Lake Washington Lake Line Management Plan

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Lake Washington waterfront park in Bellevue

The City of Bellevue’s "Lake Lines" are a portion of the sewer system located along the shorelines of Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. Approximately 15 miles of the lake lines run along the Lake Washington shoreline, connected to 15 pump stations and eight flush stations. These sewer pipes are either underwater or on land adjacent to the lake.

Most of the Lake Washington lake lines were constructed in the 1950s and '60s to prevent raw sewage from being directly discharged into the lake. Half a century later, these pipes now serve more than 1,000 community members in Bellevue and neighboring communities. However, the pipes are aging, and their location creates challenges for repair and replacement.

Why lake line plan is needed

Without advanced planning, the lake line system will begin to fail, potentially causing loss of service to residents and risk to the sensitive lake environment. Bellevue Utilities is developing a management plan for the repair, replacement and maintenance of the system. The plan will help ensure we can continue to provide safe and reliable sewer service to the community and protect public health and the delicate Lake Washington ecosystem. 

The pipes' location in and adjacent to the lake presents technical, environmental, operational and financial challenges. In the lake line plan, we will identify key issues in the system. This will help the city plan and prioritize future repair, replacement and continued assessment of the lake lines.    

What to Expect

The project team is reviewing information about the lake line system to develop strategies for future repair, replacement or maintenance. The city will prepare an environmental impact statement while developing the management plan.

The lake line will be divided into sections for analysis and planning. Some sections may not require work; others will require repair, replacement or maintenance. After an analysis of options, which will include opportunities for public feedback, the team will develop the management plan. The development of the plan will not result in the design or construction of any parts of the lake line. The purpose of the plan is to develop and document a long-term approach for rehabilitation or replacement of the lake line, including financial and policy components. The plan will incorporate mitigation recommendations from the EIS.

Bellevue Utilities is committed to providing up-to-date project information throughout the project and EIS process. We look forward to your comments and feedback as we proceed.  

Project location

This project is located in Lake Washington adjacent to the waterfronts of the following areas (identified on map below):

  • Bellevue
  • Medina
  • Hunts Point
  • Yarrow Point
  • Beaux Arts Village
  • Small portion of unincorporated King County
Lake Washington Sewer Lake Lines

Public engagement

The city will use multiple channels to communicate important information and updates throughout the project, including this page, mailed notices, online public meetings and possible in-person meetings (pending COVID-19 conditions).

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