Sultan lake empty because of dam leak

  • By Alejandro Dominguez Herald Writer
  • Saturday, April 23, 2011 12:01am
  • Local NewsSultan

SULTAN — The lake that provides 95 percent of the city’s water is empty.

Workers discovered there was a leak at the bottom of the dam at the man-made lake on Wednesday morning. To keep water flowing to the city’s taps, Sultan is getting water from Everett.

The reservoir, known as Lake 16, is located 2 miles from the city’s water treatment plant and is a 45-minute drive from downtown.

The lake was created in 1911 when a dam was built at the west end to hold the water from a stream. The dam was later replaced in 1947.

When workers found mud coming out of the main water pipe this week, they drove to Lake 16 where they made the discovery, city administrator Deborah Knight said.

The treatment plant is not staffed 24 hours. The dam is only visited once every couple of weeks, public works director Mick Matheson said.

The water is going underground so it’s not flooding the area.

The city of about 4,000 is receiving water from Everett, which has a pipeline that runs to Spada Lake.

People in Sultan won’t see a change on their utility bills in the short term. It is unknown if that will change in the future and probably depends on how soon the problem can be fixed, Knight said.

The city is currently meeting with a Bothell-base dam consulting engineering firm to find out the extent of the damage.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez

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