicator compounds what are they testing for?  Ecology received a great deal of money under the Economic Recovery package so funding 50% of the cost of a pharmaceutical study shouldn't be an issue, especially considering the condition of the lake and then intended use of the lake.  Is Ecology going to fund the test and work with USGS?  I was concerned last year the USGS program funding may change which is why I requested Ecology's director, Jay Manning, agree to participate; he declined."

"2.  Do you have a copy of the 2008 water quality assessment for Lake Tapps?  I cannot find the study that shows it is a "water-of-concern for fecal coliform bacteria in the diversion."  The diversion was listed as adding fecal coliform (Washington State Rainer School's Waste Water Treatment Plant) but the majority of the fecal coliform the scientist have always said comes from Lake Tapps and the failed septic systems." 

"3.  So what good is legislation without enforcement?  The Washington Administrative Code requires testing for fecal coliform to monitor the safety of water for human contact.  As far as I know every county, except Pierce, has a beach monitoring program that tests for fecal coliform."

"Please let me know what steps Ecology is going to take to make certain Lake Tapps is made safe.  There are currently over 1,000 people on Tapps Island (Ecology said couldn't be developed without sewers for decades) that obtain their drinking, bathing and cooking water directly from Lake Tapps.  Considering Ecology ranked running sewers to Lake Tapps as the 5th highest priority project in the State of Washington AND provided millions of taxpayer dollars to fund the project that was never built, I think Ecology owes a duty to protect the safety and health of the citizens it is currently poisoning, no?"

"Or should I work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who promises enforcement of Clean Water Act violations, to ensure they are paid back their (taxpayer) monies it granted Pierce to run sewers and to enforce the Clean Water Act?"

"Who should I talk to at Ecology to see that Lake Tapps is made safe?"  Exhibit 279

March 30, 2010  Tapps Meadows, A development of (11) 5.0 acre to 17.34 acre parcels are for sale with an average asking price of a little over $500,000.  The property, known as the "Van Der Hoek" property has been issued one Correction Notice/Cease and Desist Order after another.  These correction notices were issued for filling in wetlands.

One was issued August 5, 1999 for a:

"Wetland Violation.  Placing fill piles and grading into buffer of Category II Wetland.  Approximately 2,000 Cubic Yards of fill.  Please do not issue any permits or approvals until this violation has been resolved."

Another was issued on September 17, 1999 for importing 500 cubic yards of fill material  

"Wetland violation.  Placing fill piles and grading into buffer of category II wetland.  Violation confirmed."   The correction notice was closed; "Problem closed by wetland due to agricultural exemption.  Doug will follow suit and leave alert in DIC's on --FJB 5/4/2004." 

Despite years of filling, the property is still so wet the developer couldn't find a single suitable location on any of the (11) lot's for the on-site septic systems and their drainfields.  They were required to install a "community drainfield" which happens to be within 100' of the designated wetland and in a wetland itself.  The developer actually filled in the Category II wetland with this fill so they could eliminate the wetlands so they could install septic tanks and drainfields.  The community septic tanks and drainfields have been installed.  Two lots have sold and a third sale is pending.

Because of the fill and the water, the new owners of these new houses will have settling problems, water problems, mold problems, and septic system problems.  That is (11) families, just like this family who will suffer the same fate of Pierce County's "frontier mentality," almost to the same extent this family has suffered. Exhibit 280