Cascade’s 2012 Transmission and Supply Plan includes Lake Tapps as a major component in Cascade's long term water supply system over the next three or four decades. Not only will Lake Tapps be a new potable water supply, but the project will improve river flows for endangered fisheries, make improvements to the Lake Tapps facilities, and continue recreational use of the lake.
Use of Lake Tapps for recreation and water supply, plus restoration of the White River fishery requires a balanced, cooperative approach. A key to ensuring that water quality remains high is on-going testing and monitoring. Cascade, Pierce County, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and Ecology have cooperatively monitored the water quality of Lake Tapps and the White River.
The diversion dam on the White River controls the amount of water flow into Lake Tapps and is essential in providing fish passage around the Corps' Mud Mountain Dam. The Corps has committed to continued operation and replacement of the diversion dam and in improvement of fish passage facilities. Cascade and the Corps are coordinating operational decisions regarding the diversion dam and Cascade is participating in the design of the replacement dam.
Lake Tapps Project Contract Operator Transition
The Asset Operating Agreement (AOA) between Cascade and PSE provides for PSE to operate the Lake Tapps Project for up to five years (through 2014). Cascade issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to private contract operators for project operation and maintenance. Following review of proposals and interviews with qualified contract operators, Cascade, in December 2011 selected Veolia Water North America – West, LLC (Veolia) to provide contract operator services for Lake Tapps.
Veolia began a transitions operating phase (concurrent with PSE operations) in January 2012. The AOA with PSE was terminated in April 2012 and Veolia assumed full operation and maintenance responsibility for the project. Cascade’s agreement with Veolia is a five-year agreement with two phases and options for up to two additional periods of five years each. The AOA was replaced with an “on-call” agreement under which Cascade and Veolia could receive assistance from PSE on an “as needed” basis through 2014.
During the Transition Phase, Veolia will transition into full operation and maintenance responsibilities and develop an O&M Manual for the Project. The O&M Manual will be the basis for the scope and budget for the Performance Phase of the Agreement, beginning in January 2013 and extending through 2016 (or longer if renewed).