Lake Levels

Current Reservoir Levels - Updated May 13, 2024

This week Cascade will raise the Lake Tapps Reservoir to approximately elevation 543 feet, the maximum allowable level at which Cascade can operate. The reservoir will reach 543 feet on or around May 15 and will then be drawn down slightly, using the leakage from the reservoir, to normal recreational summer levels.

Cascade has raised the reservoir to the maximum allowed at least once each year since it took ownership in late 2009, so that residents know where the water level is on their property. After the maximum fill, Cascade will keep the reservoir between elevation 541.5 to 543 feet, usually between 542.5 and 542.8 feet, weather and minimum instream river flows dependent.

Also, around May 20 Cascade will be installing fencing on some dikes for the summer. Although the dikes are closed to the public, on warm, sunny days many people recreate illegally despite “No Trespassing” signs. Activity on the dikes also increases when nearby parks get full and close early. This summer Cascade will be using fencing and enforcement by the Pierce County Sheriff to block entry and remove trespassers for safety, security and to protect the dikes from damage.  Please respect the “No Trespassing” signs and enjoy summer in the parks and on public beaches, not on the dikes.

If residents are planning work on their property, they should obtain the appropriate, required permits and a Cascade license prior to beginning any work. Further, residents should keep in mind as they do work on their property, especially bulkheads, that Cascade has the authority to raise reservoir levels to elevation 543 feet under current water rights, so any new or modified bulkheads should be built with the consideration that the reservoir level will be up to 543 feet.

Residents can monitor overall reservoir water levels by clicking here.

For more information on Lake Tapps / Cascade agreements visit

For information regarding licenses for project work click here.

USGS Links:

Lake Tapps Level Gage 

White River Gage

General Reservoir Level Management

Cascade has owned and operated the Lake Tapps Reservoir since 2009. During that time, Cascade has managed lake levels in accordance with the provisions of the Lake Tapps Reservoir Water Rights, which incorporate relevant provisions from the 2009 Agreement regarding Lake Tapps between Cascade Water Alliance and the Lake Tapps Community and the 2008 White River Management Agreement between the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and Cascade Water Alliance.

The Water Rights and the agreements provide for Cascade to maintain recreational reservoir levels or normal full pool, between elevation 541.5′ and 543.0′ (gage height) from April 15 through Sept. 30.

Typical fall drawdown to a lake level of approximately elevation 538′ – 539′ is sufficient to protect the integrity of the Lake Tapps dikes and for any routine inspections. This minimizes the wear on the valves in the power house during fall drawdown and the risk of problems refilling the Lake Tapps Reservoir during periods of water shortage.

Specific dike or other maintenance projects will require Cascade to reduce the lake level in the fall and winter to approximately elevation 533′ to 535′ (some projects may require the level to be lower).